Doesn’t that sound strange, the gifts of COVID 19?  When it feels like everything is falling apart, how can COVID 19 add anything positive to our lives?  I actually had two people remind me this week of the gifts that COVID 19 have brought to my life.  Perhaps, you may see some of your own gifts in my story.

How has COVID 19 brought gifts?

Schooling right now looks so different for all students currently.  Opinions differ widely as to what is safe, right, and working for each child and family involved.

Some districts have determined going online teaching virtually is the safest for students and staff, from kindergarteners to 12th graders.  Most districts in the Dane County area where I live have decided that approach.  With the rise of COVID infections, that seems to be a safe approach in a larger metropolitan area.

Across the state of WI, some districts have gone to full-time schooling, going back to online schooling when a COVID case appears. Some districts are in school at K-2. You can find about as many solutions to schooling as there are districts as well as that many opinions.

I am a former first-grade teacher and started supporting my kindergarten grandson in his online learning.  Kindergarten learning these days looks much like what I taught in first grade thirty years ago. However, as an active boy, online schooling stressed him continually. It had nothing to do with the teachers and everything to do with the mode of delivery.

I have now become a homeschool kindergarten teacher, something I never dreamed I would become.  However each day I now spend time with Jay, my grandson comes wrapped with a bow, a COVID gift.

He comes to our house, 4 mornings a week – Grandma and Grandpa’s School for Jay.  When I asked him what he wanted to learn, his answer, “To read.”  When reading a new book last week, he began jumping up and down with joy.  What is better than that?  What a gift at seeing a child learn to read!

For now, God has called me to this time and place to use the gifts and skills I have.  Getting back into teaching feels like getting back on a bicycle.  I haven’t forgotten how to ride, just feeling a little rusty. I told my husband my brain doesn’t quite operate the same as it did thirty years ago.

Have you gotten involved in any schooling?  What gifts have you noticed from that schooling?  Yes, the time it takes wears me out.  Yes, the time I spend was not on my agenda for this fall.  However, this will not last forever, yet I’m hoping the memories we are creating will.  What memories are you creating with your grandchildren or children?

What’s another unexpected gift?

Sometimes when you get called to do something unexpected, like the teaching I am doing, there are surprise side benefits.

Since Jay is coming to our house four half days a week. I needed support in teaching this very active six-year-old boy.

He loves his grandpa, so I asked my husband, Jim, if he would be the physical education teacher as well as do recess with Jay.  Jim loves learning so I printed off the physical education standards for the state of WI to be sure that what Jay can do matches what the standards say.  By Jim helping, it also gives me a chance to catch my breath.

Jim enjoys having the ideas behind the standards and marvels at all the things that Jay can already do.  Jay loves sports so physical education is very fun for him.

The best thing about schooling Jay together is how it focuses us on supporting Jay.  Together we are working on a project we both believe in, the education of our grandson.

By working together, we focus on the same page, instead of going off doing our own thing, which has occurred over these last six months.  Doing our own thing, under the same roof, has been hard on our relationship.  I am guessing it may be hard on relationships in your home, too, since being together 24/7 during the COVID time has been so challenging.

Having a project like Jay gives us both something to discuss and focus upon.  What a gift!

What about you?  

Even if you are not homeschooling, what gifts are you aware of that have come from these last six months of COVID?  Have you discovered something new about yourself? God? Others?

Have you discovered a new project to work on?  Or taken on helping someone else?  What has changed for you in these last six months that has a silver lining and become a gift?

If you are not sure, ask God to reveal a gift to you from this time period.  He is faithful to reveal to us what we need to know and see.

I would love to know what you have received in these challenging times.  Reply back to this blog.  I love hearing from each of you.