I just want to say to all you new homeschool parents out there, We made it through the first week of distance learning!!! WAY TO GO!!! That is an achievement to celebrate. Our teachers don’t get enough credit for all they do for our kiddos. If you haven’t already, send your child’s teacher a thank you for all they do. They are amazing!
This last week as I was helping my kids with their school work, I realized the amount of time they are now on devices has significantly increased. The amount of time they are given unsupervised is also more than usual. While you are going from one child to the next helping them navigate the new programs and make sure they have completed all the assignments, there is another child left unsupervised. Now our kids for the most part know what is acceptable. There are things they can type in innocently and something inappropriate might pop up with no wrong intention of the child. The schools do a great job protecting our kids with all the safety measures they have in place, but when they are home and on a different network it is our job to protect them.
We as parents need to do our due diligence and set safety measures in place for our kids. God has entrusted them into our care, so let’s make sure we take the proper steps to set them up to win!
There are a number of different apps you can put on your child’s device so they can’t accidentally go onto the wrong websites or download the wrong app. There are also apps that allow you to shut their tablets down when they have been on there for so many hours and also able to see what they are looking at.
I have a great resource below for you to look at and get some ideas of how to protect your kids. Towards the end of the article they will give different apps with a brief description of what they are used for. Then you can decide which one would work best for your family.
I hope these resources are helpful to you all. Happy homeschooling! We got this!
3 Creative Ways to Love Your Aging Loved-One During Coronavirus Season (…Or Anytime)!
Living in a digital age, there are so many forms of instant communication, from Instagram stories, Snapchat filters, to Facebook likes. Trying to keep up – it’s no wonder we can be a tired and stressed-out society! We live in a time where staying connected is easier than ever, yet deep connection and relationship is hard to find. What if we could go back to simpler times?
Like the times some of our parents and our grandparents lived in. When TV only had 3 channels, and a phone was something that was corded and definitely couldn’t fit in your pocket. During this season, I’m grateful for the technology that keeps us connected! But for many of the seniors in my life, these are technologies that leave them feeling more disconnected than connected to those they love. Add to that, health risks may prevent you from being able to visit in person.
So, here are 3 creative ways to show your parent, grandparent, or any other loved-one, how much you care for them:
Write a Letter. There’s something so special and heartfelt about a handwritten letter. Even if you can’t be with your loved one, a letter from you is something they will hold on to and treasure forever. It’s something they can stick to the fridge or put on display and will serve as a great reminder of how much you love them!
Send a Care Package. It’s easy to get a little stir-crazy when we’re locked in our homes. And no doubt your loved one is feeling some of those same feelings. Why not brighten their day with a care package filled with handpicked items from you? You can order items off of Amazon, so you don’t have to even step foot in a store. Here are some fun ideas of what to include for a box delivered to their front door:
- Popcorn & a New Movie to pop in their DVD player for a fun movie night at home.
- A gift card for groceries and hand-written recipe cards. Or maybe you want to check with them on what needs stocking in their fridge and surprise them with groceries delivered straight to their front door!
- A “cozy box” with hot chocolate packets, some fuzzy socks or slippers, and some old family pictures (that you haven’t had the time to print until now), that will be sure to bring back happy memories.
Whatever you decide to put in your care package, don’t forget to include your handwritten letter to them!
Make the Call. Whether it’s a regular call or a chat on FaceTime, make a point to call your loved one and check in. Ask them how they’re doing and what they’ve been hearing on the news about the coronavirus. Often talking with those we love about the concerns they have been carrying helps bring clarity and comfort. Take the time to listen and hear the tone in their voice.
Ask about what is going on in their life and tell them about the new happenings in yours. Ask how you can pray for them. Share with them a scripture verse God has been highlighting to You or something He is teaching you. Ask how you can pray for them and if they’d like prayer today.
We have a unique opportunity in this season to be intentional on how we love those around us. Take the time today to make a call, send a surprise gift in the mail, or write a heart-felt note to someone you love.
Parenting is not for the faint of heart. It can be very hard and challenging. It can also be the most rewarding thing you will ever do.
With our kids home with us every day, parenting is what we do all day long. Now more than ever is when we need to press in and engage with our children. Not just fix the behavior but get to the heart of the behavior.
Before we had kids, I always dreamed about what it will be like. I thought we would have this amazing neat and clean home. Windows open smelling the freshly cut grass while my children are playing nicely on the floor. Our children would always say yes mom and dad, pick up when told to without asking twice, clean the table off as a family and then sit down in the living room to hang out together before bed. This is the picture perfect family, right?
Then you have your first child and realize that’s not too far off but not exactly what you dreamed of. Then you have one or two more and realize that dream you had is definitely just a dream.
Kids are messy, wild, throw tempertantrams, and always think their way is right. Correction is needed, but you have to get to the root of what is going on or it will just continue to happen. If you pull the weed and don’t pull the roots it will just keep coming back.
I had to look at their heart instead of just trying to correct behavior in the moment. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” I needed to see what was going on in my child’s heart and teach from there. What is in their heart is what will come out in their actions. Beginning with the heart is where you will see true change.
In a book I am reading called *Shepherding a child’s heart*, It says this, The heart is the wellspring of life. Therefore, parenting is concerned with shepherding the heart. You must learn to work from the behavior you see back to the heart, exposing heart issues for your children.
I have attached a link for you to read a little more about what Tedd Trip says about Shepherding a child’s heart. It’s really good and I encourage you all to read it. There is also a link to the book I have been reading if you are interested.
I hope this blesses you and your family as we raise children to have a heart more like Christ.
Love Pastor Jen
Link to article
Book on amazon
This week my mom came out with a fantastic post on her blog about being engaged worshipers even when we are missing our church family and being the church in a more isolated environment.
This was a great reminder for me that even though it can feel like I am alone at church in my pj’s, we are part of a global movement. Imagine for a second that while you tune in online this Sunday- you are joining millions of people across the world who are lifting up the name of Jesus from their living rooms. You are the church to your kids or your spouse, or that elderly neighbor you are helping to get their mail.
We may be socially distanced, but spiritually we are unified. We stand together, we lift up the name of Jesus TOGETHER. The power of our worship is not hindered just because we worship miles apart!!!
Engage – Enjoy the presence of God filling up your home as we church together from our homes!
We won’t let fear or distance keep us from His presence or from our mission!
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.