Homeschooling in a Crisis Part 1

My name is Heather Paul. I am married to Steve, and we have 4 daughters ages 13, 11, 9 and 5 whom we have been homeschooling since birth.

My pastor has graciously asked me to write down a few ideas that may be an encouragement to the parents adjusting to the new life of homeschooling. I have asked the Lord what He thought was most important on how to do life at home in this new normal that all of us have been thrown into.

First off, I firmly believe that God has this all under His control, and we need to trust in Him. He cares so much for each one of us and our families. He has us in the palm of His hands, and He has a plan for each one of us.

You might be a few weeks into homeschooling now. Maybe you are finding your original goals unattainable and are discouraged and just tired. Maybe you've gotten into a good rhythm and are in a good place. Either way, I hope you find these words encouraging.

The Practical
  1. You can do this! It’s newer to some, and it will get easier. Remember, this is tough on your kids also since this is such a big change for them as well. Give each other plenty of grace, hugs, and love. Do fun things together aside from all the schoolwork.

  2. Put relationships first! Begin the day with prayer together. It puts God in the center, and I find our days are much more peaceful when we start off offering our time and ourselves to our Lord.

  3. Don’t worry about fitting every subject into every day. We often learn the best by breaking things down into smaller chunks and doing fewer subjects more thoroughly. It’s more important that they master what they’re learning rather than just checking things off a list.

  4. Create a weekly or a daily schedule. I have most recently found that, especially with my younger children, it’s helpful to give them a daily list of school and chores that they can take the responsibility of checking off.

  5. Focus on the basics - Bible/character, reading, writing, and math. You want to prioritize the work that your school gave you, but also remember that it will not take as long at home. It’s not going to be the same as learning in a large classroom.

  6. Read aloud everyday together! This is your most valuable time spent! Good books bring on lots of good questions and conversation. They will be unknowingly learning spelling, vocabulary, history, and some incredible life lessons.

  7. In your reading, do not stress about always needing to read at their exact grade level. Include books at their level, as well as above and below their grade. This will encourage readers that may struggle as well as challenge students to learn more difficult language and topics. Don’t be afraid to allow your older kids to pick up some picture books also! Some of our favorite books include the Narnia series, Little Pilgrim’s Progress, Hinds feet on High Places, The Prince Warriors, Little House books, Anne of Green Gables, and Sacrifice (an amazing book written by a wonderful friend of ours Rachel Hintze). We are currently reading The Diary of Anne Frank together.

  8. Have quiet time each day. Give your kids a time (an hour or so), that they need to spend in their rooms doing a quiet activity, preferably without screen time or electronics. This gives you some much needed rest or work time, and it instills self-control and the ability to have some down time for your kids. More on this coming soon.

  9. Find out what works best for you and your family. How and when do you operate the best? You can lead in a much more peaceful environment when you understand how you operate best and what that schedule should look like. Get to know your child’s learning style. Some children will prefer reading to themselves, while others are visual learners. There are many learning style resources available online.

  10. Find a quiet time in the morning, as well. I find morning works best to have my devotions first thing, and I follow it with a workout on some days. You may find this works best for you in the afternoon. Again, you can adjust it to your families own needs.

My hope and prayer is that the Lord will bring light, joy and restoration into our homes in a new and fresh way amidst all of the fear, chaos and confusion that is happening in the world all around us.

My sincere love to each one of you. -

Watch Part 2 with relational ideas at
Part 3 coming soon with spiritual tips.

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Nancy Paul - April 8th, 2020 at 9:12pm

Awesome words of wisdom Heather! You are such a blessing to all the Moms navigating homeschooling for the first time!!

Erin Mast - April 8th, 2020 at 9:48pm

This is great. Thank you so much for sharing, Heather. I’m struggling to figure all of this out, so I much appreciate your wisdom.

Beth Hamstra - April 9th, 2020 at 10:36pm

Thanks for this Heather! I feel inspired to tweak some things. This is a learning season for sure!!

Tommy Edwards - May 26th, 2020 at 9:08am

I don’t know how I missed these posts. However, this is great content and good practical advice. Thank you Heather for Sharing!