Welcome to March! It has now been a year for most of us since we felt like life was “normal.”  Last March was when the world came to a crashing halt in many ways as the COVID-19 pandemic caused much of our normal lives to stop. We’ve now spent a year in this alternate reality where we wear masks, social distance, and work from home. Many of you are celebrating your first full year of homeschooling. Congratulations!  It has been quite a year!

Homeschoolers are nothing if not creative and I miss parties. So, I’m contemplating things to do with my kids to celebrate getting through a full year of this new world.  If you also want to change things up, check my list of ideas for things to try at your house! Fair warning, my kids have a bit of a dark sense of humor, so if you know your kids won’t enjoy something, don’t do it!

  • Make a piñata shaped like the COVID virus symbol.  It looks round, it should hold candy! Right?
  • Have a cake decorated like the COVID virus. I’m thinking that there must be some kind of candy I can use for those red things.
  • Review “Ring Around the Rosies” and try to write our own ironic song or poem.  If my kids were younger, we’d play Ring Around the Rosies until we were dizzy.  Learning that people survived plagues and had a dark sense of humor hundreds of years ago has actually helped my family to get through this difficult year.
  • Splurge on new colorful or fun masks. There are a lot of options to choose from. It seems right to get a fresh set right now. I might even wrap them as gifts.
  • Get a new board game or puzzle. I’m thinking one with a medical theme like Operation or Pandemic.

On a more serious note, you may also want to take time to light candles with your child in honor of all they lost in the past year. Not having proms, graduations, vacations, summer camp, or other fun things has made the last year hard. Many of us did what we had to do last spring, but as the anniversary of those losses approaches, the loss may actually feel larger now than it did then. It is okay to grieve the birthday parties and the fun things that we didn’t get to have. While we may want to “stay positive” most of the time, it is good to acknowledge how hard it has been and to feel sad sometimes.

If you lost family members in the last year, I am so very sorry for your loss. Taking time to acknowledge grief, even months later, can help children process the loss. Grief has no timeline. Personally, I lost my grandmother in 2020 and was unable to see her as the end neared nor to attend the funeral. I didn’t just lose her but lost having that last bit of time with her. Those are two separate pieces of grief to deal with.

So, my family will light candles for our grief and struggles and then have cake. All these feelings are complicated, and I want to be sure I help my kids know that it is okay to have complex feelings. To be sad for what we lost, and still celebrate what we have.

About the Author

Laura Sowdon, OTR/L is an occupational therapist, writer, speaker, educator and creator of the Five Senses Literature Lessons homeschool curriculum. She has worked as an occupational therapist with children in public and private schools, as well as private practice. Laura has taught and managed homeschool co-ops as well as homeschooling her own three children. Laura is dedicated to the idea of educating children at a pace that aligns with brain and physical development milestones and respects neurodiversity in all its forms.

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