Friday, April 10, 2020

All That Remains: Learning, Laughter, and Love





It's all been canceled.  School, sports, concerts, plays.  Weddings and even funerals are being postponed.  No one is traveling.  Movie openings have been put on hold; museums, zoos, galleries, bowling alleys, and parks are closed.

Whatever you might have been planning, it's probably not happening any time soon.  This weird limbo is our current "normal," and even if we're lucky enough to remain healthy and able to earn a living, it still takes some getting used to.

But some things remain.



1.  Learning

You may be suddenly home schooling, and your kids are suddenly parted from their teachers and friends.  But learning can continue -- learning can always continue, for both you and your children!

Now is your chance to do more gardening and crafting with your kids.  You have an opportunity to teach them some of your skills, including skills they need for life like cleaning, cooking, and how to use free time wisely rather than wasting it.

Here are a few educational resources I've come across:


  • BraveWriter.  Developed by professional writer, journalist, editor, and former home schooling mom Julie Bogart, BraveWriter gives a parent the tools to help his child become a fluent and confident writer.  During this time of Covid-19 confinement, BraveWriter is offering some of their resources for free until April 30, 2020.
  • Math Learning Center.  Offering free math apps, the Math Learning Center allows home learners to practice math operations, fractions, geometry and more with a discovery approach that helps students learn multiple strategies for problem solving.
  • MysteryScience.  Full of lessons and simple science experiments for kindergarten through grade 5, MysteryScience is offering free membership through June 30, 2020.
  • TEDed.  TEDed is a resource for all kinds of fascinating things kids can learn about.  There are hundreds of informative videos to watch, and TEDed is currently offering daily emails of lesson plans in all subjects for all age groups (including grownups).
  • San Diego Zoo Live Cams.  The zoo is currently closed, but your kids can watch live and archived footage of pandas, baboons, penguins, polar bears, apes, koalas, giraffes, elephants, tigers, condors, butterflies, and more!


2.  Laughter

Psychologists say that using humor to cope with grim circumstances is a very healthy response, so the ability to laugh during this situation is a life-saver.  Funny memes and videos can help.

  • BoredPanda featured this collection of memes which I enjoyed, especially the "Where's Waldo" and 2020 Olympics (which made me laugh out loud).
  • Smart babies on YouTube will very effectively take your mind off Covid-19.
  • What's funny to me might not be funny at all to you, so let me encourage you to make a list of movies, TV shows, books, websites, or comedians that always make you laugh.  Then make sure to watch/read/listen to them in the days to come.


3.  Love

We're spending more time at home, with fewer outside activities.  Yet even with social distancing, we still need social contact.  We need human contact -- it's built into our DNA.  People who feel deprived of affection feel less happy, more lonely, more likely to experience depression and stress, and less healthy overall.  How can we meet this need during a pandemic?

  • If you're at home with family, avoiding Covid-19 exposure yet not ill, make sure to spend time hugging and cuddling.  Sit close together as you binge on Netflix.  Let your child sit in your lap or lean on your shoulder.  Stroke each other's hair, give neck rubs, take your spouse's arm when you walk around the block.
  • Use some of your extra time to do something other than sit in front of a screen.  Hand write a letter, instead.  It's so much more personal than email, and takes more effort than a phone call.  Your hand touches the paper and forms the words upon it, and the letter travels across the miles to deliver your thoughts to another person.  And what a surprise when your recipient opens her mailbox to find something that's not an ad or a bill!  It's a little bit of magic, a little bit of love.
  • When you are out at the grocery or the drug store, don't get into the habit of acting like you're in a personal bubble, even if you are keeping six feet of distance between yourself and others.  Smile, make eye contact, say hello, wish others well.  You'll feel better, and so will they.



Photo by Daniel Filipe Antunes Santos on Unsplash





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