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.
DISCOVERING FAMILY HISTORY RECORDS WITH NAMES OF ESCAPED SLAVESISLIBERATING
My father researched our genealogy & passed that job to me before he went to heaven. As I recently discovered the names of escaped slaves in our family, my heart leaped. I can only imagine how Juneteenth would have made their hearts leap to no longer be fugitives.
I am now passing down research to my children, too. Knowledge is power. Understanding how your own family fits into history is truly powerful.
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: