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Coping with COVID-19 and Social Distancing

During this COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, we know that each family at Providence Classical School is facing a unique set of circumstances and concerns. PCS faculty and staff are doing everything we can to address challenges with remote learning, but the needs of our school community extend far beyond the classroom.

How can parents help their families cope with the stress of uncertainty and social distancing? How can we find and maintain physical, cognitive, emotional, and spiritual balance in our daily lives during this “new normal” and come out better in the end?

We recently asked several PCS parents to share what is working for them as they shepherd their families through the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no one-size-fits-all answer for “how to social distance,” but we hope that these responses will hold something that blesses and helps your family through this challenging time.

“What things are you doing at home that are helping your family?”

Chip & Kasi Bachelder (Sam 6th, Sara 4th, Susanna 2nd, and Louie 1st):
“This time of uncertainty has been challenging for our family. My husband and I are both teachers, and we have four children who are all adjusting to schooling at home. At first, we optimistically made a regimented schedule to try to balance work, play, and rest times. We quickly learned that, although it is good to have guidelines, we are all humans and not robots, especially our children! One practice that we have tried very hard to keep constant, however, is coming together right after breakfast every morning to have our family bible time. My husband has been leading us through readings and discussions over short sections of the book of John. This time never goes perfectly. There are interruptions from pets, bickering between siblings, and other distractions every time. Even so, we are all guaranteed to spend at least 5 or 10 minutes in scripture every day and I know we can rest in the fact that God’s Word will not return void. For this I am grateful and have encouragement to press on!”

Chad & Jenny Rasmussen (Samuel 6th, Clara 5th, Rebecca 2nd, and Grace 1st):
“The two primary things our family is doing now that are really helping things run smoothly at home are chores and bike rides. Each family member has a set of regular chores they complete to help our family. We also get out on long bike rides each day which are a source of exercise, adventure, and family bonding.”

John & Jennifer Foudy (Joshua 6th and Judah 2nd):
“For us we have two things that we all know will happen as a family each day. We have a family bike ride each morning just before lunch. And then from 5 p.m. to bedtime, we know we will be doing activities as a family: eating dinner, swimming, playing corn hole, taking a walk, board games or playing Mario Cart. We took up bird watching after a family of cardinals started a nest in a tree in our yard. This give us structure enough to look forward to, but in the evenings we get to choose how we want to spend our time together.”

Matthew & Ashley Perry (Camille 3rd):
“We have kept our family on a schedule and have established times for school work and playtime during the week. The scheduled times are much more relaxed than a regular school day, and our daughter is using her free time to take walks, ride her bike, read, and learn to bake new things from her cookbook. We think having structure has helped to maintain a sense of normalcy during a time that is filled with uncertainty.”

Kurt & Roxie Crowley (Avery 8th and Mia 6th):
“One key thing for helping our family navigate this is trying to find the balance between the need for structure and free time. We find that structured mornings and more free afternoons work well. We are trying to juggle both parents having demanding full time jobs. The expectations of the kids have risen dramatically during this challenging time, and they have really risen to the occasion. We have been clear that this is a very trying time and the expectations are that they find ways to pitch in around the house (don’t wait to be asked), are fully accountable for their school work, and tell us what they need. It’s far from perfect, but growth is happening amongst all the hard and chaotic.”

Ash & Cindy Metry (Addie 3rd and Mia 1st):
“Here’s a quick list of some things that have helped us in the last several weeks:

1. We all allocate time with the Lord daily and play worship music a lot during the day.

2. Getting outside in the fresh air. We either take walks or bike rides or something that gets us outdoors and moving. We have PE daily as well. My husband takes on PE, so I can have some time in solitude or take a walk by myself.

3. For school, I’ve found that we do better if we work hard in the mornings and then go at a slower pace in the afternoons allowing for more free play and crafting. The kids have been building so many things with their legos, and we’ve done several puzzles. We try to keep a puzzle on our coffee table and work on it as we have time. I’m also learning to give myself and my children grace and flexibility as we all learn what works best for our family, but in all honesty, that is hard for an overachiever like me who feels the need to make sure my children complete every assignment that is sent home. We are slowly learning to balance school work, physical activity, spiritual and emotional health, and running our business.

4. Tidy up time. We are in the house all day long, so we take some breaks and tidy up the house. I also have the kids organize their school work at the end of each school day so it’s not all over the table.

5. Practicing gratitude. We’ve been writing thank you notes to healthcare workers, mail delivery workers and others that we know still have to be working in the midst of this pandemic.

6. Watching fun author videos and illustrator videos online. During week 2 of Spring Break, we decided to try to find some fun educational things to do online, and we found several authors that were doing Instagram live read-aloud time or illustrating videos that you could follow along with. Mo Willems was a favorite for the illustrating videos!

7. We also check out a lot of e-books on the Libby app (free through the Harris County Public Library). This is a great resource if you need some extra books for your kids to read! They have books for all ages!

8. Spending time alone as a couple while the kids play outside or upstairs to check in with each other and encourage each other. We can’t get out for dates, but we can still try to prioritize each other while we’re all stuck at home!

9. Staying in contact with our closest friends that will continually encourage us and point us back to Jesus when we get frustrated or annoyed with all that is happening in the world around us. We are thankful for friends that hold us accountable in good times and bad, speak life into us, and allow us to do the same.”

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. — Colossians 3:23-24

Click here for more tools and information on weathering the COVID-19 novel coronavirus outbreak.

Visit the PCS Coronavirus Response page for more information on what our school is doing to partner with families during this time away from campus.