As a Montessori mom of a pre-teen and two teenagers, we have been doing our best (along with the rest of the world) to navigate the ever-changing situations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some days are better than others, for sure. Despite the unknown and the concerns, I am trying to be optimistic about the possibilities this time is affording my family to slow down, refocus our priorities and be grateful for the little things.
To be totally honest, what I have for you isn’t a list of the best science, math, history and language arts websites. I have lots of those resources too, and I would be happy to share them with you if you are interested, but I believe the best use of our time right now is focusing on the things we don’t always make time for in our busy day-to-day lives.
What follows is a list of some of our favorite resources that we have been enjoying over the last few weeks in addition to their school work. These ideas are driving deep conversations, meaningful collaboration, and curiosity. We are focusing on relationships, and improving our lives and the lives of others. We hope you enjoy them, too!
- Pandemic Journal
- One of the first suggestions my eldest was given was to create a journal of her time away from school. All three of my children now contribute to their own, personal, daily “pandemic journal.” This consists of words, drawings, photographs, or whatever they think best represents their days. They are creating a first-hand account of what their life was like during an unprecedented worldwide event.
- My children love to read, so they are spending time reading books they haven’t read before, re-reading favorites, or taking our local libraries up on their offer for increased numbers of e-books available.
- We are also listening to an incredible variety of podcasts that are available on any subject you can think of and utilizing Audible Stories for a collection of stories that can be instantly streamed on desktops, laptops, phones or tablets.
- Practical Life
- Now is a great time to take on those everyday practical life tasks that sometimes get pushed to the side or that parents take over for the sake of time. My kids are vacuuming, keeping up on laundry, cleaning up the garage (and their rooms!), organizing hard drives, paying extra attention to our two dogs, taking on all kinds of art projects, sewing, knitting, baking LOTS, and increasing their weekly meal preparation to include new or more time-consuming recipes along with additional meals.
- Music Lab is a website that makes learning music more accessible through fun, hands-on experiments.
- Flat.io is music composition software that gives you all the tools that you need to make your own sheet music.
- They have also been playing their instruments outside, playing duets and trios, researching composers, and listening to all types of music.
- Virtual Tours
- We are taking care of the countless virtual tours being offered of museums, National parks, zoos and aquariums. Do you have a topic your child is interested in? There has very likely been an online version created for them to participate. Here are virtual tours of Yellowstone, the Houston Zoo, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, twelve famous museums, and even Mars to get you started!
- Health and Wellness
- We spend A LOT of our time making sure we are doing what we can to keep our minds and our bodies healthy amidst the anxiety and new schedules.
- Physically we are going for bike rides, taking our dogs for walks, finding new workouts, yoga routines and meditation to join in together, playing a lot of basketball on our own hoop, and camping in the backyard, just to name a few.
- Also realizing that a big piece of mental health is spending time with those you love, we are utilizing Google Hangouts, Zoom and FaceTime to talk to our friends and family and even play virtual games together. If someone isn’t available virtually, we have been writing letters, too!
- Random Acts of Kindness
- This may be my absolute favorite thing we have undertaken while being at home. I have given my kids the task of completing one random act of kindness every day. That has looked like extra dishes done, the yard being raked, and even my coffee being prepared for me, all without being asked. Right now our world needs as much love as it can get, and all of us feel the love when we are kind to one another.
What have you been doing during this time? Are there specific tips and resources you are looking for? Let us know!