For families who homeschooled before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we know that even though we’re used to being at home with our children, we’re also in uncharted territory. The label of being a ‘homeschooler’ is misleading because we are not used to staying at home! Being out in the world with others is a big part of our lives that has been completely stripped away, and it’s taking time and creativity to get used to the new normal. Holla if you hear me.
So, what can suddenly homebound homeschoolers do to adjust to days spent at home? Today, I’m sharing a list of activities that are inspired by what we normally do, but can be done from the comfort of home. We will get through this, y’all!
Instead of going to the zoo, museum, or aquarium:
Zoos, museums, and aquariums across the country are offering virtual tours, live staff Q&As, and more. Also, Google Art & Culture is a great resource for virtual tours of museums, historic buildings, planetariums, and more, from all of the world.
Instead of going to a park:
Now, I am definitely a proponent of getting outside on a daily basis, but with avoiding others being a top priority right now, going to national parks, in particular, may not be the best idea. For that reason, check out Google Earth’s virtual tours of 31 national parks from your home where it’s safe, sound, and, hopefully, COVID-19 free.
Note: The link works the best when viewed on the Google Chrome browser.
Instead of going to the library:
While nothing can take the place of visiting the library, it’s comforting to know that most of books are available as ebooks or audiobooks. Audible is offering access to free audiobooks to everyone for as long as schools are closed.
Hoopla and Libby are always free through participating libraries, so don’t forget about them. Also, if you have a teacher friend or if you have a child in school, teachers can provide a code to access free ebooks and audiobooks for children 12 and under through Epic Books.
If homeschooling parents are looking for something for themselves, my online store has the books I recommend every homeschooler reads. The children don’t have to be the only ones reading in the coming days. 😉
Instead of going to art class:
While in-person direction is ideal, artists and art teachers are hosting online lessons to keep kids drawing. Some lessons are pre-recorded and others are live, but they’re all free and encourage creativity through the arts.
For example, author and illustrator, Mo Willems is sharing drawing and writing lessons during his Lunch Doodles sessions at 1pm ET every weekday for the next few weeks. Vashti Harrison, the author, illustrator, and filmmaker, shared how to draw a Little Leader or Dreamer on her IGTV (she just added a part two!) This website is also offering free art lessons. And, of course, Art for Kids Hub is always a great resource for art lessons. They upload new videos Monday through Friday on their YouTube channel.
Instead of going to a concert or the movies:
Also, while there are lots of new releases being streamed earlier than planned, when’s the last time you’ve been to the drive-in? If it has been a while, now’s the time to go! Going to the drive-in gives you the best of both worlds — social distancing and getting out of the house. Just bring your own snacky-snacks, sit back, and enjoy. Check out this site to find a drive-in near you.
Instead of having in-person visits, meet-ups, and playdates:
Zoom, Google Hangout, Skype, FaceTime, and other video calling apps would be awesome for letting the children still hang out with friends and family. Most are free and can accommodate a good amount of people at once.
Do a craft, work on a LEGO challenge, have Grandma read a book to the kids, having a virtual bookclub with friends, or just talk about how everyone is making it through the days — there are endless things to do. My boys are staying connected with their friends through playing Xbox Live games. I think having this capability is making what could be a very isolating time not so bad.
What about homeschool moms, though? We get a lot out of meet-ups and playdates, too. Now is the time to use social media in its intended way: to communicate and connect with likeminded people around the world. Share those funny memes, post inspirational quotes, and even share cute cat and dog videos. And, why not pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t talked to in a while? Just because we’re self-isolating doesn’t mean we can’t connect with others. Connection is the new currency, baby.
Instead of having coffee with homeschool mom friends, join me live on Instagram and Facebook!
I know it’s not the same as being in-person, but it’s all we got right now!
I’ll be going live on Instagram and Facebook simultaneously every Wednesday starting March 25 at 3 p.m. ET. This chatty chat will be a midweek check-in where we can talk about homeschooling, motherhood, homemaking, and whatever else comes to mind. Talk with friends, let off some steam, talk through some homeschool or motherhood challenges you might be facing, have a random dance party… you know, just like friends, do. 😉 I hope you’ll join me.
If watching on Facebook, click here for the reoccurring event, then select “Going” to be reminded before it starts. If you’ll be joining me on Instagram, make sure to turn on the Live Videos notification so you’ll know when I’m live. Here are details on how to do that, if you need them.
I hope these ideas help fill the void not being able to be out and about has created. Stay strong, friends. We’re all finding our way through the muck of transitioning into new normal. Just know that we will do it together.
Love and light,