School at Home...Again


Home School


When the pandemic hit in March, many were thrown into schooling from home. Or attempting to. Whether there were Zoom check-ins or actual classes, there was a collective sigh of relief when many districts went to Pass/Fail and parents (and students) realized summer vacay was here. Even though vacation didn’t mean exotic trips or camps or sports like other years, it definitely meant there was a break from trying to navigate at-home learning. Until now.


While North Texas parents, students and teachers continue to make tough decisions for themselves, their families and their future, there are some conversations and ideas for schooling at-home we want to pass on.





Peace Above the Process


Peace Above the Process


Whether you jive with all things technology, are a natural teacher and have unlimited time off work to help your children with their assignments during the day, or all those conditions are mere pipedreams, there is a level of chaos present in all these decisions and systems in front of us in 2020. Peace in your home is a commodity you cannot buy. You cannot manufacture it. But you know when it isn’t there. When tears come – from you, your spouse or your children – lean into them, experience the feelings and then take a pause. See what you can do to help your home become more peaceful. Find a way to infuse your house with peace – whether it is set aside “talk time”, OR a board or card game over lunch or breakfast – there are many ways to “reset” and start again. A walk outside, a physical challenge in the den (planking or pushups), or totally switching gears with a read-aloud book could totally change the mood. Peace can vanish so quickly, but much like a software update for your phone or computer, try to tune into when you need to instill some peace. You may discover that you can get pretty good at spotting the descent into unrest and heading it off before the plunge! (And you might try some music, candles, quiet time or sweet treats for the recovery times!)





Where Do You School: Assess Your Space


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School room or rooms that you school in? Experienced homeschoolers have done it all. They have set up a schoolroom in an open area upstairs, at their kitchen table or in the guest bedroom. They have hung banners, charts, timelines and all the things you would see in a typical classroom. But homeschoolers have also set up all those places only to discover that learning can take place under a blanket fort, snuggled up in a favorite chair, or at the dining table where the light is best in the morning. Computer/distance learning requires power, devices and internet service. Not all parts of your home are conducive to all those things. Plus, those with multiple students at home will not find quiet space to engage on Zoom or online classroom if all the students are congregated around a “school” table. Divide and conquer might be something that is necessary – as may be some noise-cancelling headphones. Togetherness has been a byproduct of the quarantine/pandemic, and while the walls may seem to be closing in, school time at home may need to have some separation from siblings and parents for optimum learning. With that in mind, assess your space, your learners and their technology requirements BEFORE you sledgehammer a wall or convert that sunroom into a schoolroom.





Regular Check-ins: Keep the Student Looking Ahead


Regular Check-ins


Goals are such a necessary part of succeeding in any area of life. And even for mature adults, some big goals require accountability. Pint-size learners (and even big adolescents) need hourly and/or daily check-ins from a parent or “supervisor.” Teachers are doing their best to accommodate at-home/hybrid/delayed starts of school. While parents may have to endure an eye-roll or pushback from teens and moody tweens, making sure they are staying current with their workload and not falling behind will pay off in the long run. There’s nothing like discovering hundreds of pages of reading, a science experiments and a paper are due the night before. Avoid the pitfalls of procrastination by engaging regularly with your online/hybrid learner(s). And when students start to get discouraged because of ALL THE WORK or a lack of focus, remind them of the goal: to persevere through this six or nine-weeks. To get to the end of this time period a little smarter with a few more skills and abilities than they had before. Don’t put too much pressure on their little minds, hearts and souls. The goal is to keep on learning and learn more today than you did yesterday.





Grace to Everyone


Grace to Everyone


Quarantine, pandemic woes and post-shutdown emotional recovery takes a lot out of adults and children alike. No one is at their best. Holding the bar a little lower isn’t weakness; it is strength. Our country has never experienced a time like this. And neither have you, your spouse, your children OR their teachers. Even though you’re holding your children accountable each day, you can look into their eyes and see where they need to be challenged too, and where you can extend some much appreciated, much-needed grace. From handwriting to reading – you might have to come alongside more than you ever have in their entire lives. And so they need to extend grace to you as well. When your home is filled with grace –distance or online learners or not – there is a marked difference in the mood, interaction and atmosphere.


Which brings us full circle to point number one: peace. Without overflowing grace, there really cannot be peace. May you and your family have grace and peace as you work through the practicality of distance learning, delayed school starts and/or schooling at home!



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