Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

Coronavirus has moved into your country, your city, your neighborhood. If not the virus itself, then the practical, wise practice of social distancing. You are facing your children’s school closing and you are terrified—maybe not about your family’s chances of getting sick, but of suddenly having them home all day. You are now their full-time teacher.

Rest assured you will be OK. You and your family will survive.

RELATED: The Children of Italy Have a Message From the Epicenter of COVID-19: “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright”

Before I lay out a flexible schedule you can use, please allow yourself to accept a few things. Because if you jump in without addressing your heart, you will be fighting it the whole time.

  1. Being around kids 24 hours a day is truly, stunningly exhausting.
  2. No kid is ever delightful all waking moments, not even your own.
  3. Everyone needs to take their space every day, including you.
  4. You are the leader of your temporary homeschool and permanent home, so make it comfortable for yourself first (think coffee, snacks, music, smells, yoga pants, etc.).
  5. Your kids value your presence eternally more than your curriculum (short term and long term).
  6. Your kids can learn with what you already have in your home.
  7. Pinterest is a great teaching resource.
  8. Don’t do everything with them, hovering, aiming for perfection. Kids at least age 8 definitely know what’s expected at school when they’re told to sit down and work. Do your own work from home or reading for pleasure while they are working. Beside them.
  9. There’s actually no way to mess this up.

Interruptions in the schedule are fun. When I was teaching full-time I learned to be thankful for sick days rather than annoyed because it was a bonus day at home. Time with my girls, reconnecting. Just being together, unbound by schedule or demands.

In terms of what a child needs to be successful adults and successful learners, they need connection with you, their caregiver. (Entire novels and textbooks have been written about this (attachment, Maslov, etc.), so there’s no space to explain the why here.)

Check that box. You care for and feed and emotionally connect with your child. In terms of attachment and their potential to learn, they are set. Now you just get to be on this dynamic, restful adventure with your family. Enjoy it.


  • Alarm—9:00
  • Wake up, morning routine as usual, breakfast together, MAKE COFFEE
  • God time (If this isn’t a morning practice already, I highly recommend taking 20 minutes to read the Bible and listen. It’s amazing how much more smoothly a day can go. But not always. God time isn’t magic medicine for a perfect day.)
  • 9-10:30—Language Arts
    • 9-9:30—Read Out Loud. I don’t care how old your child is, find a novel they enjoy and read to them for the first 30 minutes. This benefits them in so many ways academically and emotionally. (Research it.)  Give yourself permission to quit a book if you’re not digging it. Lots of books out there are not actually good literature or fun at all to read.
    • 9:30-10:00—Writing Time. Get a notebook and have your child write. They can write about what you read together. They can write about the news. They can write a story. Google a National Geographic picture of the day and have them write inspired by that. If you need to, check Pinterest for age-appropriate writing prompts or reading response questions. We aren’t aiming for perfection. If kids feel like it needs to be perfect the first time on the page, they’ll stop writing. (I would, too.) Encourage spelling mistakes and run-on sentences and all sorts of grammatical ugly. Just let them write. For junior high and high school I would recommend them to write a report on a topic that interests them. They probably have learned how to find good information from the internet and take notes to put into their own words, and then edit to their level of perfection. Let them use this chunk of time to research.
    • 10:00-10:30—Activity. Younger kids will probably need to play. Let them go outside or do a puzzle or just read books quietly on their own. Older kids can keep researching and writing their reports. (It should take about two weeks for a report to be well-researched and written, if given an hour a day.)
  • 10:30-11:00—Break
    • Go for a walk together. Play outside. Plant a garden. Have a snack.
  • 11:00-12:00—Math
    • If math scares you, at least make your child practice basic facts. You can print off endlessly mad-minute-type math worksheets for free at math-aids.com (think addition, subtraction, multiplication, division). They can also play math games for free at sites like Math Playground. Older kids can watch Khan Academy. All children ages 6 and up could benefit from learning coding (also for free) at Code Academy. And while they do this you can drink coffee in the silence. Baking and shopping and family budgeting music are also math activities you could do together.
  • 12:00-1:00—Lunch


  • 1:00-2:00—Quiet Time/ Social Studies
    • We all need this time. Nap. Take space. Let your kid play freely.
    • If you have a child around grade 5 or older you can fire up a documentary on Netflix or a Ted Talk for social studies. Let them watch it and learn informally. They could even write about what they learned the next morning in Language Arts.
  • 2:00-3:00—Art/Science
    • You can easily look up a craft or experiment on Pinterest, depending on your child’s age and interest. Anything STEM or STEAM on Pinterest is awesome. Build LEGOs. Or label and color a diagram. Build a bridge or a diorama or a playdoh solar system. Most of what science is across all grades is learning about nature and all its cycles. So things like food chains, nutrient cycle, photosynthesis, life cycles, rock cycles, star cycles. This is a great chance to go outside and explore the environment you live in. Slow down and observe. Or you could let them ask how something works and find the answer on websites: electricity, magnetism, buoyancy, aerodynamics, body systems, natural disasters, you name it. Learn about what they are interested in. Curriculum is basically cyclical, so many grades learn topics similar to past grades, just in greater complexity. But this is a cool chance to let your grade 2 child learn about atoms and quarks if they are interested. Let them make a YouTube episode or TikTok about what they learned.
  • 3:00—School’s Out! Do not pressure you or your child to be learning seven hours a day. That is not what happens at school. Because of the nature of 20-40 kids in one room doing the same activity to varying degrees, a lot of a school day is given towards social skills and crowd management. You have a 1:2 or 1:4 ratio while homeschooling, not 1:30. Information can be explored and digested much quicker when you are not interrupted by behaviors that aren’t your child’s.

You are suddenly homeschooling—congratulations! You might find it challenging, but it will also be so rewarding. As a parent, what a unique opportunity to connect with your child.

Even if you aren’t a teacher by trade, you absolutely have the capacity to teach.

You know more than your child (even if they don’t think so) and you can share all your wisdom and wonders with them. What a gift this pandemic is, in that it gives you bonus connection time with your children. Remember to enjoy them before they are summoned back to the school routine and regular life.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Erika Rachelle Anderson

Erika is an elementary school teacher, recently turned stay-at-home mom. She and her husband of 10 years have three beautiful girls (ages 3, 4 and 5). She writes about finding the calm in the chaos, focusing on faith, parenting, and mental health at erikarachelleanderson.com

Dear Teachers, Thank You For Believing in Your Students

In: Kids, Living
Little girl wearing a backpack looks into a doorway

When I was in sixth grade my English teacher, Mr. McMain, left a note on one of my completed assignments. “You have a gift for writing.” I honestly don’t remember how it felt to read those words. Maybe I felt a rush of pride, or maybe I just shoved the paper into my folder and went back to passing notes or whispering with friends. It was a well-received compliment from a favorite teacher, but it meant little more at the time. Here I am, though—twenty-ish years later—and I can honestly say I think about that comment often. As fate would have...

Keep Reading

Dear Graduate, I Love You Forever

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Kindergarten grad

I never imagined these days of preparing for graduation, senior prom, senior photos, and you actually moving out would come. A few weeks into your life, friends gifted you a 6-month sleeper. I remember the cuddly white footie pajamas well. But I swore you’d never get big enough to wear it. How could this 8-pound human grow to fit into 6-month clothes? Impossible. And then somehow they did fit, and then they didn’t anymore. Just like that. Everyone says the days are long but the years are short. Everyone, that is, who has had a lot of years. When I...

Keep Reading

Always Choose Adventure

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Two children looking at aquarium exhibit, color photo

Here’s the thing about traveling with little kids. Is it hard? Sometimes. Sometimes it looks like a whole carry-on dedicated solely to snacks, activities, and emergency treats. Sometimes it looks like buying a drink for the passenger next to you as a way of saying sorry and thank you all at the same time for the airplane kid chaos they endured. Sometimes it looks like altering your picture-perfect itinerary that you meticulously planned on account of missed naps finally catching up. Sometimes it looks like washing a car seat off in a hotel shower because your toddler got carsick, then...

Keep Reading

Love Beyond Words

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother hugging daughter

My daughter Lexi lost her words and some of her motor functioning when she was two years old. She was three when the silent intruder of Rett Syndrome made itself known through seizures. But here’s the heart of our story: even without words, Lexi and I have created our own language—a symphony of unspoken love. She may not call me “Mom” in the traditional sense, but her eyes, her laughter, and the unique sounds she makes speak volumes to my heart. Each day with Lexi is a dance—one where the steps aren’t always clear, and the rhythm can change in...

Keep Reading

Daddy, Am I Beautiful?

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Daddy holding preschool-aged daughter, color photo

“Daddy, do I look beautiful?” I heard my daughter ask my husband from the other room. I barely heard what she said as I was in the kitchen washing the dishes, but her words struck a chord in my heart. My sweet girl, all dressed to go out, asked for her Daddy’s assurance that she was beautiful, that she was admired and special. It hit me in that moment: this pure and built-in desire we all have to be loved, admired, and wanted. Just as my sweet girl wanted her Daddy’s approval and assurance of love, I so often cry...

Keep Reading

Sensitive Sons Are Strong Too

In: Kids, Motherhood
Boy pets kitten held by another older boy

My son has always been timid. When he was a baby, he cried when he lost his pacifier in his crib. If I laughed too loudly, he might burst into tears. Once, he was asleep in his bassinet as my husband and I turned on a movie. The MGM lion roared, and he woke in a panic that seemed to take forever to calm. Now, at five years old, my son wrestles, runs, fights, and screams at the television. He pretends to fight bad guys and save me and his twin sister. He thinks he is the king of the...

Keep Reading

Wrestle Like a Girl

In: Kids, Motherhood
Girls wrestling team huddling on the floor

I’m a wrestling mom, but I’m a new breed. I’m the kind with my little girl on the mat. Sure, I support our son out there, and I scream like a wild banshee with the rest of the crazy parents, and I’m in awe of the athletes these boys are. But then steps out our daughter. And it’s different. She decided to join her big bro at practice years ago when word was just starting to spread about the possible emergence of girls’ wrestling. She was only in kindergarten, but I think my husband might have already been thinking college....

Keep Reading

I’ll Hold on To Moments of Childhood with My Preteen as Long as I Can

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Smiling preteen and mother

This Christmas season, my husband took our laser light projector and aimed it at the Australian bottle tree in the front yard. It shone like a thousand red and green fairies dancing through the branches. The first time I saw it, I gasped with glee. Christmas came and went. Much to our 6-year-old’s disappointment, we took down the decorations and boxed them in the attic until next year. I noticed that my husband forgot to put away the light projector though. One Friday night, recovering from a stomach bug, we decided to watch Wonka and fold laundry. We bought into the...

Keep Reading

“Tell Me Another Story, Daddy?”

In: Kids
Man reading to young son

“Tell me another story, Daddy?” I had heard these words since we had finished supper. My 5-year-old son loves hearing stories. He loves to put himself in these stories. He doesn’t just watch Paw Patrol, he’s in Paw Patrol. He is a Kratt brother. And he loves hearing stories about his favorite adventurers with him saving the day alongside his animated heroes. While I absolutely love telling stories to my son, there are many days when I don’t feel like it. When I want to say, “No, Daddy is tired. Why don’t you go play with your toys while daddy...

Keep Reading

Getting Glasses Can be an Adjustment

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Pre-teen wearing glasses

On their last break from school, my daughter and son happily enjoyed a nice week of catching up with friends and having a relaxed schedule. I was careful to avoid overloading our schedule so we had a nice balance of days out and days being at home. As can often happen on a school break, I used one day as our “appointments day.” We had our routine dental checks and eye exams booked. The morning went smoothly with the dentist, and then it was time to head home for lunch. Next, we popped back out to do the children’s eye...

Keep Reading