I spent the first two weeks of our stay at home quarantine at the end of March 2020 in a state of shock. No one alive today has experienced anything like this total world lock down. I also grieved the loss of the speaking engagements I had lined up for this spring including a trip to Kenya to speak at a women’s retreat for missionaries there.
After my time of grieving, I discovered seven different joys of quarantine life:
On a typical weekday morning, I would be up at 6:15 am, urging my kids to get up for the day. By 7:00 am I would be huddled into my winter coat at the bus stop waiting for the middle school bus to come. Then I would come inside and repeat for my high schooler and then my elementary schooler. There is a lot of clock watching down to the minute. In stay at home life, we have a schedule but there is a lot less clock watching even though we have a schedule. We are eating breakfast at 8:30 and then we are in the living room by 9:00 to start the school day together. If we are a couple minutes late, no big deal! We didn’t miss the bus.
Leisurely Bible Reading Time
Normally, my Bible reading time is chopped up into little pieces and scattered throughout our busy mornings. But now I can get up before the kids and take my time sometimes even with a cup of tea. And if I don’t finish before distance learning starts, I can continue with it when the kids get on their Chrome books to start their individual work.
During the first two weeks of quarantine, teachers were posting optional work online and at the time, I thought the two weeks would be it so I told the kids not to worry about what their teachers were posting and we would do some learning together. First, we played Where in the World? adding one continent per day so they could learn the countries of the world. We didn’t do every single country on each continent, but we did the major ones. It was still a long list of countries though! Next we learned who the Presidents of the US were with flash cards that show their presidential portrait . I grew up using these cards after my parents purchased them on a visit to James Buchanan’s home in Lancaster, PA when I was in first grade. I thought it was great fun to memorize the Presidents! I had no idea that other families didn’t do flashcards for fun. After the Presidents, we started in on the states of the United States. Now we are reading No Fear Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet since my ninth grader is not going to be able to finish it in his class at school. We also watched Gnomeo and Juliet to go along with it.
Evenings at Home
On a typical week we are rushing out the door at least three days to get to band or church. So it’s been wonderful to stay at home in the evenings instead. Way less stressful! My husband still has a lot of Zoom meetings in the evenings, but at least his meeting commute time is short!
Little Town on the Prairie
This school year I’ve been reading the Little House series to Caroline, my eleven year old. She is not much of reader and it was like pulling teeth to get her to start, but she was liking it enough to read just one chapter a night. Well, when we hit Little Town on the Prairie this month, Caroline loved it and she said yes to reading the next chapter over and over again! One night we stayed up to midnight reading! It was wonderful to experience her loving such a great story. Quarantine life made it possible to say yes!
Banana bread has been a favorite and I finally have time to use up the bananas I have in the freezer. Banana bread is not hard, but it takes time to bake. Since I’m home all the time now, I am home to put something in the oven in the afternoon. Here is the recipe I use.
Puzzle Book from the Newspaper
Just before the quarantine started The Morning Call put a big puzzle book into the newspaper. I hung onto it hoping that I would get around to it someday, but now that I have time in the evenings, I have been working my way through it trying new puzzles. Sometimes the kids help me out. I’m not smart enough to do the LA Times Crossword Puzzles, but I’ve discovered The Numbrix Puzzles and Simon Shuker’s Code Cracker puzzles. The code cracker puzzles are my favorite so far. It’s like a crossword grid, but there are no clues. You use logic to figure out what word can possibly go in each spot. Clever!
What have been the joys of your quarantined life? Comment below!
(Note: Several links above are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking the links, I will receive a small commission at no extra expense to you.)