Its OK to admit it. When you heard you were being sent home to self-isolate with your family, you envisioned a vacation like atmosphere with rest and relaxation.
Sure, you knew you would have to provide some deliverables (research articles, online classes, do some blogging), but deep down, the thought of no commuting, no distractions or interruptions, looked inviting.
But now, its Day 2, and you’re ready to hang a PLEASE HELP ME sign in the front window hoping someone will come to the rescue. Or maybe, you’re at the point of painting a face on a soccer ball and giving it a name (think the Tom Hanks movie Cast Away). Instead of doing something that extreme, it might be a better idea to see if there are some productive ways to get through these unique times.
It is quite normal to feel uneasy, as your normal work routine has been upended. You feel like you are forgetting appointments, questioning your own self-worth, and getting cabin fever, You may even be missing the day to day interaction with co-workers. All of these feelings are completely normal and are no cause for concern.
A possible solution for this ailment may be as simple as taking the current situation and turning it into a teaching moment. If the kids are at home, and they need some home school projects, some possible topics could be:
Civics lessons could be as simple as having grade appropriate lessons to identify the current Governor and their cabinet, and how State government and Federal government coordinate in situations such as the current pandemic.
Geography lessons could be accomplished by an outline of the United States and having your “students” identify the 50 states as well as the Governor for each state to further enhance both the geography and civics lesson.
Math lessons could be along the lines of tracking infection/recovery rates (age appropriate of course), both for the entire country or state by state. While this may be a bit delicate, it is an excellent opportunity to reassure your children about the situation in a way that helps to ease their fears. This would also be a great time to start teaching your kids about the importance of money management, by explaining what a budget is, how to track spending, smart spending decisions, etc.
Science lessons could be building vinegar and baking soda volcanoes, making slime, the shiny penny challenge or the like. One of my personal favorites is candy construction, where using common candies (orange slices, spice drops, marshmallows, and dry spaghetti), kids are tasked to build something. You can add to the challenge by giving awards for the tallest, most sturdy, or most creative.
For writing/language arts, have your kids write an essay on any of the current events topic(s) of the day. Depending on the grade level, you could require sourcing (reputable of course), backup documentation or similar. And you could require an oral presentation of their report to hone their public speaking skills.
Finally, as a family, make a list of all the activities and things everyone misses during this time, and when everything is lifted, start scheduling these family activities and quit taking them for granted.