COVID-schooling and ponderings on life in isolation.

handsWell, my friends, here we are in the middle of a pandemic and everyone is in isolation.  We are working and educating in family units, at home.  Is this what homeschooling usually looks like?  Nope, not at all.  We are unhappy as well about not hanging out with friends, playing sports and freely wandering the mall…or craft and thrift stores. (that’s our jam)

So how can I help?  What do I have to offer?  Here are my thoughts and some of the things that have helped us get through difficult times in our homeschooling journey and in life.

  1. Breathe.  No really, take a big breath and let it out slowly.  Do that a few times and slow down your thoughts.  It’s a great way to start your day, before you are needed, before you initiate your plan for the day and dare I say it, before coffee! (Ok, maybe during coffee or while it’s brewing.)  Breathe with your kids, show them how and model the slowness of time spent on self care.  Next add some gratitude or a prayer.  Simply recounting the things we are thankful for, makes all the difference and for our family, thanking God for the good things points us to our Hope.  I’d like to say that this breath and gratitude is a serene moment of the day, everyday but reality is that it’s not.  Sometimes I have been able to carve out serenity before the day has taken over and sometimes breath and prayer happen with toddlers climbing all over you or after assuring your child that their sibling won’t be allowed to “eat all the favourite cereal”.   Gratitude and breath can also happen while sitting on the bedside of a teen who doesn’t want to face the day.  In those moments, the peace is deliberate and a moment of learning for all.  It’s reminding everyone to hush for a moment and pause.                                                                 meal
  2. Eat purposefully.  In our busy lives food is often an afterthought.  Don’t let it be.  Planning, preparing, eating and clean up are excellent ways to build life skills and enjoy family time.  Pull out that cookbook, search your favourite recipe online and make a thoughtful meal together.  You’ll be surprised at what kids will eat if they made it themselves and they may offer to cook for you on their own one day!  Enjoy slow meals and family time around the table. (scroll down for more!)covid-schooling survival Guide
  3. Get outside!  At least once a day and much more if you can, go play in your yard, go for a walk or find an open space to play a game with your family and/or your pet.  Go outside together and go outside alone (assuming someone can oversee the rest of the family).  Yes, we need to avoid being close to other families and surfaces that others may have touched but like my Mom always said, “fresh air and sunshine are good for what ails you”.  It also helps to burn off some energy and get our brains and emotions in a better place. Stuck inside?  Exercise to an online video or play hide and seek.  It’s fun!tree
  4. Exercise your brain.  Here’s the “homeschool” piece you were looking for.  Try to plan some time each day to exercise your brain.  Sometimes that means a crossword and sometimes that means science or a novel study.  Be kind during this stressful time and understand that new learning doesn’t usually happen well when anxiety is high.  If your child’s school or school board has provided online learning, consider first whether your child can manage learning at this time.  If so, dig in.  There is often comfort in doing routines and practicing skills that feel “normal”.  Enjoy.  No one is asking you to become an expert teacher in the next month.  To be honest, homeschoolers often research for years and do ongoing research to find the resources to meet the needs of their children.  Enjoy learning alongside your kids.  Make mistakes and get messy.books
  5. Shhhhh.  Take time each day for quiet.  Everyone needs a little time to themselves.  When we had a houseful and I was homeschooling them all, we often scheduled a quiet hour after lunch.  As Mama of 4, this was often nap time for the baby, time to read with a toddler (until they napped) and time for older ones to work on a project or read on their own.  Even in isolation, we often need time alone with our own thoughts….or to rest.                                                                                                   z
  6. Speaking of rest, get a good night’s sleep!  I am convinced that 80% of sanity is having a good night’s sleep.  Nighttime routines are comforting for all of us but especially children and yes, even teens.  Keeping to routines brings a sense of safety and we all could use a little “normal” right about now.  If you are struggling with quieting your thoughts and getting a good sleep, download your favourite quiet music, podcast or faith based readings and listen as you get your rest.  This too shall pass…as John (my hubby) says, “It may pass like a kidney stone, but it shall pass.”

I’m confident that life after this current crisis will be very different and it will be a line in the sand of history but together we are so much better.  If this has encouraged or inspired you, please share it with a friend and be sure to check back for more ponderings in the coming weeks.

 

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Edna Latone is a wife, mother, researcher and people person.  She has been Homeschooling for 20+ years and has lived in the Peterborough Area for 31 years. Edna has worked as a Public Library CEO and Volunteer Coordinator.  Her husband, John is a licenced minister with the PAOC and his day job is delivering car parts (he loves to tinker). They have 2 adult children and 2 children at home. Edna speaks throughout the province to Homeschooler’s about the amazing resources available at Public Libraries. She also is the developer of the “Homeschool Friendly” certification for businesses and community organizations. Edna has a passion for family, flexible learning and community resources. She brings to all she does, her skills as a teacher of children with learning challenges, music skills, librarianship, a passion for Language Arts and History and a love for teaching others about the exciting world of Home Education.

Library Homeschool Program!

We are a few weeks into our Homeschool Library fun at ANPL and what an amazingly productive group we have!

Week one, children and parents participated in a library scavenger hunt and after getting to know each other, they made some plans for the coming weeks!

Week two we dove in on research skills and began a plan for creating meaningful projects for the Norwood Fall Fair.

Stay tuned for week three where we take to the hills and field trip to a family property to learn bushcraft and collect supplies for our Fall Fair creations!

Need more info? Call or text Edna at 705-559-3046 or contact the Asphodel Norwood Public Library ar 705-639-2228.

Be sure to check out their fresh website at http://www.anpl.org!

Public Libraries Rock!

Jumping in!

What is a Mom to do when faced with a boy, sunshine, warm temps and a rope swing?

I say, go for it!

We went to explore this park while waiting for John (Daddy, Biker Pastor and Field Trip Manager) who was at an appointment.

This park has been a special place for our family since the early years of our homeschool journey some 20 years ago. Today we were not disappointed.

A few senior couples were relaxing in the water and on benches. As we walked along the waters edge, we saw this swing and he just had to try it. So shoes off, shirt off, pants rolled up and Go!

Isn’t that just how life is? Sometimes we just need to make sure things are safe and Jump In.

Here’s to all you homeschooling parents who are starting week three of their fall schedule. May you feel organized, may your children be mostly co-operative and may you feel the freedom to enjoy spontaneous moments of memory making fun!

Happy Tomorrow!

Happy Tomorrow!

In Ontario, tomorrow is the “First Day of School” for those attending Public and Catholic Schools.  For us, it is also a “First Day of School” but it looks alot like many other Tuesdays.  Tomorrow we will investigate things that make us curious, continue to develop necessary life skills and be together.  These are the basics that make up our life and our schooling.

Whether you are considering homeschooling or are jumping in with two feet to learn at home this year, we encourage you to do what works for your family.  Remember learning is a life long adventure!  Have a great tomorrow!

Online Conference Time!!!

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Conferencing on the VIA

10 years ago I would have told you that you were dreaming if you said I would be returning from a week at Library Conference, sitting on the VIA and participating in Canada’s First Online Homeschool Conference but here I am!

Sounds all fancy, truth is that it has been a stellar week of learning.  It is also equally stunning that I have a huge team of family and friends that made it possible.

For this moment I’m relaxing and enjoying the Online Conference!

I’m assured that everyone is looking forward to my return and daily life awaits.  This Online Homeschool  Conference has some great ideas flowing as I sit down to plan lessons for next week.

Huge thanks to Lisa Marie Fletcher of The Canadian Homeschooler for organizing such an amazing and timely event!

Visit us at http://canadianhomeschoolconference.com/aff/26fb_img_1485748973289