Most families are in week 7 of quarantine. For many, they have been doing homeschooling/eLearning for almost that long as well. This means they have had A LOT of quality time together and could use some encouragement and help as they continue to navigate the strange new way we are being supposed to do life.
While we may not be able to physically meet together to provide support for the families in our congregation, we can still find creative ways to come alongside them as they parent during this unparalleled time in history.
Create family devotions:
We can support families by coming up with interactive and creative ways to teach their children the Word of God. This time at home together can be spent on strengthening families spiritually. And helping them lead their children in developing a love for Scripture. If your staff is small and you are struggling with constant new content, then connect families with YouVersion or Compassion to utilize their free online family devotions.
Connect parents with other resources:
Thankfully we live in a time where there are multitudes of helpful resources online. Sending parents links to websites with movies, games, and videos that provide positive family entertainment that can be a great help during this season when they have so much time at home together. RightNow Media is a great source for this and during the pandemic they are offering free access to a limited library of their content. Pluggedin.com is also a great place to get reliable, faith-based reviews of current movies, games, books, and tv shows to help make informed viewing decisions.
Suggest games and outdoor activities :
With the weather turning warmer, this is an ideal time for families to spend time outside. Some parents may be running out of ideas though for ways to entertain their kids. Compile a list of things they can do outside together: kickball, hopscotch, draw with chalk art, a scavenger hunt, backyard campout, water gun fights, plant a garden, and more! If you need a few more ideas, check out 50 more here!
Provide a list of great audible reading resources:
This is a great time for families to invest time in reading together. There are so many wonderful stories that would entertain the whole family and teach lessons about character and faith. Or they can listen to audible books. Focus on the Family compiled a great list here. They also offer Adventures in Odyssey which is an audio drama series created for 8-12-year-olds but that can be enjoyed by the whole family. They are offering a free 28 trial with unlimited access during this time that you can sign up for here.
We are all navigating this new normal and we want to connect with and serve our families in any way possible. Some of this new way of ministering to families is researching and then sharing ideas and resources.
It may not connect us face to face, but it is providing for a timely need and helping parents provide a greater sense of safety, normalcy, and fun in their homes.