No matter what school looks like for your family this year, these practical tips remain tried and true.
It’s no secret that kids thrive when a routine is in place. For children, feeling secure and safe is partly found in knowing what to expect next. When routine is absent and the days are always uncertain, the opposite is likely to occur, causing stress and anxiety for our kids.
Make a plan now, not later for what your day-to-day will look like as a family and go over that plan together. For younger kids, you can write the day’s plan out using words or pictures, then hang it up for them to see throughout the day. Your plan might include time for chores, daily devotions, school work, family time and even rest – we all need a break!
Many parents are going to be more involved than ever in their child’s daily school instruction. Even if your children are older and completing their school day independently, be intentional about engaging with them in it. Ask what they’re learning about, what they enjoy, what they are struggling with. Talk daily and keep those communication lines open whether they are in first grade or high school.
Everyone in your home is facing uncharted waters. More than ever, we need to allow grace for ourselves as well as our spouse and kids. Patience is described in God’s Word as a kind of steady perseverance and even-tempered care.
School is going to be challenging at times for both parents and students, that’s a reality we can count on. When you catch yourself being quick to impatience – pause, think, and pray for God to work in your heart. This season has and will continue to provide opportunities for us all to practice the Fruits of the Spirit.
An essential part of a daily and weekly routine is meeting with our Creator through His Word. Prioritize your personal time in the Word even if something else has to slip. In this new school season, that might mean waking up earlier or going to bed later than usual.
But don’t just get yourself in the Word, lead your kids to engage daily as well! For younger kids, you might walk through a devotional,Bible story or listen to a podcast during breakfast. Challenge older kids to read through a book of the Bible at a time or use a devotional resource likeFoundations to guide their scripture reading. “Family Devotions” or “FamilyWorship” is another great way to learn and discuss together around the table or before bed.
Here are a few resources and related posts on this topic:
With all the change and added stress this season has brought and will likely continue to bring, make sure you are carving out time to enjoy one another. Moms and Dads, be especially careful to protect time with your spouse. We are better able to parent well when we’ve prioritized time with God and pursued unity in our marriage.
Make time for fun too! Look at the calendar and schedule a night or two away, take a day trip to a new or favorite place, or incorporate weekly “fun nights” to look forward to like pizza and a movie. Take this time regularly as a whole family to enjoy one another and celebrate the good, hard work of the week.
Becoming too isolated in this season is a real danger. We were created for community and relationships with others beyond our home. Even if you aren’t ready to be around other families physically, make a conscious effort to connect with friends, family, neighbors and your life group – and help your kids to do the same. Even our little ones can FaceTime a friend!
God alone is a sure foundation. Nothing about this year has surprised or caught Him off guard. He sees all, knows all, and is sovereign over all. God has appointed you as a parent to the children in your home and is with you as you walk out your role in their lives. Meet with Him each day, lean on Him when it gets rocky and praise Him in all things.