To the mom who feels like she’s failing in her newly found role as quarantine crisis homeschooler, please hear me … you are not failing. Because even if the only thing you do well during this time is educate your children’s hearts and shape their emotions, then you have succeeded.
You didn’t ask for this or seek this. You didn’t choose this model. You are operating under extreme, unprecedented conditions with few resources, limited bandwidth, little emotional energy, and innumerable stresses. Your curriculum is scattered. Your learning targets are ambiguous. You feel ill-equipped and unprepared.
Your kids feel this stress too. Their entire world has been upended. Overnight they found themselves suddenly separated from their classmates and teachers. The routines they’ve known for so long no longer exist. They are confused. Nothing is as it was and no one knows when everything will return to the way we hope it will one day be.
So no, friend … you are not failing. You are simply in the middle of something hard, something unprecedented, something that requires more than you have to give. You feel like you aren’t cut out for this because no one is cut out for this. The solitary quarantine, the screen-time communications, the lack of any real community.
It’s not supposed to be this way.
It’s ok to feel like you don’t have this figured out. No one does. We are all stumbling our way through this, tripping here and there and then brushing ourselves off and trying again. And the best thing we can do for our kids during this time is to let them see us try and fail and try again. Our perseverance will shape their perseverance. Our acceptance of grace will impact their acceptance of grace. The way we cling to hope and seek the good and love without reserve in the midst of these challenging times will influence the same in them.
Academically, our kids will rebound from our lack of ability during this time. They are resilient. They will learn quickly; they will catch up. There will not be any gaps in their learning because we didn’t do these few months well.
Because in reality, math and phonics, literature and art, science and history … it all pales in comparison to the very real, tangible lessons our children are learning in the midst of this crisis. Lessons in conflict resolution and emotional health. Lessons in money management and frugality. Lessons in going without and giving more. Lessons in humble compassion and loving your neighbor. Lessons in appreciating the slow and honoring the sacred. Lessons in peace through faith and reliance on the Solid Rock. These are the lessons that are leaving an indelible impact on our kids. These are the lessons they will remember.
So give yourself some grace. Set aside the computer or the text book or the unrealistic expectations and just love your children through this. A decade from now, when our kids look back and remember this time, they won’t remember whether we failed or succeeded in teaching them fractions and prepositional phrases, they will remember the lessons they experienced around our tables, in our homes, and within our communities.
Aristotle once said, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” What we have been given during these days of crisis schooling and this great pause is a gracious opportunity. Yes, we may feel like we are failing during this time to educate our children’s minds, but if we succeed in educating their hearts … then we have succeeded in giving our kids the greatest education we could possibly give.
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