If you were fortunate enough to attend a public school anytime between the years of 1956 and 2013, you were one of the luck few that were forced to participate in the beloved Presidential Physical Fitness program. It went by several titles depending on the national administration at the time, but it was basically the same exercises intended to test the physical fitness of America’s school children but often just embarrassed everyone except the most fit. I have memories of wearing my new olive green sweatsuit to school on the day we tested the shuttle run in 4th grade. Virginia mornings started out chilly, but by the time P.E. rolled around that day, calling it a sweatsuit was entirely appropriate. My P.E. teacher had placed the dusty chalkboard erasers exactly ten meters apart on the blacktop and we watched as pairs of kids proved their agility. I wasn’t a fast runner, but used my long legs to my advantage in the lunge, grab the eraser, pivot and go portion of the test. During my second attempt at keeping myself out of last place, I fell and ripped my new sweats.
As parents, we frequently find ourselves needing to change plans, readjust, shuffle things around, or reorganize ourselves to make “it” happen. At the moment, we are living through a global pandemic which has required us to pivot our plans. We have to readjust our living spaces to make room for parents and school kids sharing workspaces. We have had to broaden our bandwidth to handle the increase in online contents for each family member. We have had to wipe clean our whiteboard calendars and steering wheels in response to the virus. And we have had to learn to try our best to connect with friends and family over a screen.
As a veteran homeschooler, COVID-19 seems to have changed little and loads at the same time. Our hours spent homeschooling each day remain the same but our outings and time with friends are completely cancelled, as for the rest of the world. However, this widespread virus isn’t the first time families have had to pivot unexpectedly. Surely the whole world wasn’t shut down before, but parents have had emergencies, layoffs, brick and mortar school shifts, new babies, sudden family moves or losses, and other situations which required them to lunge, grab the shuttle, turn and run before. Whether you are a new homeschooling parent or an old timer, this isn’t first and it won’t be the last time we will be called upon to deal with the unanticipated. We can do it!
Now, go find those olive green sweat pants and grab the dusty eraser with all of your might!
Lindsay Banton is a caffeinated mother to three great kids. She never expected to homeschool, but has found that it is a wonderful addition to their lifestyle and wouldn’t change it for the world. In addition to homeschooling, Lindsay works alongside her husband in campus ministry at a large university in Connecticut. She grew up in Virginia but has settled into life in New England, learning to love the long winters, cool springs, green summers and gorgeous autumns- and has built a boot collection to meet all the demands. She is currently blogging at www.lindsaybanton.com.