5 Things (I Hope) I’m Teaching My Kids During Distance Learning

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It’s February…and my kids are still doing school at home via distance learning. This is my SOS call: send coffee — send me a reminder to plug in their devices — send magical fairy dust to keep them (and me) motivated!!

Everything about this school year is far from normal, for everyone. But, as a family, we’ve elected to keep our kids at home and keep them enrolled in public school. So, distance learning, here we are.

My daily routine has taken a huge hit since distance learning became a part of our lives. I think back to this time last year and laugh at all of the time I had to myself. With two kids in school all day and one in pre-school for half of the day, it was just me and the baby for hours at a time. Ha!

We’re all here. All. The. Time. Even though I sometimes want to tear my hair out, I’m actually not sad about it. This time together has given me so many opportunities to teach my children about some of the foundational truths of life.

More than multiplication facts or how to find main idea or what the Stamp Act was — by the way, teachers are awesome and I’m forever grateful for their knowledge and patience and expertise — these are lessons that, distance-learning or not, they can’t afford to miss out on.

5 Things (I Hope) I’m Teaching My Kids During Distance Learning

  1. Flexibility — If distance learning has taught us anything, it’s taught us to be flexible!
    —— Your schedule changed again? Flexibility. Your sister has a test and needs to complete it on the full-size computer (that you normally use)? Flexibility. Your little brother has a doctor’s appointment and there’s no one to stay with you because normally I do all these things while you’re at school? Flexibility.
  2. Patience — Four kids and one mom equals patience, patience, patience.
    —— Your class has started but your teacher isn’t quite ready? Patience. You need computer help, but I’m currently helping someone else? Patience. Your computer just exploded while the toddler’s diaper also exploded? Patience.
  3. Integrity — It falls on me as a parent to help my children make sure they do what’s expected of them.
    —— Did you do your assignment? Integrity. Did you pay attention and answer when you were called on? Integrity. Did you do your best work? Integrity.
  4. Respect — This is such a big one. In normal life, but especially as we connect digitally, our kids need to learn to show respect.
    —— Your teacher asked you to turn on the camera and you don’t feel like it? Respect. You would rather play with toys than pay attention in class? It is time for toys, or for class? Respect. You want to wear PJs instead of the uniform that the school asked for? Respect.
  5. Focus — Aye. Aye. Aye. What can I say? Focus is definitely a moving target, but we do the best we can. (Reference the aforementioned diaper explosion…) But seriously, we have to teach our kids how to do the thing that they are supposed to do and not get sidetracked by other things. There will always be other things — other things that are more fun or easier. And those things are fine. ONCE YOUR WORK IS DONE!

Can you tell I might be a broken record on that last part?!

Regardless of the schooling method you’ve chosen for your kids (for this year or for forever), don’t miss those moments to help them build character. In the everyday chaos of this year, I hope and pray that my kiddos are growing in compassion, in strength, and in grace.

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Christy Swaringen
Raised in North Carolina, Christy loves sweet tea (think watery syrup), lightning bugs, and fall leaves. After over a decade years in South Texas, she now considers herself “from the Valley,” and can’t seem to get enough of mango raspas, afternoons by the pool and, of course, botanas. Her family has ridden the roller coaster that is foster and adoptive parenting for the last eight years and they are much the better for it. Christy loves doing life with her husband, Caleb, and their four kids.

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