Thank you so much to everyone who has been contributing questions and suggesting resources. My goal is to help parents by sharing information about resources for parents as they navigate back to school 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic era.
“If you are reading this and know of other helpful resources, or if you just have a specific resource need, go to my last blog postand use the form to send me a message with your question or suggestion.
…I am not endorsing these resources. I am not an affiliate of these resources. I am simply connecting parents with resources that may be helpful, but they need to still vet each resource prior to use…”
~ Donna Marie Johnson, Mom of Butterfly Homeschool
I know Dr. Tiffany from an online group we are both members of which supports Moms with self-care, entrepreneurship, parenting, and more. Generally speaking, the other moms I have met in that group are stellar people. They are women of integrity who are also wise and talented.
Because I have been homeschooling in the state of Georgia for many years (just graduated our older two scholars), I have a wealth of information available on this blog’s archives to support you with getting started.
One of the first things to note is that homeschooling is actually a legal term in many states, including in Georgia, and is governed by specific laws. I notated some of this information on my resource list page to help guide you as you seek to register as a legal/licensed homeschool.
Second, note that if you are educating your children at home via a program where someone else is teaching them remotely, that is still valid home-based education, but it is not the legal homeschool that is mentioned above. All of my children were in legal homeschool during their younger years. As they got older, we chose to register them for virtual education via a public charter school that did 99% of the teaching in an online portal. During the virtual school, I am legally called a “learning coach” instead of teacher or educator and do not have to register with the state or local authorities. Once registered, the virtual school is actually responsible for your young scholars just the same as a brick-and-mortar school is responsible.
Dear Parents, Know that, as I say this, I am both empathetic and compassionate: you have a responsibility, no matter your ethnicity/ies, to guide your children through the racial trauma of our times. Even if you don’t think they could possibly know what is going on in the world, they do. They may not have the words to express it, but they feel it and they see it.
How can I help them when I am confused and traumatized myself?
Start by dealing with your own trauma, instead of ignoring it or stuffing it down with wine or food or streaming binges. Trust me, I’ve been doing my own stuffing, and it’s not healthy for me physically nor emotionally. So, I finally had to start dealing with it because I was so emotionally exhausted from crying after hearing every news report. Here are suggestions based on things I’ve been doing that have helped tremendously.
Allow yourself to feel the pain and cry/scream… for like 5 minutes. Get it all out. Then stop. Set a timer, if needed.
Keep a daily private journal about your thoughts and feelings. Just write a few sentences, or more if that’s your thing. If you don’t like pen or paper, type it into the notes feature built into your smart phone.
Read & Pray. Have a two way dialogue with God, based on the promises He has already given you in His Holy Word. So, reading is one way to listen to Him because the Bible is his living word. Then talk back with him verbally, or by writing in your journal. [Suggestion: start by reading in the Bible App, and join one of the relevant updated Bible Studies there to guide & focus your study.]
Engage in constructive conversations with family, friends, neighbors, and community members that you trust to be honest and open hearted. You don’t all have to agree, but you must all share truthfully and listen to one another with open hearts AND with respect. This can be in person, by phone, over zoom, or through messaging.
Take decisive action. Join a boycott. Sign a petition. Call or write a letter to your governmental leaders and representatives. Volunteer to support a political candidate. MAKE SURE YOUR VOICE CANNOT BE IGNORED.
One notable thing about all of this is that your children will be so encouraged to start understanding their own feelings. Even young children will begin to ask you questions, and…
…you’ll be equipped to guide them into clarity because you did your own work first.
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT FOR PARENTS
There is so much more I could say on this, but I’ll stop here. I want you to digest this advice AND to actually do it. Use the contact form to reach out and let me know one thing that you saw differently or got confirmation about after reading this blog article.
About Identity, Race & Combatting Bullying: I was blessed to connect with an author who is also a social worker. She has created books for children and women around issues related to identity, race, body image, and more. View her Instagram post about her books below:
Dear Parents, You are never going to be a perfect parent (of little humans or of pets). For those of you who like me, believe that Father God is our perfect Heavenly Father both for us and for our children (and pets), then you’ll find comfort in knowing that HE always finds a way to step in and perfect everything that concerns us, in spite of our imperfections as parents.
“The Lord will accomplish that which concerns me; Your [unwavering] lovingkindness, O Lord, endures forever — Do not abandon the works of Your own hands.”
Psalm 138:8 Amplified Bible (AMP)
WHO IS THE PERFECT ENEMY OF HEALTHY PARENTING?
Know that PERFECTIONISM is an evil spirit who is the perfect enemy of you as a parent and of your healthy parenting. Perfectionism is the spirit of fear with a different face that masks its true identity. The Word of God tells us that He has not given that to us. Fear/perfectionism is inflicted as a soul disease by the enemy of our souls. He wants to tear us down and make us feel inadequate so that we are disabled from any hope of healthy parenting. He wants us to parent from a place of anger and anxiety and pride so that our children get this evil spirit transferred from us to them and passed down for generations.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].
2 Timothy 1:7 AMP
I know that is not what any parents want for their children or grandchildren, yet it happens over and over again because our enemy has us deceived about fear/perfectionism.
Here is another way to think of it from the perspective of caregiving:
“You don’t have to be great at most things. Or anything, really. You just have to be good enough. And I bet you’re good enough at just about everything you need to do.”
Cori of TheCaregiverSpace.org
From the perspective of a pet parent, I can share that my daughter said, “We broke her already, Mom, in less than a day,” as we watched our new foster dog begin to dry heave for the nth time. I could have just freaked out and gave up and taken her back to the shelter. However, I remembered what the shelter taught me in preparation for my role, and I also reached out for support. I am not expecting my experience as a pet parent to be perfect from day one, but I do expect for it to get better over time… and for us to get better for our dog over time.
My main goal in this blog article is to encourage you to ease up on your expectations of yourself during this unprecedented time in human history. Focus your attention on what you can control. Learn more as you go. Do better as you learn. That’s all anyone can realistically expect of you right now, so that’s all you can expect of yourself, too.
AND, most importantly, recognize who your enemy is and keep him from bringing his mess into your mind and your home. Choose to get rid of fear/perfectionism today. Take this seriously.
For more perspective on this, check out previous articles I’ve written about anxiety as a silent but deadly enemy in homeschool. It’s also another face of the chameleon called fear.
I care about you. Please reach out to me any time via my Instagram DM inbox.