With true face-to-face interaction no longer an option because of the COVID-19 social distancing recommendation, we’re adding some time to our daily schedule for keeping up communication with family and friends.
Social distancing, quarantine, and isolation are words that have had an extra layer of impact on parents across the world.
Educators have been working diligently to prepare and provide distance learning opportunities (A thousand thank yous to these underpaid warriors!), and parents are doing their best to implement structure and sanity into daily schedules.
As an educator myself, having the tables turned and occupying the time of a very active 6-year-old all day long in our home is a bit daunting. I am very inspired and appreciative of all of the models being shared on social media where moms and dads are planning out daily schedules to meet their children’s educational, active, and socialization needs.
One of the trickiest components of all of this is the socialization piece. Social distancing and socializing seem to be polar opposites. While there are apps that allow us to continue digital face-to-face contact, there are some populations that don’t have access or the ability to utilize these. We also can’t spend our entire day on Facetime or Zoom touching base with everyone we know.
In our daily schedule, I’ve added a 30-minute block right after breakfast for Communication/Correspondence Time. We’ve generated a list of people that we will correspond with regularly via mail. Yes, that’s old school snail mail that I’m referencing. There’s no expectation of return items, but it would be fabulous to receive some reciprocated mailings!
Our Correspondence Station has plain paper, construction paper, markers, stickers, crayons, glitter glue, etc. Just about anything crafty for making cards and drawings that I could gather. Don’t go too crazy on adding lots of layers to ensure mailings aren’t over the single stamp limit.
No need to head to the post office for extra stamps. It’s simple to order stamps online and have them delivered right to your mailbox. There are even options for making envelopes if you don’t have a box on hand.
My hope is that during daily Correspondence Time, my son is able to feel like he is connecting with loved ones and bringing some joy or at least a smile to others. I think that’s an important element to keep alive in this time of uncertainty.
While snail mail correspondence will be a daily occurrence, we also plan on using this block in our schedule for other communication ideas. These are some additional ideas for staying connected:
- Recording reading a story for a little cousin.
- Creating an easy how-to video with a craft idea for friends/family to try.
- Making a daily check-in video for grandparents and/or other relatives and friends. (For generations that aren’t as tech-savvy with video chatting, it’s nice to send a format that can be replayed. This also means a smile can be brought to their faces over and over again from watching.)
While our villages may not be gathering, they can still offer support. The lines of communication may no longer be in-person, but they can still remain open. We’re adding some intentionality to staying in touch with our family and friends.
Our daily schedule will likely evolve as we navigate this new normal, but regardless of how the time slots change, reaching out to others on a daily basis will always be included.