Coronavirus-related school closures and social distancing efforts have created a new reality for many families these days.
You might find yourself newly in charge of the day-to-day details of your children’s education. Even with virtual schooling or other forms of at-home learning, you might feel ill-equipped to help your kids stay mentally active during this extended time of homeschooling.
First, you aren’t alone. There’s no one “right” way to structure these days. There’s no one “right” way to homeschool.
Second, you can use this as an opportunity to invite your kids to learn more about God. Rather than trying to simulate school, you can fill this unexpected extra time with fun, creative Christian lessons.
Good, Old-Fashioned Family Bible Reading (with a Twist)
A family devotional time can be a great way to add an element of structure and normalcy to these homeschool days. Both adults and children may be feeling anxious and uncertain amid the disruptions surrounding the coronavirus, so it is even more important for everyone to stay in touch with the hope and reassurance of God’s Word.
This Bible time doesn’t need to be complicated! It can be as simple as reading a passage, talking about what it means, and saying a brief prayer together. Depending on the age of your kids, you may want to use a Children’s storybook Bible or perhaps an easy-to-read translation, like the New Living Translation or The Message.
Here’s the twist: encourage your kids to take an active part this Bible time. Let them help choose the passages and read them out loud. Encourage them to ask questions and make it a conversation, not a lecture.
Need even more of a twist? Maybe your kids are a little too old for a children’s storybook Bible, but maybe aren’t quite ready to engage with the Bible on its own. In that case, middle ground like Kirby McCook and the Jesus Chroniclesmight be the perfect fit!
Follow Their Curiosity (and Connect it to School Skills)
If a question or passage is especially interesting to your child, you can redirect it into a project that involves a school skill and a Christian lesson.
This could be a practical skill like researching, note-taking, writing, or giving a presentation. Is your sixth grader curious about who the Pharisees were? Have him research it and write a few paragraphs about it or give a brief presentation to the family before dinner.
You could also encourage more creative assignments like creating maps, drawing pictures of a scene, or acting out a Bible story. Is your second grader intrigued by the creation story in Genesis? Have her draw a different picture for each day of creation and talk about why God called these things “good.”
You may be worried about your children asking questions that are difficult to research or answer even for you. Again, you’re not alone! See this as a chance to learn alongside your kids and set an example of curiosity. One helpful resource in this area isThe Big Book of Bible Questions. This book could be used as part of family Bible time, or as something for kids to read on their own.
Independent Study (That Will Seem More Like Play)
Reading lists are a great way to fill your kids’ time and minds on these long days at home. This is another place where you can allow curiosity and individual interests to provide direction.
For kids who enjoy adventure and time travel stories, the Imagination Station series offer an entertaining way to teach history and Christian values. For a child who enjoys humor and friendship stories, The Dead Sea Squirrels series is the perfect combination of funny antics and biblical morality.
Creative projects are another way to add variety to these homeschool days. Simple activities like coloring books, drawing, or painting can be a great use of time. If you have a daughter with a particular artistic interest, a guided artwork book like Made to Create with All My Heart and Soul could be the perfect thing to unite her creative impulse with faith.
Let God Be the Teacher
There are plenty of ways to incorporate Christian lessons into these homeschool days. The best place to start is to offer this season to Him and ask Him to teach you and your family to know and love Him more. When we trust Him to teach us in His way and in His time, He never disappoints!
For more resources to meet your spiritual needs, click here.