We’ve all been working hard to adapt to rhythms that will put an end to this pandemic. We believe, if we all abide by the parameters that have been set for us, we will begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It seems we are still in this tunnel, and now the school year is upon us.
Parents of school-age children have a whole new set of concerns. What is this school year going to look like? Virtual learning? Hybrid schooling? Homeschooling? Learning pods? Do we get a tutor? Can we afford a tutor? How do we continue to navigate schooling at home while working (from home or going to work)? It is disconcerting, to say the least.
There is no lack of passion and concern on the part of parents. Moms and dads have agonized over how to help their children advance in the learning process. There is an undercurrent of guilt that whatever they do, it doesn’t seem to be enough. It must be underscored, Mom and Dad, that your love, concern, and creativity is more than enough! Here are some broad-stroke points that will hopefully relieve some of the guilt.
Do not center on lesson hours the children have logged in or the assignment boxes that can be ticked off, but what the student has grasped. The method or timing by which your child obtains knowledge is irrelevant. Moving forward is the key…however, that may look. Each day is different in terms of how they’re feeling, both emotionally and physically, and learning experiences need to be flexible to account for that.
We are living through a slow-motion collective trauma. “During this pandemic, some students have lost family members or friends; others are experiencing economic instability. Now that students have lived through this, we can’t stop having conversations about hard things: loss, grief, and societal issues such as inequality, oppression, and poverty. We have an opportunity to use this openness to heal and show that we can indeed have hard conversations, move through challenges, and come out the other side, together.” (Edutopia – May 2020)
We have been saluting essential workers, and rightly so, for they are on the front lines in the eradication of this virus and making sure fundamental needs are met. It is important to encourage children that the sacrifices they are making are helping to turn the tide of this virus as well. We can help them understand the connection between their actions and the health of members of their communities. It’s now undeniable that we are all connected to each other, that actions matter, and that we can have a dramatic influence on the health and well-being of others. They deserve recognition for their part in the fight!
A Constant Reminder
Because of social distancing, it is easy to slip into the mindset that we are all alone. Isolation can play havoc on our minds, and we begin to think no one knows what we are going through. We need a constant reminder.
“Do not yield to fear, for I am always near. Never turn your gaze from me, for I am your faithful God. I will infuse you with my strength and help you in every situation. I will hold you firmly with my victorious right hand.’” Isaiah 41:10 (TPT)
This verse is filled with rich encouragement.
- “Do not yield to fear…” – this verse isn’t saying there won’t be fear in moving forward, but we are not to become paralyzed by it. Keep moving for you are not alone, “…for I am always near.”
- “Never turn your gaze from me…” – remind your child, and encourage them to remind you that God is a “…faithful God.”. He will help you prosper (Jeremiah 29:11), even in the middle of a pandemic! This may need to be your mantra throughout the day.
- God will “…infuse you with strength…in every situation.” It’s all for the asking, but we’ve got to ask. Struggles with lessons, projects, schedules…these are all opportunities to stop, ask for strength, and believe that God, the Giver of all things good, will provide whatever is needed to work all things out “according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
- “I will hold you firmly…”. He’s got a firm grip on our lives even when things seem to unravel. Don’t get locked into what you think victory looks like. God’s picture of victory may be totally different than yours, but it is always best.
We may not see the light at the end of this pandemic tunnel just yet, but be encouraged as we listen to each other, encourage one another, remind one another of the important role we play in the ending of this pandemic, and, above all, trust that God will see us through to victory.
written by Major Lauren Hodgson, Spiritual Life Development, USA East