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Navigating Distance Education With Grace

Updated: Apr 2, 2020

This week, we are easing into a new way of educating our children, from gathering at Donum Dei Classical Christian Academy in San Francisco, to online classes due to temporary school closures brought by the virus, COVID-19. Though it is a precarious time, we find joy in being able to gather and teach our students through online education from the comfort of our homes. Our big thanks goes to the head of our school, Dr. Christine McLean, along with our wonderful teachers and colleagues, for doing such a beautiful job in transitioning the whole school for online education in the next weeks. While these past several days have been challenging, they ushered a perfect opportunity for us to teach our children to be strong, to not give in to fear, but rather to love and serve those in need, and most importantly, to pray for all. In this, we remember, “…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7, ESV)

As we prepare for these coming weeks, I realize that we are called to be not just parents, but also teachers at home. We are to instruct our children in the ways of the Lord, to model virtues of joy, kindness, patience, humility, love, diligence, and self-control. It is a privilege to be with our children at this time to labor together as a family, and to practice patience, humility, and kindness.

For some of us who work from home, juggling work and assisting our children in their school work can be challenging. Try to schedule work and meetings during students’ longer breaks and homework time. If I may, here are a few suggestions to help our children stay focused and occupied:

  1. Have a daily schedule for each child handy to help ensure a smooth transition from one class to the next. Diligently use homework time to complete assigned tasks.

  2. Instruct an older sibling to help the younger ones. This will teach the older ones to be responsible and help them to learn leadership.

  3. During mini-breaks, gather your children for snacks, stand up and stretch (or even do jumping jacks), drink water, and get them ready to go on to the next activity/class. At lunch, plan for fun, short walks and quick outdoor games.

  4. Praise them often and give them rewards for their cooperation, obedience, and diligence. There is great value in encouraging them to do great.

  5. Be ready with art materials, educational toys, memory board games, and such to keep them occupied and not resort to unnecessary use of technology.

May we use such a time as this for our advantage knowing that, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Ecclesiates 3:1) May we seize this season to gather and build each other up, to laugh and enjoy our children, to heal and empower them through the Word of God, to celebrate not only their successes, but, the lessons they learned from their mistakes. And, for us parents, my prayer is this: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

Suzette Elchico

Enrollment in the Distance Education Program for the remainder of this school year (ending July 9). We have reopened enrollment at this time as a temporary service to families in need and will consider potential partnerships with all parents who meet our partnership criteria and whose children can learn successfully in a distance education space. Click here for more information. All application criteria and tuition details apply.

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