Today, I opened my eyes to sun streaming in the window. I hope the same is true where you are. Sunshine is synonymous with hope, with joy. As we shelter-in-place, aren’t we all grasping for a bit of hope and joy? Most of us are already two or even three weeks into this major change in our lives. Youngsters miss their friends, people are working at home and juggling the needs of their families, and many older people are more isolated than ever. In spite of these grim realities, it’s essential to seek out the gifts and call up our best selves. With creativity, compassion, communication and patience we will find ways to navigate this challenging situation.
One of our grand daughters connected with her cousins via text, suggesting they have special days to give everyone a lift. To date, these have included Crazy Hair Day, Backwards Day, and Favorite PJ’s Day. Using a group text, we sent pictures of ourselves. Even Mimi (aka me) participated. It’s amazing how connected I’ve felt to everyone and how much we’ve enjoyed this little game. I must remember to work on my Funny Hat for tomorrow’s theme. Steal this idea if you’re looking for a little fun.
Writing is an important literacy skill. I often told my students, “Reading and writing are married.” In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, let’s remember the power of the written word. A handwritten note is a rare and precious commodity today. This is the perfect time to provide authentic writing opportunities for your kids. This is the perfect time to help them reach out to others. Can you think of a few people who would love to receive a note, possibly along with a drawing? Grandparents, aunts, uncles, nursing home residents, folks that are sick or simply dispirited, would all welcome a surprise like this in their mail. Most kids are easily enticed into doing something meaningful for others. It’s a win/win. The children practice their writing and creativity; recipients receive a little slice of joy.
I look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions. Stay well, everyone.
Adults: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman: A beautiful book, guaranteed to lift your spirits.
Teens: The Diary of Anne Frank: Just to offer a little perspective, introduce your older children to this classic. Dip into this together and remember to allow time for discussion.
Younger Readers (Grades 3-8) Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine: Invite your kids to learn the riveting story of Henry Brown and his unique escape to freedom.