I’m going to make a safe bet and say that you were not prepared to tackle home school, working from home, social distancing, and self-quarantining all at the same time. I wasn’t either. But here we all are. Just trying to figure out how to survive home schooling during the coronavirus crisis.
Believe it or not, this isn’t my first rodeo with homeschooling. When our oldest was in 2nd grade we removed her right before Christmas and home schooled for the rest of the school year. We were working with an OT to help her with some anxiety issues and sensory processing delays; and, not being in a traditional classroom helped her so much.
But let’s be real for a minute. You are not used to having them home AND teaching AND working at the same time. It’s enough to make you want to hide in your closet and cry. Or run away. But everything is closed so we must stay and survive the best we can. Here are some tips that can help:
How to survive homeschooling during the coronavirus crises.
Create a schedule but don’t reinvent the wheel.
I did create a daily schedule for my kiddos because I need it so I know when I can work uninterrupted (hopefully!) and take clients and schedule virtual meetings. You probably need one as well. But don’t reinvent the wheel. I can guarantee your child already has a schedule they follow every week in school. If your teacher hasn’t sent it to you already, ask for it.
Base your home school schedule on their school schedule. Take out the times for recess, lunch, and extracurricular activities and you will notice the actual learning time is easy to replicate at home. If they have math in the morning at school. They have math in the morning at home. Most teachers have probably sent all kinds of links for you to find online education sites, and ideas for offline education.
Do only what is necessary and possible.
Now is not the time to let overwhelm get the best of you. Do only what is necessary and possible each day. One day at a time. You are not a superhero and we are all in uncharted territory. When you are feeling overwhelmed, slow down and take a moment to breathe and think about what is necessary and possible in that moment. Nothing more. Nothing less. Only what is necessary and possible.
Make time for rest to survive home schooling during the coronavirus.
Fear and fatigue go hand in hand. Fatigue is real right now and it causes you to be short-tempered, impatient, and mean. It will make you to do things and say things that in your right mind you would never do, or say. Make sure you are making sleep a priority during this time. Having enough sleep will have a huge impact on how you survive home schooling during the coronavirus.
Don’t forget fun.
This time is a gift. I will admit it’s in a pretty crappy package. But a global pandemic can still be a gift if we choose to look at it that way. An invitation to slow down and connect in real time with our family. Build forts, make cookies, go on walks, play games, listen to a book together, have movie marathons, do spa nights, take long drives, work on a puzzle together, sleep in, connect with family members over Face time, stay in your jammies all day, and have dance parties. We will only survive this time if we remember to have fun and make memories with our families.
There is still help available.
When you are feeling overwhelmed to the point of hurting yourself, or your child, reach out for help. There is ZERO shame in reaching out. The pressure is intense right now and it’s OK if you don’t know how to navigate it all. Put a movie on for the kids, put the baby in their crib, find a quiet spot in the house, garage or yard, and just breathe for a few minutes. Call a friend, call a national hotline, or connect in an online group for support.
- National Domestic Violence hotline: 1-800-799-7233 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
- EveryMind hotline: 301-738-2255 (EveryMind’s trained staff and volunteers provide supportive listening, information and resource referrals, and crisis intervention (including suicide assessments) through telephone, text, and chat services.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255
If you are going to survive home schooling during the coronavirus you must reach out for help when it becomes too much. This is uncharted waters. And it can be scary to be in a crisis. But, one day at a time we will all get through this. Do only what is necessary and possible. And, don’t forget to rest and have fun.