These are some crazy times. I never thought I’d live to see the government shut down private businesses, schools, museums, etc. But yet here we are. You may be working from home. Your kids are now home. How do you manage this with your sanity intact? Here’s some ideas. I would love to hear ideas from you too!
When managing school for your kids, give one child independent work to do while you work one-on-one with another kid. You can also work with one kid while the others are on break. When the child you’re working with needs a break, call another kid to the table to do their work. (And make sure, when you feel your anxiety and stress rising to take a break for yourself too!)
Be creative with meals since you’re not going to find everything you need at the grocery store. Remember, kids don’t mind pancakes for dinner. I saw a meme online that said this week was like an episode from Chopped. Buying what you can and then figuring out what you can make with it. Thank goodness for online recipes! Luckily, stores don’t seem to be out of fruits and veggies, so you can feed plenty of those to your kids.
Get them off of screens occasionally. I’m having mandatory read-aloud time. You can read picture books to your littles, and you can read classic literature as well. (Like Charlotte’s Web or Little House on the Prairie, for example) This is also a great time to read Christian biographies to your kids. I’m reading them God’s Smuggler, the true story of Brother Andrew. You can also find YouTube videos of authors reading their own books aloud for kids. I haven’t investigated it yet, but I saw that Audible has also made some titles available for free.
Play board games with your kids. For littles, we love Memory or Charades. For the family, we enjoy Clue, Sushi Go, and Cranium.
Let your kids do crafts. You don’t have to get on Pinterest and find all the perfect activities. Just get some art supplies from the dollar store or Target and let them have at it. Kids don’t need instructions to be creative.
Do Bible study daily with your kids. Not Consumed is doing a free video series this week on loving your siblings, complete with homework. It’s a timely study since siblings find themselves cooped up together. It’s bound to lead to some disagreements. You can also pick a book of the Bible and read through it together. If you have older kids, encourage (or make) them to journal after each reading. The SOAP method is great for this. Littles can even journal by drawing pictures. Practice Scripture memory too.
Drink coffee. If necessary, lots of it.
My kids’ favorite hobby has become eating. I swear there is always at least one kid eating in my house. Quit buying them snacks. It’s a great way to save money. They kept sneaking crackers and chips, so I quit buying them. I bought them fruit this week and made Chex Mix. That’s their only options.
There’s more housework to do because everyone’s home. Make the kids pitch in. It’s a great time to teach kids additional chores since there’s additional housework to do.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed, remember that this will pass. None of this is a surprise to our Lord. We can still rest in Him. If you have any extra time, use it to learn something new or read a book or watch a new TV show. I’ve had a couple books on the shelf for a long time that I haven’t had the time to read. I still haven’t had time to read them, but I may get to read part of at least one this week. It’s a goal.
Get outdoors with your kids if it’s not raining. It quit for awhile yesterday, so I got out with my daughter and we went jogging/walking for 25 minutes. It was a great way to get some exercise and spend time together. I sent my 10-year-old to run around the block, and he took his 4-year-old brother with him. My older two boys went out in the backyard and threw the baseball back and forth for a few minutes. They used their 4-year-old brother to retrieve their baseballs. They all got some time together and energy out.
Utilize this time with your kids. Before we know it, they will be grown. Maybe we could thank God we get a little extra time with them right now. Hang in there, friends. We can do this.