There is a blog post going viral from author Jaime Ragsdale’s blog, Altogether Mostly, that’s reframing our perspectives on how our children are learning right now, at home, with us. With some states already making the call of closing schools for the year, and many parents in other states mentally preparing for that same call—we’re all left wondering, How are we going to make sure they’re getting what they need? How are we going to make sure they’re prepared for next year?
We’re questioning whether we’re doing enough or not, we’re wracking our brains trying to figure out how to incorporate lessons into our day while the kids run around and we run behind on our workload. We’re staying up at night worrying if all of this means that our children are going to fall behind—with friends, with school, with life.
But then I read these words, and it felt like a breath of fresh air.
Because it asks us to pause in the madness and think about things differently for a minute.
“What if instead of ‘behind’ this group of kids is advanced because of this? Let’s talk about helping our kids during social distancing.
“Hear me out.
“What if they have more empathy, they enjoy family connection, they can be more creative and entertain themselves, they love to read, they love to express themselves in writing.
“What if they enjoy the simple things, like their own backyard and sitting near a window in the quiet.
“What if they notice the birds and the dates the different flowers emerge, and the calming renewal of a gentle rain shower?
“What if this generation is the ones to learn to cook, organize their space, do their laundry, and keep a well-run home?
“What if they learn to stretch a dollar and to live with less? What if they learn to plan shopping trips and meals at home.
“What if they learn the value of eating together as a family and finding the good to share in the small delights of the everyday?
“What if they are the ones to place great value on our teachers and educational professionals, librarians, public servants and the previously invisible essential support workers like truck drivers, grocers, cashiers, custodians, logistics, and health care workers and their supporting staff, just to name a few of the millions taking care of us right now while we are sheltered in place?
“What if among these children, a great leader emerges who had the benefit of a slower pace and a simpler life. What is he or she truly learn what really matters in this life?
“What if they are ahead?”
This post, written so beautifully from the heart, asks us to reconsider life at home right now. To push through the fog and get to the clear skies in order to see—our kids are doing okay. And they’re going to be okay. In fact, they’re going to be great.
Because if you look past the worksheets that you can’t seem to get your kiddo to finish and the billions of (wonderful but also a little overwhelming) teaching resources available to us due to COVID-19 school closures, the simple lessons being learned at home right now might just be the most important ones, too.
This generation of children we’re raising is doubling down on empathy, family bonding time, resourcefulness and resilience whether they can see and understand that or not. And those are the big things—the things we probably needed to double down on anyway.
Thanks to this post, and our mindset shift, we can see and understand that now ourselves—even if our kids can’t quite yet. We know they one day will.