Homeschooling In IsolationMarch 22, 2021
Guest post by Kimberly Smith.
As a homeschool parent isolation was not an experience I really had to ever deal with until three years ago. I was blessed to always live near cities and have active home school communities. But that changed when we moved to a rural community in New York. At this point my older children were in college and it was just me and my first grader.
We left an area where we would be doing something almost every afternoon to an area where the nearest Walmart was 35 minutes away. I also didn’t have a vehicle, because my husband needed it for work. We moved in the middle of winter so outdoor activities were limited. There I was with a first grader who was bored and missing his friends.
Frankly, so was I.
Finding the Joy in Missing Out
I had to learn how to enjoy the quieter way of life and teach my son the same. Because of where we live being busy was not an option, so one day a week I would drive my husband to work so I could have the vehicle and we could get out and do something, even if it was just for lunch, playground time, library, and shopping. I also made sure we participated in the monthly field trip and homeschool meeting. We also took lots of walks, played games, and read together.
On the personal side, it gave me more time to pursue some of my interests like Bible studies, mentoring, writing, and catching up on my huge stack of books. I also started to get more involved in my local community. We now have a monthly library time for homeschoolers and a weekly gym time. We get out of the house and these activities are only a few minutes from our home.
My son had more time to play outside and with his room full of toys. We did not have to rush with school and, often, I would drag out the school work so that he did not have long periods of non-activity. That meant lots of breaks between subjects.
Homeschooling Isolation During COVID-19
When Covid-19 happened we felt even more isolated, because for four months we didn’t go anywhere. And to top it off, I finally had my own vehicle. No field trips, church, seeing friends, or shopping. My son really felt it too. For those months he had no real contact with his friends and wasn’t allowed to go anywhere. At one point, I got my son a hamster so he would have something cuddly to play with and talk to.
Thankfully, it was almost spring and we spent a lot of time outdoors. Lots of campfires, s’mores, hiking, swimming, and swinging. I started sending cards to church members, friends, and touched base with people I lost touch with through writing letters. I really worked to make sure people around me and my friends felt encouraged.
By taking the focus off how I was feeling, I felt less isolated. Now things are back to a reasonable normal and we aren’t feeling isolated. It has been a good lesson to me not to take everything for granted and to be content in whatever situation I am put in. This also has been good for my son to learn too.
More About the Author
Kimberly Smith is a religious homeschool mom of 4 children with three of those in college! Kim and her family enjoy fostering children, were thrilled to adopt their seven-year-old through fostering, and are now homeschooling again! Kim has had over 17 years of homeschool experience including the privilege to homeschool a child with serious learning disabilities as well as a gifted child. Kim and her husband of 26 years have gone through many ups and downs with their children as well as in life. Job losses, frequent moves, and the challenge of loving a child through rebellion have been a part of their growth and give Kimberly the insight to touch others. Read Kimberly’s homeschool articles.