Dearest Trinity Families,
You are all especially in my heart and my prayers in this unique time. I am thankful to offer some thoughts on family flourishing during this unexpected season of being together. Here is an important article about Social Distancing guidelines: Covid-19 guidelines
In Godly, play we begin by asking I wonder how God will be with us today? To help you continue this conversation at home, I am mailing each family a packet with “The Faces Of Jesus” and instruction pages - our Lent Sunday School curriculum. Please take a moment as families to look at the pictures and wonder how God might be inviting you into the story of Jesus’ life. I especially love asking kids to find things around the home that remind them of each story. You might enjoy watching this excellent video of The Faces of Jesus as a family: Video
In the Godly Play Foundation email this morning, they asked, “When we look back and tell the story of COVID-19, I wonder what your favorite part might be? I wonder what will be most important in this unfolding story? I wonder what parts we will all want to leave out?” I would add, “I wonder where you are in this story?” Please set aside a few “Here I am” and “Here we are” moments each day. Prayer and Scripture help nourish us to walk in the Spirit while we wait for the Lord, together.
Over my years of homeschooling we had many long days of “togetherness”. I remember often sending our kids out to run ten laps around our two acre property to free up some “alone time” for me and give them some much needed physical exertion - and sometimes I headed outside for my ten laps and they stayed inside! There were long phone calls with friends and family for adult conversation (this was before smart phones, social media, etc). We sometimes scrapped the schedule and headed to the river to find a quiet beach to play on because the sun was out and we all needed a break. I pray the Lord gives you creativity and freedom in your time together.
Please see the Baylor Article at the end of this email for some helpful ideas.
We have been in a “full house” season for the past year as our oldest son and his wife and dog and our daughter lived with us. As we shared space, meals, 1 1/2 bathrooms I have appreciated these Rules of Respect hanging on my fridge. (not all of these apply to younger children)
I, and others, have a right to:
Space and Privacy
Be taken seriously
Be given the benefit of the doubt
Be told the truth
Be imperfect and make mistakes
Courteous and Honorable treatment
Please reach out if you need resources or an encouraging word or prayer.
PS - In case you missed these excellent resources in Julie Canlis’ email your can find them here: Julie's letter
Julia Barger Children's Director
509 630 2456 Face to face with God, our neighbors, and ourselves in Christ
Baylor University sent this helpful guide (with a few of my add ins):
Schedules can take time and effort to create, but once established, they will help reduce stress, Melton said. “You can create a full-day schedule or just a morning/afternoon schedule when you need to get other work done. By providing a family’s schedule, you will reduce boredom and anxiety while increasing a sense of belonging and competency.”
Some schedule suggestions:
*Family Devotions/Daily Prayer
Art and/or music
Outdoor play/Free Play
Learning activities/educational worksheets
*Quiet Time (reading, letter writing/journaling
“Your kids will likely have more screen time than usual,” Melton said. “For older children, limit screen time so that it does not replace physical activity, sleep or other healthy behaviors. Parents also may want to consider that all screen time is not equal, not only by the ways we interact — smartphones, tablets, computers, gaming devices and televisions — but by different categories for screen time use.”
Watching educational shows versus watching entertaining shows
Playing educational games versus playing entertainment games
Constructive social media *Skype/FT Grandparents or friends
*Here’s a few sites I found with some ideas for online time:
Rabbit Room - Andrew Peterson
NCRL - our local library site has great resources!
Each day of the week also provides opportunities for meaningful moments with family at home, said Nicole McAninch, Ph.D., clinical associate professor of child and family studies at Baylor, who co-directs the Intentional Family Project at Baylor.
Dust off the board games and card games.
Teach your kids a family recipe.
Have a family dance party.
*Charades (our favorite was Bible Story - the kids would find stories to act out for Marc and me)
*Learn something as a family (Spring is a great time to learn about nature - identifying birds?)
Planting a garden
(* my ideas)