As homeschoolers, we think and talk a lot about the importance of socialization and community connection. Despite the misconception of homeschoolers as antisocial, we are often more connected because we have to be intentional to make it happen. During this time of quarantine, community remains essential not only for the good of your kids, but also for your sanity! Here are a few tips from AOP for connecting meaningfully during this time away from friends and loved ones.
Calling, texting, and posting on social media are great outlets during this time, but nothing replaces face-to-face interaction. Thanks to all the free video calling services out there, you can get some of these face-to-face benefits through intentional video calling. Whether you use Facetime, Facebook Messenger video, Google Duo, or Whatsapp video, make sure you are seeing faces!
Don’t forget your older friends and family without smartphones! Get creative with how you can stay connected with them through video. Do you have an old phone or tablet that you could set up for them with video calling? If you go this route, keep things as simple as possible.
Talk about things other than the quarantine.
It’s only natural that everyone’s default right now is to be hyper-focused on details of the global health crisis. Talking about the stresses of this time can be therapeutic, but obsessing over it in every conversation poses a potential danger. Give your conversations about the quarantine a time limit. Ask about what other folks are reading and discuss. Tell stories of fun memories.
Just like you did before the quarantine, plan activities with your community. You can host a group workout for kids over Zoom or play charades with the cousins over Facetime. Rather than limiting your interactions to “check-in” calls, think of your calls as play dates. Set a time for them and plan for a specific activity that can excite everyone.
Don’t forget to protect family time.
During a time of uncertainty, we of course want to reach out and feel connected to our loved ones. Unfortunately, this time of separation may go on longer than we anticipate, and if you’re constantly reaching out to others, you may find yourself worn thin. Remember to protect your family time and tech-free time just like it has always been important to do. Disconnecting now and again to rest helps your times of connection feel even more meaningful and encouraging.