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The New Pan-Normic?

April 16, 2020

The New Pan-Normic?

I can see it in everyone's eyes when I come to town every week, it's a feeling in the air, almost like everyone is holding their breath. What will our new world look like, what will we take forward from before and what will we change and make better?

If I'm being honest, I don't see a return to what we once knew  as "normal" and to a degree I am both happy and anxious about this change. Over a decade ago, Ginger and I decided to leave "normal" life and go find our own life as a family. In a lot of ways we haven't been impacted by the recent changes (aside from heavier work loads), however, we had the benefit of doing this over time (years), whereas everyone else had to make this transition overnight! This is stressful, to say the least on top of the drumming of fear by media all over. Clearly, is this a wholesome way to make changes?... I think not - but this is the hand we have been dealt.

We are getting asked a lot about how we "homeschool, work from home, make meals, run a farm, and live life." The answer to that question is YEARS of honing and adjusting. Don't BE frustrated by the challenges you are dealing with now, not even we had to make the changes we did so quickly so be patient with yourself, your spouse, and your kids. We do have some advice and can share a few tidbits and more over time.

First and foremost, schooling seems to be a hot topic. Our advice will be short and sweet. Here you are at home with your children having to take the place of our public school system. The best advice given to us was to spend our first year of homeschooling teaching Home-Ec and learning to operate as a family with our new schedule and variables. Yes you heard it right, put down the text books and teach your kids how to cook, do laundry, clean, and be a contributing part of the household. These basic skills will not only be with them for the rest of their lives, but it will make having them at home much easier and a blessing. Kids thrive on knowing your expectations and the reward of accomplishment be it a "atta boy/girl", or simply the personal satisfaction of learning independence and feeling like they are an essential part of the family. This step is essential and important if you plan to educate your kids on your own terms and not lose your mind in the process. We are far from perfect but this first step of establishing the "new normal family life" was crucial for us to move forward. Remember, learning is learning, teaching your kids to bake a cake can be educational (reading, fractions, units of measure, science, nutrition, etc.) but it's all in what you make of it! 

Take an early summer break and just focus on this, seriously.

We aren't trying to tell anyone what to do - but want to share what has worked for us!

Dave & Ginger

Dave Shields

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