The Christian Corner: Episcopalian Homeschooling

SInce I have readers from nearly every country, from Australia to India and Nepal to many  Middle Eastern countries, (thank you readers!) who all represent many different religious, I don’t write a lot about the spiritual component to our homeschooling.  This site is about child development, healthy families, and healthy education other than to say that spirituality is an essential part of our humanity not to be ignored or cast aside.  However, every now and then I put a post out about what we doing with our religious studies, so today is an offshoot off the 2018 post about the Episcopalian/Anglican homeschooling according to developmental stages.

This year with our fourth grader, we are in the stage of Belonging/Heroes that I feel goes with the ages 7-14.  As a refresher, this is originally what I laid out for this age:

From Ages 7-14, Episcopalian homeschooling is about BELONGING and HEROES.

  • We are still modeling BELONGING by the way we act toward others in daily life.  In this stage, we not only expect our children to model our behaviors that include and help people, but we hope to start to be able to see this action on their own.
  • We still are going to church and celebrating the church seasons, the Eucharist, the feast and fast days, and we see now the stories in the Bible as a deeper level of encouragement in our own walk for loving ourselves, each other, and the Earth.
  • As older children question things, we talk about how we use our intellect and experience as part of our experience with God.  Faith, tradition, reasoning, and experience are all part of being an Episcopalian.
  • We get our older children to participate – older children can acolyte, participate in Children’s Choir and the Royal School of Church Music Program, help with the nursery, attend Sunday School and Vacation Bible School and summer camps.  We help and encourage relationships with the other children in the parish. My parish is pretty large, about 800 families, and I think there are probably close to 20 schools or more represented, so school attendance isn’t the deciding factor for friendship in our parish.
  • We still use the Book of Common Prayer in daily and weekly life.
  • We still spend lots of time in nature. Some at this stage will chosee to look for Episcopal summer camps – they are all over and provide incredible immersive experiences into nature and closeness to God.
  • We develop more faith by participating in the life of the church.  We get involved with causes, with the classes and offering of the church, and if what we want is not there, we step up as parents and get involved.
  • We start learning the stories of the heroes of our faith – the people who made the Anglican faith what it is
  • My little mini-rant about Heroes of the Faith:  King Henry doesn’t count.  I shudder actually when people talk about that as if they don’t know any of the real ways and real heroes that made this strand of Western Christianity different than anything else.  Anglicanism was different than anything else because of where it happened –  The church was aligned with many Celtic beliefs and moved toward the customs and beliefs of the Western church with the Synod of Whitby, but in many ways still retains a good deal in common with its Celtic beginnings and with the church before the split of the Reformation.  So in a way, it was and still is its own thing!  If you want to debate me about King Henry, I will just delete your comment because it is a source of contention to me that people don’t know more about either their own denomination or others can’t be bothered to find out and just comment on things they haven’t researched.  #sorrynotsorry
  • Heroes from the Holy Bible, and yes, the Feast Days of Saints that we celebrate (and the idea that we can all be Saints!  A little different concept in the Anglican Communion)
  • Toward the end of this period, I like to talk plainly about the 5 Marks of Mission of the Episcopal Church of the U.S., which are:
  • To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
  • To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
  • To respond to human need by loving service
  • To seek to transform unjust structures of society
  • To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
  • We can start to talk to older children (7th and 8th grade) about the history of the church as involved in the Social Gospel period of history, our role in the Civil Rights Movement, our role in equality for LBGTQ people, and our positions on civil rights,  the environment,  and more.

So, for this year for fourth grade we have used these as our main resources (outside of attending church, singing in our children’s choir and volunteering):

  • The Holy Bible
  • Book of Common Prayer
  • General Missionary Stories that correspond to our liturgical calendar
  • “Plants Grown Up”  which is more a Reformed Protestant source, so I modify it to suit our needs
  • “How The Bible Came To Us” by Meryl Doney that talks about the structure of the Bible, and how translating the Bible came to be – would be good for fifth graders as well.
  • We are finishing the year studying the first part of the book of Daniel from the Old Testament and using Kay Arthur’s book, “You’re A Brave Man, Daniel!”.

For next year, fifth grade, I have plans to continue down the same vein by using the first four resources mentioned and am still researching our other plans!  We will probably be working with the last of the 5 Marks of Mission by working with the environment, which also fits in well with our plans to study botany in fifth grade.

Blessings and peace,
Carrie

“Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles”

This post finishes up our chapter- by- chapter look at “Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles:  Winning for A Lifetime” by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka.  Chapter 15, entitled, “You’re Not My Boss!” talks about learning to be assertive rather than aggressive.  The author writes, “Learning how to get and use power is a critical stage of emotional development for all chidren.  The window for this stage opens sometime around your child’s fourth birthday and continues for years.” “You’re not the boss of me” might be followed by how we are “mean” parents or how much our child hates us.  This can be very difficult  for parents to hear this and it feels very disrespectful. However, this is often a very preliminary and immature way towards trying to learn to be assertive with the confidence and poise that comes with maturity.

Learning how to be assertive is a skill for a child to develop and learn how to use in life.  It will serve them well in their relationships and in their careers.  The best way to deal with when children are testing out power is to not get too emotionally sucked into this and remain calm.  Enforce respect for all family members calmly and standards that are clear and concise, and most of all know your own trigger points and how those phrases that come out of immature children’s mouths make you feel and act. It is a lot easier to remain neutral and calm and enforce a standard if you know what your trigger is!  Figuring in your child’s temperament, stress levels at the time, etc can also be helpful.

Great phrases you can use to help meet your child include:

  • “Try again please.” (not in a threatening way)
  • “Re-do that one, please” (mine)
  • “Stop. That’s bulldozing.”  That’s a pretty clear picture to a child instead of threatening to wash their mouth out with soap or to tell them to stop being sassy. Many times a child will say they don’t even know they are being disrespectful.  Bulldozing is a pretty clear picture of running someone else over with their words.
  • Teach your child words that persuade others to listen to them – try the list of phrases on page 273 and 274.

Chapter 16 is called, “Can We Talk About This?” and it’s about learning to get along with others.  The family is undoubtedly one of the first places for this! This can involve us letting go (bring the coat with you and put it on if you get cold), managing intensity levels in the house, emotional coaching through situations, and helping our children problem solve.

Teaching our children to solve their own problems leads towards a successful life.  If they can describe a problem, how they feel, and explore, evaluate, and carry  out a solution, they are well on their towards having a very functional adult life!

This can also work well with sibling fighting by first insisting that each sibling listen to the other. In my experience, this wouldn’t work well with the child under 10, but it’s worth a try.   I found the example on page 291 of this book to be a very typical scenario – an introverted child asking an extroverted child to stop and then being triggered when the child doesn’t stop and gets into his space.  Not being heard leads to physical altercations amongst children!

In conclusion, the author writes,  “It’s true that emotion coaching will not eliminate all of the power struggles in your life.  I wish I could say that it would.  But I do know that when that emotional bond is strong, you and your child will find yourselves in a new place…”

May we all grow to love and respect each other,

Blessings,

Carrie

 

11 Lessons From the Midst of A Pandemic

I have been thinking a lot about -“what’s the lesson in all of this? (is there a lesson? Does there always need to be a lesson?)  What will the outcome be in all of this?”  as people talk about what might come out of living in pandemic conditions – will it lead to revolutionary changes in business travel, healthcare, education, the ability for rural areas in the United States to be able to access the Internet better, etc?  Will it cause people to re-evaluate their lifestyles, their level of consuming, their level of using home as a launching pad to other areas of their life – or will they just rush back to how it was before?  And, since a pandemic typically lasts 12-18 months with fewer number of cases and then spikes, what can we do  to make life seamless as things may teeter between open and closed several more times?

I am not sure of any of those answers at this point.  Some people have the privilege to “re-invent” their lives or lifestyles, and some people don’t.  That’s the unfortunate reality.  But, I think to a certain extent I hope we all come away with ideas that could at least enhance our lives wherever we are.  Here are a few ideas-

  1.  Live below our means as much as possible and have savings so when things happen and work is disrupted, we have cushion and the ability to pivot if we need to.
  2. Food storage is a real necessity, and it is important to  build it up slowly and over time.  Just adding one or two extra things into your shopping cart each time you shop can be an easy way to build up stores and not cause too much financial stress or descend into hoarding.
  3. Automate the high demand items.  I automate (have delivered) panty and cleaning items, toilet paper, etc.
  4. Learn how to garden and can food.  Nearly everyone can have some containers if you can’t plant in the ground or grow sprouts and microgreens in the kitchen
  5. Get to know your farmers that are in your area and buy direct from them.   This really saved us during this.  Drive through pick up of an order placed through the Internet!
  6.  Get outside and get in physical shape.  The sunshine and Vitamin D and higher levels of fitness help everyone’s stress levels and immune functioning.  Use all the free workouts available through You Tube.
  7. Shore up your immune system in whatever way that looks like for you.  Most of what I have been reading suggests at least Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc.  Read up on what could help you during times of illness for support as well.
  8. If you are ready, think about your lifesyle.  If you lived more simply, could you work less?  Can you work from home?  Could you have something that makes you money while you sleep?  This book is an oldie but a goodie: “Your Money Or Your Life”  available on Kindle or Audible, updated 2018 –  https://www.amazon.com/Your-Money-Life-Transforming-Relationship-ebook/dp/B0052MD8VO/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_
  9. Lifestyle can extend to school.  I don’t think everyone should homeschool, but I do hope that people can see from this pandemic experience that  learning can be more broad than just going to a school building (and that some families don’t have the tools they need to be successful at home and we need better solutions for that as a society). I would love to see more equity in school funding and more diversity toward if some children do better in a smaller setting.
  10. Understanding that family and our children are the most precious things and that time really isn’t replacable.  The simple things like walks, board games, cooking together are all so valuable.  I hope people come away from this remembering how to be together again – how to eat dinner all together again, how to just be together.
  11. The outpouring of help i have seen toward others needing food, needing help, checking in on one another and encouraging one another, the connection of friends old and new through technology and amazing and interesting  socially distant but creative ways in neighborhoods has been unparalled.  I hope that continues.

Blessings,
Carrie

Fourth Grade Grammar

The best way to learn grammer is to hear proper grammar being spoken, to write (and revise and write again) nwith good grammar, and to read good works of literature. If you have a reluctant writer, I  think you can let the study of grammar ride for a little bit in the homeschooling environment and just perhaps try to write without pressure.  However, for some children, the study of grammar can be helpful in reaching new heights in writing. For other children, many  write well without much in the way of formal grammar.  We do, however, want  enthusiasm for writing for the future because there is quite a bit of it in middle school and certainly high school.

This is my third time through fourth grade, and this particular student has been a very reluctant writer, so this block is a good exposure towards writing more and the mechanics of writing.  My tack in this block was to do a preassessment – Dorothy Harrer has a little list of third grade free writing assignments in her  little book An English Manual for the Elementary School available for free at Online Waldorf Library. In this way, I could look at his overall writing – his flow of thoughts, how he writes, the quality of the sentence structure, capitalization, spelling, grammar – just within free writing.

We went through the second and third grade lessons from the above book rather quickly, focusing on the different parts of speech first with different colors in sentences on the board, and naming them BOTH with the “little person” version (naming words) and the “bigger people version” (nouns).  I pulled poems out of  books by Caribbean poets and reinforced with examples from those poems.  Then we moved into the fourth grade lessons and are moving through types of sentences, parts of speech, adverbs, prepostions, tenses, adjectives, linking and helping verbs.  For some children, understanding grammar helps them understand how to write.  Our fourth grader is very much like that.

I anticipate this block to take about six weeks or so.  For the first three weeks, I will take things relatively slow and have free writing, correcting writing I put on the board, looking for parts of speech in poems and such plus some of the specific things I listed above and free write something once or twice a week.  For the last three weeks, we will delve into writing three smaller pieces a week, using our work to tie stories, paintings, and writings with the stories from the book , Myths of the Sacred Tree, which I think is a wonderful bridge between fourth and fifth grade.  Excited as we head towards fifth grade!

Would love to hear what you are up to!

Blessings,
Carrie

Eastertide Joy In The Home

Despite #shelteringinplace with #covid19, life continues on.  Where we live in the Deep South, spring is here!  Flowers are blooming, everything is green and beautiful, people are starting their vegetable gardens.  It gives one hope just to look out and see the sun shining and the greenery!

I find this time of year, the 50 days between Easter and Pentecost, to be one of my favorite times of year.  It is hopeful and encouraging and feels like new beginnings.  Being home has provided time and space for thought, and that has been helpful.  It is a great time for new commitments, new ideas and thoughts, and for really discerning the essential.

If you are looking for joyous outward ways to celebrate Eastertide, here are some of my ideas rounded up, great for life with children:  50 Ways to Celebrate Eastertide.  We usually celebrate this by hiking a lot and even camping during Eastertide, which won’t be happening this year. We have all been exercising inside daily and walking, which has helped stave off some feelings of confinement.  We are fortunate as I know some countries you need an essential worker’s pass to be out of the house and an assigned shopping day.

Schoolwork is online for our  high school senior for her outside classes; our freshman is in a four day a week program that went smoothly to completely live online classes, and our little fourth grader is still homeschooling with me.  We started a writing/grammar block, and I will be posting some pictures on The Parenting Passageway’s Facebook page and Instagram account so you can follow along!

Other than that, work continues online for my husband and we are so very grateful,  my school begins again on April 22nd online, and hopefully I will be able to see some patients via telehealth in May.  We have been busy cooking and baking, growing microgreens in the kitchen, doing puzzles, playing board and card games, studying,  painting, reading, taking walks, and checking on our horses (considered an essential activity because we own them and have to provide food).  There have been  little neighborhood activities like a “bear hunt” for the smaller children to find on walks, drives for food for our local food bank and for healthcare workers to provide meals at the hospital, a cute Easter bunny who went around to houses so children could have a visit from 10 feet away, and I hear a Kona ice truck will swing through here in the next few weeks.  Lots to be thankful for!

This Eastertide may be like no other, the future may be uncertain for many of us economically and otherwise, but I am finding the gratitude in this time before the world opens up again.

A little note from my corner of the world,

Carrie

 

 

 

New Normal

I am not sure I have “embraced” this new normal yet.  Have you?  How is the juggling going of school and working going?  There are times this new normal can feel overwhelming and anxiety-provoking.  There are times this new normal feels okay and comforting with my family and outside in my yard (and yes, I feel blessed to have a yard right now).  There are times this new normal is aggravating.  There are times this new normal feels quiet and peaceful.  All the feels!

I have seen a lot of posts asking  what one will “keep” out of this new normal.

I hope the increased empathy and kindness I have seen people give to each other in this time will stay.  I hope the outpouring of  love I have seen for all the teachers, first responders, medical personnel, environmental service workers, grocery store workers, military, farmers, and small business owner stays.

I hope the idea that being with your family (again, I understand not everyone has a loving family situation) can be better than so many of the outside activities that cause you to lose dinner together every night.  That is is okay to be home all together.

I hope the neighborliness of doing things to entertain the children stays (in my neighborhood we have had everything from talent shows on Zoom to collecting money for food for our local hospital to putting bears in the windows for a bear hunt for children).

On a materialistic note, I hope the uptick in being able to order and pick up, or the ability to use telehealth or attend religious services with on line streaming or  any of those things that brings more accessiblity also stays.  On line technology has felt increasingly important to me during this Holy Week in my religion.

So, tell me, is there anything lovely you will keep from this and be your new normal?

Blessings,
Carrie

 

A Simple Plan to Celebrate Holy Week At Home

These are anxious times, and trying to plan an entire week of meaningful activities for Holy Week because church is closed doesn’t sound appealing to many of us right now.  I have been thinking about this for a week or so now – how to pull my family into Holy Week in a way that is thoughtful and yet not overwhelming.  This would normally be a busy time for us outside of our homes as all three of our children sing for our church’s choir and there are many liturgies this week.

For me, I think it comes down to knowing that church isn’t a building, but a community of love and grace that exists outside any walls.  It exists inside my heart.  So  outside of our own individual spiritual work and livestreaming our liturgies, our Holy Week will include the following –

Today, beautiful Palm Sunday – We will hang palms snipped from our inside palm on our front door.  We will livestream liturgy from church and enjoy the beauty of creation in our neighborhood.  A possibility for those of you with small children would be to create a beautiful Easter garden with fast-growing wheatgrass – it should be sprouted by Easter to show new life.

Holy Monday –  Show gratitude.  Make an Easter candle that you can leave on your table unlit until Easter Sunday.  If I had walnuts in the shell, I would make the little walnut boats with melted beeswax and a birthday candle in it and let my children play with this as a contemplative exercise outside on the patio.

Holy Tuesday – Listen to the birds sing.  Have a special gratitude jar for this week and remember the wonderful things of light in our life and in the world.

Holy Wednesday – Dye Easter eggs because it’s a family tradition.  Do a Stations of the Cross service at home. I have pictures I can use, and this is my favorite Stations of the Cross for Global Justice and Reconciliation

Maundy Thursday – This is usually the time of foot washing and the stripping of the altar. It is one of my favorite liturgies outside of Easter Vigil, so I will be livestreaming it.  I have seen suggestions to wash one another’s feet at home and to strip down a table in the home, etc.  These suggestions for some reason do not resonate with me for home.  I am going to keep thinking on this one.  We will have a simple meal, probably soup.  My parish always keeps watch through the night with the entire church body taking shifts at the church to pray, and that could be done at home by setting an alarm and waking up to pray.

Good Friday -We will be reading The Passion and the solemn collects found in our Book of Common Prayer.  This is a day of fasting.

Holy Saturday – At the Easter Vigil at home we will lit our Easter Candle and renew our baptismal vows.

Those are just a few of my ideas – I would love to hear what others are doing!

Many blessings and stay safe,
Carrie

 

5 Things You Can Learn From Veteran Homeschoolers For Your Pandemic Homeschooling

I truly hope that the millions of people forced into helping their children learn at home right now don’t think this is normal homeschooling. It’s so far from it! Homeschoolers are generally out in the community for learning and to be with each other. Some homeschoolers do choose to learn on line, but most of us create lesson plans or follow something so that we are homeschooling for up to 4 hours a day and on to the rest of our lives after that. Some of us do work around homeschooling, but this is something that is planned, and we aren’t thrown into it. So needless to say, pandemic homeschooling can be so stressful!

However, I do think there are five things you can learn from your veteran homeschooling friends (besides how to hide in the closet with the secret chocolate stash). Hopefully these will help you as now most states are finishing out the school year at home, many with shelter in place orders:

  1. Get dressed. Yes, you can homeschool in your pajamas and we frequently do in the winter, but trying to set a new rhythm for learning at home sometimes can seem more serious and worthy if everyone is up and dressed.
  2. Figure out how to get movement into your school day. Many of the schools are on-line at this point, including some with live classes running all day. That’s a lot of sitting and can be a lot of eye strain! So starting the day with a walk, taking breaks between classes, moving a laptop or tablet from room to room for different classes or even outside can all be helpful. You can also plan movement breaks after school. Some people have large yards or land, which is great, but some of us are sheltered in apartments or have a small yard. You can try Cosmic Kids Yoga online, lead a game of tag or sardines or a dance party or a pillow fight.
  3. Plan your work day around when your children need you most. If you have small children, they are going to need more help than a high schooler. You can adjust your work day by working earlier or later, switching with your partner if you have a partner in the home, or just planning work and school increments. Veteran homeschoolers are often working with multiple children coming at them with varying questions and projects along with all the household chores. Folding laundry and doing math problems together, for example, is common. Veteran homeschoolers are used to interruptions and rolling with it, and you can do that with all household things but not so easy with online meetings and online work – so try to plan the best you can in increments to alternate meetings/work and schoolwork and helping your children. Increments are okay, things will get done!
  4. Put your children in charge of doing things around the house. Everything cannot be on one adult trying to work and direct learning from home. Everyone needs to pitch in for laundry, meals, and nourishing care of the home. Try a crockpot or instapot to cut down on some of the meal preparation time.
  5. Pull out toys and things to do so your children find something to do when they are waiting for you to check their schoolwork or to help them. Learning how to wait is something that traditionally homeschooled children have to learn as well. You can rotate small boxes of toys and pull thing out so something new and fresh is out every few days. Invest in some art supplies, crafts, puzzles, yard toys, or things for inside your apartment for movement as it will help save your sanity in the long run.

Last of all, have as much fun as you can. These times are hard and uncertain, but it’s a gift to be with our children and safe if we are able (I know not everyone is able, and some parents come home to being on quarantine due to their high risk jobs). Give yourself some slack, and know you are doing the very best you can do right now in this moment.

Many blessings,
Carrie

Preparing For Shelter In Place With Children: What Do We Need?

In my mind, I divide supplies into three general categories: emergency disaster supplies; food/shelter in place supplies; supplies for living with children and being sane (LOL).  Here is my list, which is by no means inclusive, but  if you feel shelter in place might be coming to your city or state next, it could be a jumping off point for your own family.  Thank you to Annie @thechildisthecurriculum for reviewing my list prior to publication!

General Emergency/Disaster Supplies (staying at home, not talking about bug out bags and sheltering in the woods or car):

  • Every source says water – but I don’t feel our water will be shut off for a shelter in place order.  Decide for yourself.
  • Flashlights and batteries, camping lanterns, emergency radio – again, decide for yourself if you think your power may be shut off.
  • Cell phones and chargers
  • First Aid Supplies
  • Prescription Medicines and Supplements, allergy medicines if you are allergy prone because it is also allergy season
  • Medicine for tackling cold and flu in whatever form that looks like for your family – no ibuprofen or elderberry for #covid19 ; we typically have herbal, homeopathic, and natural alternatives on hand along with acetaminophin if needed, zinc lozenges, vitamin C, etc.
  • Thermometer – we never seem to have one so this is on my list
  • Medications for pets
  • Supplies for any females menstruating
  • Diapers if your children don’t use cloth

Food/Other General Shelter in Place Supplies

  • Produce that you can freeze for smoothies later
  • Citrus fruits generally can stay stable for awhile and are helpful for the immune system
  • Garlic, onion, ginger root, turmeric root – also stay stable for awhile
  • You can freeze butter and milk; shelf stable milk like almond, coconut, etc are wonderful – you can obviously also buy nuts yourselves and make your own
  • Bags of flour, sugar,  etc for bread making – don’t forget yeast although there are flatbreads you can make; baking soda, baking powder
  • Rice and beans
  • Tomato Sauce, pasta, other pantry meals you would actually eat
  • Bone broth
  • Cans of tuna or other meat
  • Nut butters
  • Pet food
  • Microgreen growing and seeds to grow produce in pots is most welcome
  • Toilet paper or family cloth
  • Paper towels or cloth
  • Cleaning supplies including laundry detergent, dishwashing soap or you can make your own to save money
  • Hand soap and soap; castille soap can last a long time if you get the gallon sized!
  • Vinegar has many uses and good to have on hand
  • Salt, spices

Supplies for Children:

  • Games
  • Art Supplies
  • Deck of Cards
  • If you have a yard, there are many things you could get to play with in the yard – goal nets, volleyball, whiffleball, cones
  • Doorway gym for littles or doorway swing
  • Household items for science experiments you can find on line
  • If they were in school and now have classes online, appropriate devices and/or textbooks that are required

Please add to this list and share!

Many blessings,

Carrie

Dealing With #allthefeelings During Social Distancing/Shelter in Place

In our last blog post, I tackled some super practical ideas and encouragement for being thrust into working and learning at home (you can see that blog post here), but one thing I want to talk about today is dealing with #allthefeelings amidst social distancing and quarantine.

This is a true and real thing.  We all have different personalities and temperaments, our children and ourselves included, and we all react to stressors differently.  Some children will be almost ecstatic to be at home with their dogs or cats and  activities cancelled, and some children will be absolutely bewildered and falling apart with the change in routine and rhythm.  Some parents will feel rather elated at not having to go places and will feel comfortable enough jumping between work calls and helping with lessons set forth from the school, and some parents really are feeling the complete stress of trying to handle it all.  Some parents are worried so much about the financial end of #covid19 which is so real, that it overshadows trying to work and do school.

Self care is a real need right now.   This really isn’t  just business as usual just transferred to the home.  It’s so important to include self-care as a necessity during this time, because if you can set good priorities and boundaries, you can be a calming force in your home when your child might be feeling overwhelmed.  Self-care looks like different things to different people.  Maybe it’s a nap, maybe it’s taking a walk outside if you are allowed to do that or sitting on your apartment balacony. Maybe it is a warm bath or exercising or soothing music.  Whatever that is , build it into your schedule.

Help your children. Smaller children love to hear stories, so telling stories about little animals that had to stay home  but the fun family time they had can be helpful and soothing.  Be calming and help them find stability in a rhythm that you create.  Too much time to just “hang out” often completely backfires into grumpy children and younger teens.  Having any semblance of a rhythm and balance will help normalcy.

But most of all, just listen. Listen to your children’s fears, listen to their disappointment.  This is such a huge change for everyone.  You don’t need to have the answers!  Things like, “This is hard” or “I wonder that too” or “That is disappointing” is validating along with the love language that fills your child’s cup can be very helpful.    Because it is hard, it is scary, it is disappointing to miss things.

Many blessings,

Carrie