My Kids Are Home All Day. What Now?

City Life Church Articles

Written by: Suzanne Flores
Some of us originally planned to homeschool our children. We made a plan, we bought all the right resources, we prepared spaces for our child’s school in the home. That’s awesome! But, what do you do if you didn’t plan to homeschool your children? You are suddenly told – the school has to close for who knows how long, so your children have to stay at home with you for their health, and the health of others. Oh my!
So how do we stay at home to do our job, AND, stay at home to teach our kids at the same time?
Kids like routine. They like consistency. When things change suddenly, AKA: ”you don’t have to go to school for the next couple of weeks”, we may tend to want to see where the day takes us. You’ll realize really fast, that you will get little done, and will eventually feel tired of being in your house with your family. I’ve spoken to several of my friends about what they are doing during this stay at home/ school closure time. Some are teachers, and some are not, but all are able to work from home to be with their kids. All of them have told me the same things. “We love getting time with our family.” “It’s hard to make them do reading and math and be their “teacher”, but we know it’s important.” They are finding creative ways to combat boredom and to help with their kids not wanting to do school work.
Here are some tips that hopefully, will make this time a little less challenging, and a little more fun for your family!
1.  Develop a family routine. Make a schedule with your children together! Let them have input on what things they think they need to do each day. You can have some non-negotiable activities like reading, math, handwriting, etc., but have your children choose other activities too.
2.  Put a time limit on screen time. There are so many wonderful websites and technology-based activities, but activities you do together and without screens will be cherished forever. Think about your favorite memories as a child. Did they involve a computer, phone, or a t.v.? My favorite memories as a child included things like learning to mow the yard on the riding lawn mower at my Grandpa’s farm, going to feed the animals, and cooking and sewing with my Grandma!!
3.  Academics are important. If you face a lot of push back on getting your kids to do the schoolwork, find creative ways to get them to do the work assigned. Most third grade boys do not like to read. So maybe designate a “Drop Everything and Read” time. Everyone in the household spends 20 minutes reading their favorite book. If you have younger children, you can have them pick out a book ( e-books are great, if you don’t have physical ones) and read it aloud together. There are so many math games that you can find to play, either with cards, or just random things around the house. Your child doesn’t just sit in a chair, and do worksheets all day when they are in school – so they don’t need to do that at home either! They are constantly learning through activities and games.
4. Take this time to go back to the basics. One parent, I spoke to, wants to teach their children how to cook. What a wonderful way to learn about fractions and measurements!! Let’s teach our children life skills like counting money, cooking, sewing, fixing things, cleaning, and any other activity that we just didn’t have time to do, during all of our busy schedules.
Cherish this TIME you have with your kids!
Scripture says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.
Let’s trust God’s plan for us.