I think I can speak for most people when I when the Oregon governor announced late into the night on March 12 that all say that we were all thrown for a loop schools would close starting March 16 through March 31.
This would later be extended twice and ended with being the entire school year in an at-home order.
The amazing teachers and administration at our school immediately regrouped and went in to action mode; and many of them sent schoolwork home that same day to last through the next week, and the entire staff and administration worked tirelessly over Spring Break, so our students could start back up without missing a beat! There has been continuous effort and support shown by all.
Now, fast forward to mid-May, and it is likely that most families have gotten into their groove. It’s fairly routine around our house; there aren’t many complaints and everyone just gets it done. That being said, the tricky part comes when spring fever hits, and we all want it to be over! Can’t we just start summer already?! To get us through, we have used three focal points to help us during these unusual circumstances.
Sunshine. Exercise. Perseverance.
In all honesty, not every day does our learning-at-home model end with the warm fuzzy feelings of sunshine and rainbows. Whether we have dealt with Wi-Fi or Zoom issues, forgotten to attend music class, someone has lost their headphones, or whatever, this situation adds stress! Even still, we have been blessed with a spring full of sunshine! My family loves being outside, and my daughters have been setting up Book Picnics. They take out a blanket and a stack of books and just read in the fresh air. When the sun comes up, we are reminded that, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
Since the gym is also closed, I have been missing my workouts! I rely on that to relieve stress, and if I miss out, it shows. Thankfully, my middle school son has been diligently getting up for an early workout every morning. This has been such a huge motivator for me to also start my day with a workout! I love spending this time with him, and I count on it! As a family, we all set aside at least an hour a day once my husband gets home, to play outside. We walk, play basketball, ride bikes, or just run around doing silly things like trying to fly the kite made by my high school son using only supplies found in the house. I am so thankful that we are healthy and have this extra time together. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
Along with this beautiful sunshine and getting exercise outdoors come the feelings of longing for the freedom of summer days! It especially hits when my kids hear rumors of other schools with a much lighter at-home workload. The comparison of our teachers with high expectations and accountability as opposed to others with little to no accountability can feel unjustified. So often, our family’s go-to attitude adjustment comes from Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” This helps my kids ignore what others are doing, focus on what is being asked of each of them, and see it to the end to please the Lord.
I find, as a parent, modeling that attitude of perseverance through thankfulness for everything our school, principal and teachers are doing to help us have a successful experience really has an effect on my kids as well. We are so blessed to be part of a school family that has been supportive in every step of the way during these uncertain times. Finally, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sun that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1