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life + work + parenthood + COMMUNITY

  • Writer's pictureJill Devine Media

Different resources and ideas brought on by the COVID-19 quarantine

Updated: Mar 25, 2020

One thing we can all agree on, we are in this together. We must continue to help one another, any way we can.

I know I’m not alone in the feelings I have about homeschooling. As a mother to a 3-year-old and 1-year-old, I’ve been a little concerned about what and how I’m going to teach my girls. I don’t think I’ve ever taken for granted the wonderful education they receive at their school (I hope their teachers agree). So, I have panicked more than once thinking – are they getting too much screen time, how do I engage them in educational activities in a fun way, what should they be learning, and am I going to screw up what they have already learned? Then I saw what my cousin posted on Facebook (she’s a teacher):

Parents I know you are getting overwhelmed with all the memes and emails about school, we are on lockdown, but we will get info out to you. Right now, have fun your kids and laugh, teach them something different... go on a scavenger hunt, cook with them , make silly art, let them write or direct a small play, stuff like that... don’t worry about school right now... we will get it all worked out

That simple post stopped me in my tracks and reminded me to stop being so hard on myself and remember, “we will get it all worked out."

How silly am I for not thinking the girls aren’t learning anything? The simple act pf playing make-believe at night is engaging Lu’s imagination. For example, last night we all pretended we were a character from the movie “Brave”. Of course Lu called all the shots, which provided some hilarious moments (Lu was Merida and Brian was The King, Merida’s Dad, and she said they had to get married), and it was a great time for us to bond as a family and it got Lu’s imagination going.

When I was getting groceries at Target last week, I stopped at the “Dollar Spot” because they have tons of educational activities. I stocked up on quite a few things. The other day, Lu chose to learn more about shapes and colors. Charli pretty much ate the crayons, but I tried teaching her which color she was eating!!!

coloring with the kids

Painting with children

Art with toddlers

Please keep reading for some ideas and resources that have been given to me or I have stumbled upon. I’m also part of a couple of Facebook groups that are sharing different ideas and I am stock piling those and will share highlights along the way. I also wanted to share with you what my church is doing. Let’s start with that.

Worship for home.

We are members at Messiah Lutheran in Weldon Springs, MO and we love our church! While we were sad to learn worship has been halted, in person, we were so excited to learn they were still worshipping on Sunday mornings, virtually! There are three ways you can watch the service:

Messiah’s Website

Messiah’s Facebook

Messiah’s YouTube Channel

Even more exciting, they put together a resource page for the kiddos and young adults! I’m so happy my girls can keep their Sunday morning routine with this resource page.

Lu and Charli’s teachers have been so great with providing ideas and resources. Here are a few and I will continue to share more in the days to come:

2 simple recipes for making Playdough at home

1)  •1 cup flour • 1/4 cup salt • 1tsp vegetable oil •food coloring 2)  •1 cup flour • 1/4 cup salt • 3/4 cup water • 3tbsp lemon juice • 1tbsp vegetable oil

homemade playdough with kids

Stream books and stories online.

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more.

When I pulled Storyline Online up, Lu started recognizing books she has in her classroom. She really enjoyed being able to pick out the books she wanted to watch/listen to.

online story telling for kids

Your kids can still visit the St. Louis Zoo!

Although the Zoo may be closed to the public, we want to #BringTheStlZooToYou! We have asked our animal care team to share some photos and videos of our animals over the coming weeks. Please keep in mind we will be operating under unusual circumstances and limited staff. Our first priority is the care and well-being of our animals, but when we can, we will be happy to add something fun and positive to your newsfeed!

A simple game of Sink or Float is always a hit.

Just make sure whatever you want to test is safe in water!

Participate in a neighborhood window walk.

There’s something neighborhoods are doing, and you may have seen this. It’s essentially a scavenger hunt. When the weather is nice, you go for a walk in your neighborhood and look for certain items in your neighbor’s windows. Our neighborhood is going to start participating in it on Monday. Here’s the image that’s going around:

Outdoor scavenger hunt with kids

I’ve decided to use the notes app on my phone and document our day. I don’t make each entry super detailed, but I try and highlight a few things we did. In the future, I want to be able to look back on this crazy time and reminisce. I also want the documentation for the girls since they are so young and don’t really understand what’s going on.

You can never go wrong with sitting down and reading a book

Reading with dad

AND in our house, there’s always time for a good ol’ dance party … morning, noon, or night!!!

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