Continuous education is part of the great purpose of life. Life here on Earth can even be considered a schooling period where we learn by principle and by experience. Continuous education is integral to the development of the human soul. Looking at the greatest example of all, the Savior also “increased in wisdom…” (Luke 2:52).
This is the time of year in the Philippines when graduation and recognition rites are usually held. But this year, there are no graduation marches, no students wearing togas, no proud parents presenting medals to children who did well this school year. The Co-VID-19 pandemic has put a stop to all big gatherings and that includes graduation and recognition exercises. Even the school year was cut short as enhanced community quarantine has been strictly implemented for public safety. A number of questions are raised by students throughout the nation. One of them is, “Will we still be able to continue with our education?”
With the current global situation, formal education in a school setting is hard to accomplish if not impossible. Yet in the context of continuous education, there are a lot of ways we can “increase in wisdom.”
Learn From Your Own Quarantine Experience
It is quite amusing that in these trying times, there are a lot of things we discover about ourselves and our capacities. People all over the world are now facing an unseen enemy and because of this, their sense of curiosity is elevated. Questions keep popping into people’s minds, questions such as:
“What is this virus?”
“How does it spread from one person to another?”
“How do I stay away from this virus?”
“Why do we need to be quarantined?”
These are the things that people are asking. In addition to these questions are the musings that people have about other aspects of life.
“Am I prepared for what is to come because of this pandemic?”
“How can my family cope with all the changes that are happening?”
“What are the things that I need to do to rise from this bleak situation?”
“Will life get back to normal again? When?”
What is beautiful about questions is the fact that they awaken the faculties of the mind as we search for answers to them. This global pandemic, like the virus itself, is novel. It has never happened before. Not in this kind of situation. Although there have been a lot of disease outbreaks in the past, this one is unprecedented. Being in such a situation makes us all newbies when it comes to experiences that come with it. Isn’t it a good exploratory opportunity? Through this experience, we can learn to stretch our budget like we have never done before. Families can create stronger bonds as they are concerned of each others’ welfare. The human mind has rarely awoken to such creativity when it comes to health and survival.
Our family for one has explored how we can increase our immune system and better our family preparedness. Education is continuing as we come together in family council and talk about what we can do to improve our health and stretch our means to provide for this time of crisis. And what is amazing is that there are a lot of creative things that we learn from our children. For example, one of our daughters took charge of sounding an alarm every hour so we can all drink a glass of water to keep us hydrated throughout the day. It is beautiful how the learning experience can feel so new and refreshing as we face this trial of our day.
The Beauty of Home Schooling
There are a lot of ways to accomplish “formal” continuous education in the home setting. My children began home schooling when the Department of Education decided to cancel all classes. We are using the Khan Academy program available online for their academic and enhancement activities. But that is not the only avenue that we use to continually educate them.
Being at home all day long has been a blessing. Yes, at first it was chaos having all five of our children “breathing each others’ air.” But it challenged us to make a schedule that works for everyone. We saw it as an opportunity to school them in polishing their household skills. Tasks were added so they could learn more housekeeping: cooking, babysitting, gardening, sewing, cleaning – the list just goes on. It keeps them busy doing worthwhile activities and it keeps their parents’ sanity. It did not happen overnight. We have tried a couple of schedules that did not work until we finally came to one that kind of works but still needs polishing.
Let’s face it! We are not sure when this will be over. Even world leaders cannot give a specific timeline as to when things will get back to normal. Given this, let us grab it as a chance to sharpen the saw or be better at what we do. One way to do this is to avail ourselves of degrees and courses offered online. The Pathway program is definitely a great source for this. One can also take the time to research or review about your current profession and skills. I have not expanded my culinary skills for quite a while now. But because there is a need to make home cooked meals for the whole family everyday, I have tapped into the wide array of cooking knowledge on “Youtube academy.” There are a lot of webinars available to help us increase our efficiency and effectiveness. Training is made possible through technology and the internet. My husband continues to meet with his professors and classmates through Zoom. Continuous education in this trying time can be exciting and very rewarding.
Revisit Your Resolve to #HearHim
I strongly feel that the train of events that happened before the Co-VID-19 pandemic until now is a wake up call to #HearHim. In the recent General Conference, President Russell M. Nelson said,
“Family preparedness especially includes filling our personal spiritual store houses with faith, truth, and testimony.”
Continuous education must happen, most importantly, in our quest for eternal truths. The scriptures has never rung truer before, especially in the comfort and strength they provide. The “Come Follow Me Program” is such a powerful tool to anchor us when in despair. Prayers have become more sincere as we reach out to heaven for healing and peace. And because we are admonished to “stand in holy places and be not moved,” we have tried harder to make our homes holier, our language better and our service more sincere. Being able to experience this global pandemic gives us the opportunity to slow down so we can truly #HearHim.
President Nelson promised that as we strive to prepare ourselves to #HearHim, we will hear messages that will “bring peace to (y)our soul… heal (y)our broken heart(s)… illuminate (y)our mind…” and “help (you)us know what to do as (you)we move ahead in times of turmoil and trial.”