Checking In During This New Season

We are wondering how you veteran homeschooling moms are using any extra time you now have at home with many totally restricted to home and others in areas where most activities have been canceled. Are you using that extra time with your children, tackling projects that are hard to get to, planting your garden, getting clothes changed out for the new season, catching up on homeschooling?

I am praying that some of you might experience a quieter season of homeschooling without so many outside-the-home school related activities. The moms I often hear from are exhausted and worn out, not from homeschooling but from being away from home so much for other activities that they have alongside their homeschooling.

What are your biggest struggles with your current situation? Is grocery shopping hard for you? If so, how are you handling it? Are your husbands doing the shopping if they are home from work?

Trusting in Jesus,
Teri

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among
the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10). 

22 thoughts on “Checking In During This New Season”

  1. We are spending more time preparing food! Especially making bread since we really haven’t been able to get and keep on hand for our large family. Grocery shopping is a challenge and you can’t purchase over two of any one thing if it’s in stock. We have not had a garden in the past few years, but this year we did put one in! We all are trying to make things last..I often think of the widow woman whose oil and flour never run out when I go to prepare food.
    To be transparent, we are still spending our time in the Word as we have but for me that time has been most needed and precious. And family Bible time and prayer is precious too. Thankful for our God who is the God of hope, and of peace, and of comfort.

    1. Thank you for sharing. The limits on grocery store items is hard for large families. Homemade bread and fresh veggies this summer make a yummy and healthy combination, but it does take more of your time. And Scripture taking on new meaning in new circumstances – wonderful!

  2. Yes, all end of the year activities have been cancelled, which was a big disappointment for my children. But after they accepted all of the disappointment, they have been fine. Because we homeschool, it wasn’t as much of a change as for those whose children came home from public/private school.
    We are trying to fill our extra time with more productive activities: more sewing (we are sewing masks!), listening to audio books, we have our garden ready to plant this week (unheard of!), my daughter (11) is enjoying more time to learn baking skills – she is experimenting for the first time with yeast recipes. We are being more deliberate to get outside each day for a family walk! Or a one-on-one parent/child walk (my husband is now working from home). We are also facetiming with family/friends that we may not get to see for quite a while.
    This trying time has shown me that we, as parents, set the tone in our home. We are trying to be very positive about this time, and our children have, for the most part, responded positively about all the changes.

  3. My dad hasn’t been able to find flour since the virus first appeared in our state. I my sister and my dad were all layed off and we are praying we don’t loose the house. Other than that life is pretty much the same for us we didn’t go very many places. By the way I have been meaning to comment for a while but life has been crazy praying for Anna Marie and her family.

  4. Things have not changed too much for our family so far. We have been praising the Lord for so many things when we hear of others in more difficult circumstances! The thing that is the hardest for us is not being able to go to church. We are on spring break this week, which always means deep cleaning and extra projects for our family. Before this week (back when the quarantine started), I stayed up just a little bit on a Sunday night to make a new schedule to fill in the time in a few afternoons when we normally would have been away from home. I also switched other things up a bit and added some new things to give us a fresh, new perspective knowing it would help our spirits! The children loved it and I fed off of their enthusiasm! My husband is still working, so he is stopping once a week for our grocery needs. The limits in place are not ideal for our big family, but we have more than we need by far. We have been making new recipes (so fun!), listening to audio stories, taking long walks on our country road, playing games together (something we always do!), working harder on scripture memory, and spending extra time each evening in specific prayer for this pandemic. We also have been praying for Anna Marie and her family.

    I would just like to add an encouragement to using a schedule. We have used a schedule for years upon years – it always is a blessing – but especially at times like this it helps so much! You do not have to think on your feet and if the children see it hanging on the fridge they will keep you accountable to it, I promise! Blessings to you all sweet Maxwell family!

    1. Thank you, Steph. I liked the way you jumped right in and revised your schedule to take full advantage of the extra time. Thank you for encouraging others in that as well and for all your prayer for Anna Marie, her family, and those who are so affected by the pandemic. Lots of good ideas, too, for using the time you are home more.

  5. We are so thankful that we already homeschool and were already intentionally limited in our activities that take us away from home. My husband works in IT at James Madison University,and his work is entirely done on a computer so he’s working as usual, just from home. Although he’s here 24/7, he’s working his usual hours, so we are respectful of that and don’t expect him to do non-work chores, etc. during his work day.
    It’s hardest for our young adults and teens, whose work is closed and whose social activities are on hold for now. Our autistic son (he’s 23) is handling the change in his routine pretty well for now. We have a high school senior who will miss out on doing things for the last time before she graduates, so our prayer for her is that she’ll have the grace to accept things as they are and not dwell on what might have been. Our oldest daughter’s income has been affected because her jobs were in-home childcare, giving piano lessons, and food service.
    Groceries are challenging, since things like bread and toilet paper are scarce, and we have 11 people in our household, but God has always provided and we have faith that He will continue to do so. We’re used to doing without and improvising, so He has prepared us well for that potential.
    Mostly, we’ve been praying for others and for areas that have been hit hard. My husband and I had just decided to read through the Psalms again, and that has turned out to be an excellent choice for these times!

  6. I had been ordering groceries online for pick-up before because of a disability. It has been free for the last year. I find I actually save money because I can see what it will cost and there are less mistakes than when I would send someone else to the store. I had a week or two when it wasn’t available because more people were getting the idea but more slots are available again. Instacart would deliver for a fee but I need to watch my pennies.

    1. Good idea. Glad there are more slots available now. I have a friend who has been doing that with WalMart since the recent crisis. She has to stay up until midnight, though, with her cart ready to try to get a slot. Then she says she only actually gets about half of what she wanted because by the time the shopper does her shopping many items are no longer available.

  7. IT’s comforting reading others posts about what they are doing during this time. I can echo some of the experiences, like family walks in the sunshine, the children having time to get more into things like baking and planting, and artwork. We’ve started compost at last, and have been working on a new chicken shelter in the hope of getting a few more layers in due time!

    This time has meant more available time to incorporate some variety into the homeschool plan for next term, and there have been opportunities to read about other people who are raising large families and a little about how they live.

    Forming a 4-week menu plan based on what foods are more readily available here has been a fun task, and I’m noticing our pantry items are much less depleted than normal even by the time shop day comes around! All it takes is planning family snacks and desserts instead of letting children freely access whatever they want when they want! I’m enjoying the opportunity to plan nutritious but thrifty meals.
    We’ve enjoyed learning how to make sour dough bread.
    We discovered that 10kg of flour we put in a deep freeze five years ago is still ok now, and we are extremely thankful for that. No flour in the shops is certainly a challenge.
    We use click and collect for our grocery shopping, but we never know now how much will actually be in our boxes, or how little.

    My husband is still being paid 80% of his pay during standby, and if he has to go and fix ambulance radios or similar, then he gets 100% for that job. We are amazed and thankful for such a good situation, though it is still challenging paying a temporary mortgage and feeding 7 people.

    Our four children (6-12) rescued a tiny stray kitten who was found at our stream, so they have enjoyed that blessing hugely – the vets and animal shelters were not keen to take the kitten, of course. So we’ve made him our own, he’s the cutest smoky grey fluffy kitten.

    Thanks to Anna Marie’s inspiration we are going to begin a more focused scripture memory routine at family Bible time over the rest of the lockdown. Praise the Lord.

    Blessings and peace, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.”

    1. Very creative in what you are doing and the resources you are using. And now you have a kitten. That’s a little like we got Arnold. He wasn’t tiny but not quite full grown either.

  8. Things haven’t changed too much because we homeschool. Daddy is now home, though. Thankfully he has helped with some of the math and reading. We are trying to improve our immune systems with organic fruits and veggies and lots of broth (the best we can on a limited budget). Gardening is definitely on our minds more so now. We are encouraging lots of outside time, bringing out board games, and helping with home business ideas for our children.
    When fear creeps in, I am reminded that God is my refuge. God is my strength. God is my help. I have nothing to fear.
    I am continually encouraged by your family. Thank you for your posts and we are remembering Anna Marie in our prayers also.

    1. Great when Dad can help with school! Sounds like you are making very good and productive use of this time at home. Thank you for praying for Anna Marie.

  9. We are doing well overall! My husband works even more now which is interesting, and when he is home he must be working from phone. So he has went from a pretty normal schedule to working around the clock away from home for long hours and at home whenever here. I think that has been the hardest on one of my Young son’s who is very much a daddy’s boy! But overall I think is behavior is normal and Just a few more fits than usual, oh and a bit of potty training regression. My children and my family are loving the less hurried season we are in and my kids play out in our yard digging in the dirt daily while I weed clover. I am pregnant now and that has been very interesting. Planning on a homebirth so feeling blessed I get to have my family there to see baby after born and child care won’t be an issue since my mother lives with us! My midwives told me what it is like for ladies having hospital births right now so I am not complaining about my situation of giving birth at a time of pandemic.I have been re-reading your Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit and this is a character quality I am struggling with so much. I feel like God has given me the perfect situation(s) to practice and use this information! I also am studying Revelation on my own and have just finished chapter two which talks about God removing the lampstands (churches) so that we can repent of the sin of forgetting our first love, Him! So I have been taking time to repent and reflect on my sins. I feel like I have been too busy and God is calling me out of the business of the world and entertainment of the world into a more focused life on the ministry here at home being a homeschoolingmother and a wife. And taking more opportunities to enjoy my children and cuddle! All of the little things in life God wants me to stop and enjoy rather than speed through or skip, I have been enjoying very much. Feeling blessed! Oh and last my husband is the only one who stops at grocery store once every two weeks. I do Amazon Prime Pantry for shelf stable items. And honestly we have not needed or tried to purchase toilet paper yet. We have been smudging our rolls so that kids can’t unravel them as fast. Hope you are well. Loving all your blog posts and always looking forward to the next ones as well as books! Now I need to start figuring out curriculum for next year and plan summer birthdays which will probably be taking place at home, which is fine for us! We feel like we have been saving money through this all and being extra frugal with food. No wasting a thing anymore!

    1. Thank you, Marion, for sharing with us not only what you are doing right now, but what God is doing in your heart and teaching you. May we all be open to what He has for us to learn during this time.

  10. Although, I don’t home school, my youngest is a freshman in high school and is now doing school online, so I guess we’re home schoolers by default! The nice thing is that it takes up so much less time! We now have time to play games, set puzzles, do housework/chores and cook together. He also has to do 45 minutes of gym/exercise daily, so we’ve taken that time to walk the dog together, something we’ve never done before, and our teenager has found he really enjoys it! We live in Wisconsin so its still chilly here, but we’ll soon be able to bike as well. Also, I haven’t planted a garden in a few years, since I now work. I’ve decided to order seeds and plan a garden while I’m home and I’m so excited! I have always enjoyed gardening, but just didn’t have enough energy to grow one after going back to work. I also love to draw and paint, another hobby I quit doing, well, since a long time ago. The other day I sat down and painted some pretty pictures with my watercolors and couldn’t believe the joy that came from that! I’ve loved this quiet time, it has been good for my family to slow down, something we didn’t know how to do together anymore. The biggest and best part of all of this is that I have more time to spend with God, read the Word and pray more. Thank you for your wonderful blog, it is uplifting and I enjoy hearing about your beautiful family life! God Bless!

    1. Wow, Kristine, my heart rejoiced as I read all the wonderful things that you and your family are enjoying during this season of being at home! Praise the Lord!

  11. Hi Teri, You are so sweet to ask about your readers!

    We don’t have more free time than normal because we homeschool and are mostly home besides that, except for church, which we are watching online. We are part of a homeschool group once a week, but we are still doing that, just at home on Zoom. My husband is in construction and he still working his regular schedule. We do really miss getting together with friends! We also miss worshiping with our church family.

    I have thought of Anna Marie a lot recently and appreciate her example so much! She is going through a massive trial while our country is in total chaos, but somehow she still seems joyful. I am praying she makes a full recovery and lives to be a very old lady!

    I appreciate the blog and the calm, positive tone. I would also love to hear your thoughts about how we as wives and mamas can stay positive in our homes right now. My husband is more stressed out than I’ve ever seen. Sometimes I feel anxious too, and seem to miss my family more lately (they live 1100 miles away from us). I know this is selfish, but sometimes I want to be the one receiving the encouragement instead of constantly giving it! I know God doesn’t want me to approach marriage with that 50/50 mindset and to instead concentrate only on being my husband’s helper. But sometimes I just feel so drained by the time he walks in the door. I would love to hear how you stay motivated to cheerfully serve your family, especially your husband, when life is hard.

    Many blessings!

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