Whether we were ready or not, the school year has come! And whether we like it or not, Fall 2020 is probably different than we hoped it would be. No matter our schooling method of choice, most of us have been forced into a less than ideal situation in some way or another due to the ongoing effects of COVID.
So here we are in the middle of a school year that’s not entirely our favorite, and we will be here for who knows how long (but we will just pretend this madness won’t last for much longer). Therefore we might as well make the most of the next month or two…or three… Actually, because our situation is not ideal, it probably holds a few more character growing opportunities than the picture-perfect school year — both for our kids, and us parents. So let’s grow through it, not just get through it!
4 Ways to Maximize this Particular School Year:
#1 Trust God will get you through it
Some schooling situations are especially trying for parents. For some it might be less dramatic, but in all likelihood, we’re all charting some type of new territory. Meaning, we all can be working to grow our trust in God with the unknowns.
None of us should be giving in to anxiety or worry, or even getting stressed about how everything is going to work out. Instead, we just need to put one foot in front of the other, and keep reminding ourselves that God is still in charge. It was he that planned for us to live in this time, in this place (Acts 17:26), and therefore, go through these specific trials. We can trust him. Even if it won’t be easy, it will be okay — he will help us through it.
Essentially, if we want to get through the year (I mean these couple months…or more) well, we can’t keep getting all worked up about how un-ideal this all is. We have to move forward with a calm heart, full of dependence on God.
#2 Let the school year refine you
Trials have a way of showing us our character flaws — so if this school year is in any way a trial, expect it to do the same. As painful as that is, what a gift! When we see our weaknesses more clearly, we can get to work.
So if you find yourself more aware of your lack of patience, or your selfishness, or your irritability, or your outbursts of anger, don’t blame it on COVID (or the government, or the teacher, or your child, or technology, or the schedule, or anything else), blame it on your sinful heart. That sin has been there all along, it’s just becoming more obvious when you’re more provoked than usual. And praise God, we need opportunities like this to become more holy!Let's grow through this school year, not just get through this school year! Click To Tweet
#3 Help your kids grow
Most likely your kids are facing new, or pronounced trials too. At minimum, they are dealing with new obstacles on the way to learning. Slow down long enough to see it and take advantage of it.
In other words, don’t make your sole focus keeping them up to speed academically. Notice ways they can learn and grow outside of the curriculum. Basically, help them see how the school year can refine them too.
#4 Look for unique opportunities
This is quite a broad statement, but that’s because the application can be broad. The idea is: if this school year looks different than most, it probably holds some unique advantages or blessings that will soon be gone. What does this year allow that other years did not? Are there any ways you can think to maximize it? Perhaps it’s working on your relationship with a specific child. Or preparing more for their future. Or building some new habits. Or serving certain people. Or spending more time in good books. Or working together on housework.
Perhaps the best idea will come to you when you think of how you might finish this sentence in 30-40 years, “I’m so glad I had that time with my kids to ….” Whatever would fill in that sentence would be a great place to start!
Don’t Waste The School Year
Lord willing, schooling will be less painful soon. But that means these specific opportunities for growth are also only around for a limited time. One day (again, Lord willing!), education will look like what you would hope it would look like. That will be a good day, but will you regret not using these days a little differently?
Don’t just wish it all away, use it, grow through it, make the most of it!