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September 1, 2020

Parents Struggling with COVID Schooling: You're Not Alone

So many parents across the nation are feeling blindsided by a strange, stressful new school year. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, please know that you’re not alone in this. We asked the parents on staff here at Axis about how their families are handling this new way of schooling, and they want you to know that they’re feeling the pressure too! As you read a glimpse into their hearts as parents, we hope that you feel understood and encouraged as we tread these new waters together. Psalm 37:23-24 reminds us, 

“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.”

New beginnings 

As parents, we’re constantly exploring new territory, which can be scary. Everything is so new and uncertain, it’s hard to know how to make the best moves for our kids. When we asked the parents of Axis, “How do you feel about going into the 2020 school year?” here are the responses we got:

“Worn out and anxious.” -Chris May

“I just want it to happen! No Whammies!” -Jason Hickerson

“Fairly calm.” -Kelli Rankin 

“Terrible. I mean not super bad. But it’s uncomfortable.” -David Eaton

The first day of school looked different for everyone. Some were in person, some fully online, and others had a mix of the two. Each of these options brought unexpected obstacles, new rules, and yet another COVID-induced lifestyle to adapt to.

“They gave the option of online or in-person and at least half-chose online so the first day was half the class (8 students in one and 7 in the other). So, it was honestly a really chill first day because so few kids were actually there! My youngest was stoked because he LOVES his teacher and sees he will get to spend more time with her.” -Jason 

“It was a new school because of COVID. We were not allowed to walk her inside. She ended up going to two of the wrong classes and missing recess. The next day was great though!” -David

“In the classroom all day, but wearing masks.” -Chris

No matter how difficult the school year becomes, think of this as a time of transition. The first day could have been horrible, wonderful, or a mixture of both. But one thing is for sure: We will get through this one way or another. 

How kids are adapting 

Next we asked, “How are your children reacting to this new type of schooling?” 

“They are ok with it—they see the value of a smaller classroom and being able to spend more time with a teacher learning. Judah said his teacher spoke more French the first day compared to past teachers. So it makes me think if we can stay clean and clear—this might work!” -Jason 

“They are rolling with it, but wish we were back to normal.” -Chris

“My little darling daughter has been amazingly adaptable. But we all cried because we loved our other school so much.” -David

“They’re fine, except they hate masks.” -Kelly

It’s so important to check in with how our kids are adapting to this new normal. Understanding how they’re adjusting will help us understand how to best offer help and guidance. We encourage you to have regular, meaningful dialogue with your child so they can feel heard and supported. (P.S. If you’re not sure what to ask, find great questions here!)

Hope for the future

Although this time of adapting has proved a major challenge for many parents, there’s still hope for an awesome school year! So, we asked our parents, “What are you excited about for your children moving forward?”

“Attention, smaller classes, and teachers that care!” -Jason 

“For the day that they don’t have to wear a mask.” -Kelli 

“Being free once again to play with friends and family, to vacation, and to have sleepovers (post COVID)” -Chris

“I believe these challenges and changes will make us more dependent on God and each other.” -David

Looking for answers

One of the hardest things to say as a parent is “I need help.” We feel like we have the weight of the world on our shoulders, as if we have to accomplish everything single-handedly like super parents! When we asked, “What type of advice do you need the most right now?” parents admitted: 

“I need someone to tell me we are going to be ok.” -David 

“How to help my kids navigate the isolation and loneliness (in a healthy way), and how to get respite for my wife and I.” -Chris

“How to help my kids believe that God has good plans.” -Kelli 

No, we don’t have all the answers to the world’s problems, but that’s ok! Here are some words of encouragement to take with us as we enter the uncertainty of this new experience:

Use the word ‘Pivot’ as a positive term for how you are working together as a family for the best possible solution. Even if the solution is not ideal, you all are a team working together for your family’s best!” -David 

“Enjoy any extra time with your children!” -Kelli 

“Call upon the Lord; He is sufficient even in these circumstances. Do a word study on the remnant, and read about the years in captivity of the Israelites. Oh, and download Trickster and start playing cards with friends and family from afar!” -Chris 

“Calm down. Remember that it’s been worse and will likely get better…This life moves in long ebbs and flows. Go with it! Remember what matters and show some love.” -Jason 

Remember, no matter what challenge you’re facing, God is neither shocked nor dismayed. New challenges are always on the horizon, especially as we continue to understand what life looks like with COVID in our world. So, keep moving forward, and we will get through this crazy school year. And thank you for caring and loving your children through it all! 

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