How do we care for our kids during this time?


We know that's a question many parents are asking during this time, especially with the new school year fast approaching. Whether your family will be homeschooling, learning at home through your school system, or headed back into a school building, things are sure to look different. We would love to support your family in the midst of all the uncertainty you're experiencing. While this season is overwhelming and scary for many of us, we also believe that this can still be a special time with our families that will make our relationship with them closer. That's why we've collected several resources that we hope you'll find helpful. We'll be adding to this list, so be sure to check back often. If you have any questions or want to speak directly to us, please contact Amy Dillon, our Director of Discipleship at amy@hpcnashville.org.

Where to Start

• Seek clear direction from your school if you'll be learning virtually through the school system. If you'll be homeschooling separately from the school system, you may have many questions! Homeschool.com is a great place to explore and learn about homeschooling. Our Director of Discipleship, Amy Dillon, has homeschooled for a number of years. She would love to help you with your questions. amy@hpcnashville.org

• Build a schedule that’s workable for your family

• Try to stick to bedtime and wake up times, just like your normal school routine.

• Start school time with the hard subjects for your kids, they have the most capacity and focus early in the day

• Expect challenges to come and have grace for that. Focus on making sure your child feels heard, understood, loved, and cared for.

• Remember: Interruptions can be places and times for the really beautiful things to happen, so welcome these interruptions and expect God to meet you and your kids in them.

• Start somewhere and try it for a few days, don’t worry about finishing something that isn’t working, try something new. Have lots of grace for yourself, you’re new to this and nobody is expecting you to teach your kids like their teachers do!

Scheduling

• Kids thrive on schedules and instruction, while having a schedule takes time to develop, it will ultimately help your kids know what to expect each day. When kids know what is expected of them they are more willing to press in and do work knowing that free time is coming.

• Prioritize relational time with kids – this is the best gift we can give them in this time.

• Build in time for spiritual formation during your week. The books I Wonder and Faithful Families: Creating Sacred Moments at Home are great tools for parents.

• Many homeschoolers follow a 9am-12pm schedule, but you aren’t doing anything wrong if you finish early or if another time of day works better for your family.

• Prioritize sabbath.

Family/Education Planning – helpful for creating a rule of life for this new season. (This was designed in the Spring, but that will not interfere with using this beautiful resource for the Fall)

General Tips


• You aren’t alone. We are here for you, if you have questions, just reach out and we will do our best to help resource you. Contact Amy Dillon at amy@hpcnashville.org

• For parents with multiple kids, start with the youngest kid, focus on them for 20 min, then move to the next oldest and spend time with them. Let the older kids know that they can’t interrupt because their time is coming, give them a quiet project or a subject that comes easily to them, to work on while they wait for their focused time with you. Having a set time with each individual kid allows you to have productive work with fewer questions and interruptions. It’s like deep work with your kids.

• Try doing the more hands on stuff early in the day; gym, read alouds from their curriculum or a favorite book (maybe do a tea party while you read or something fun to change things up!).

• Embrace quiet moments and don’t fear boredom; boredom is good for fostering creativity and independence.

• Don’t worry about your kids getting behind, focus on building memories, finding daily rhythms that aren’t overwhelming, use this season as an opportunity to capitalize on more moments to come together as a family than you would get with your kids away at school. 

• If it’s just not working today, try not to get frustrated. Grab a snack and read a wonderful book together or play in the yard, do something fun and interactive as a family!

• For working from home parents, try to homeschool and be with kids from 9-12 if possible, and then do creative time/screen time in the afternoon while you get your work done.

• Use technology like MarcoPolo, Vox, etc, to keep up relationships and to talk with other parents.

• Work with other parents in communities or bring other families into it, this brings socially distant recharging as well as accountability and increased creativity on how to teach.

• Have a relative or friend read or tell a story to your kids over FaceTime or Zoom

Netflix Party: Watch educational shows with friends like Magic Schoolbus, Our Planet, Oceans, Growing Up Wild

Resources

• How to talk to your kids about the Coronavirus

•  Field Trips: Mars – interactive 360 degree mapVirtual Field Trips, Google Earth – explore the world, learn about different cultures and people.

 Gym time: Kids workouts at Cosmic Kids Yoga, Super Healthy Kids


For Kids Aged 2-7


All Ages

• An all inclusive list of free resources

• Scholastic Learn at Home

• Rainbow Resource – affordable Christian/Secular curriculum you can purchase, forums you can engage with other parents on, and a lot of other articles you can check out.

• Novel Effect app – plays sounds while you read books aloud on your phone

• Khan Academy – Teaching videos for many subjects, is really helpful with Math/Sciences, he explains it in a different way that can help students understand when you are stuck in explaining a difficult concept.

• Audio books – going through an audio adventure together while listening to someone else (great for quiet time so you can get work done while they listen. Let them draw or do lego while they listen quietly) Audible.com has a 30 day free trial! They also have free online book readings for kids.

• Raddish Kids has posted some free recipes on their websites. Try turning mealtime and baking into education, recipe planning, math, etc

• Read Aloud Revival – great book lists broken down by genre, age, wordless, etc.

• Smarter Every Day – Kid friendly, science YouTube videos – have them listen and then tell you what they learned, trying to remember actual terms

• Mark Rober – He will be live streaming science classes on his YouTube page every Monday/Wednesday/Friday at 1pm PST.

• Metropolitan Opera in NYC is going to start streaming their HD opera recordings each night. The operas will be available for 20 hours after they first debut.

• Museum of Natural History’s interactive website

• Social Emotional Learning – As our rhythms get disrupted and many normal distractions are stripped away from our routine it is common for social, emotional, and mental health issues to start popping up in our kids lives. This online resource is helpful for equipping parents with tools to engage with their kids and to allow them to process through this difficult time.

• Alldigitalschool.com – 1000+ educational resources for grades K-12, organized by subject, year level, type as well as price (mostly free ones). There is also a special filter in the directory so that only resources made free by their owners due to the Covid-19 outbreak will be listed.