- Sponsorship -

Family time includes virtual zoos, indoor gardening and arts & crafts

Keeping up with the Joneses

Like pretty much all families, Lori and Jay Jones began home quarantine figuring things out on the fly, wondering what to expect and for how long.

Lori said it started with a struggle, because she was still working at her job in a pediatric dental office during the first week, and swapped childcare with a friend.

Arionna Jones shows off a somewhat modified ‘first day’ board (courtesy photo)

“Since I have been off, we have come to a decent routine, and spend our morning doing some school stuff,” said Lori, whose daughter Arionna attends kindergarten at Cedar Trails Elementary. “She loves to utilize the online resources with i-Ready and Khan Academy, but we mix in some physical paperwork as well. We already had several math, writing and comprehension workbooks, and are just finally putting them to good use.

“We try to mix in something with scissors to keep those skills improving. We have done lots of crafts like painting a T-shirt and a new picture, making hugs (see below) and drawing and painting some ceramics.”

The Joneses’ other daughter, Courtney, an eighth grader who attends school in another ISD, lives with them on weekends.

“They grow up too fast, and something to make us slow down and smell the flowers is a great reminder of that,” said Lori. “With that being said, it is really hard explaining and constantly reinforcing why they aren’t allowed to play at the neighbors that they have always hung out with. I’m finding that fine line to explain good hand washing, not touching their faces and how important it is without scaring the kiddos.”

Lori said her children have many questions, like why they all can’t go to the grocery store or eat in restaurants right now.

Arionna Jones writes in her journal during home quarantine (courtesy photo)

“The hardest part has been lack of contact with friends and family, although we do almost daily video chats with at least one school friend or family members and sometimes we get several all at once.”

Lori said she worries about many things, including whether Campus Kids Child Care will be open when she returns to work. She also worries about how the family will be able to adjust if a second wave occurs.

“Is this going to spike in the fall like the flu does? The whole thing is kind of scary on how we proceed coming out of this pandemic, until there is a vaccine available.”

A kindergartner’s thoughts about this time period away from school: “I don’t like it,” Arionna said. “I do like spending time with my mom, but I miss my friends. I can’t go to school or play with my friends.”

A bright spot: “I like to video call them with silly filter faces sometimes.”

Her favorite activities at home: “We are making hugs — life-size cut-outs of upper body with arms outstretched — to send to my family, and have painted new pictures for my room.”

Keeping up with the Joneses
Some Home Quarantine Ideas

  • Bake
  • Plant garden seeds
  • Use a globe to learn about different places and where family members and zoo animals live
  • Study the sun’s effect on the seasons, and how the Earth turns and moves
  • Spend nice days outside enjoying picnics, swinging, playing in the sand box, riding bikes/scooters, and playing catch, basketball and tetherball
  • Learn about springtime through nature and by taking walks (The Joneses talk about and explore their fruit trees)
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Color a stained-glass picture on the driveway
  • Draw an obstacle course on the driveway
  • Watch the Cincinnati Zoo Live every day to learn about animals and enjoy activities for kids
  • Read before bed, “but sometimes we’re just too worn out from the day,” Lori said.
  • Designate a slack day: For the Joneses, that’s usually Friday because dad is home — and of course, Saturday and Sunday are as well. Jay has been working at Rieth-Riley Construction Co., getting ready for road construction season.
  • Play family board games like Uno, Skip-Bo, Monopoly, Dominoes trains and their favorite, Aggravation
- Sponsorship -
Cris Greer
Cris Greer
For more than three decades, Cris Greer has been a wordsmith, working in the fields of journalism, advertising and marketing. Much of the past decade, he helped grow the MLive Statewide High School Sports desk as a supervisor, editor and reporter, which included eight newspapers in Michigan and mlive.com. Cris also was a freelancer for The Grand Rapids Press, The Advance and On the Town magazine for many years. A good portion of his early career was spent building and managing the copywriting team in the advertising department at Meijer, Inc., where he oversaw copywriting for print ads, mailers, brochures, signage, several dozen in-house magazines per year and much more.

LATEST ARTICLES

This student leader aspires to inspire

His advice: seize all opportunities, reach out to others...

Plotting for a plot

Students’ hand-drawn maps are meant for the safekeeping of memories and to spur ideas for when they write personal narratives...

Students reopen fine-dining restaurant six months after closing its doors

GRCC’s The Heritage has reopened to the general public, with culinary students cooking, baking their way toward degrees...

‘We’re educators; we always make it work’

Kelly VanDyke’s roots in Kenowa Hills reach back to her days as a student teacher there in the Resource Room. Entering her eleventh school year as a special education teacher at Central Elementary, she is preparing for new students, safety protocols and classroom learning, reimagined...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Outdoor lover, zen seeker, middle-schooler hope-giver

Bill Cataldo is the new K-8 principal for Cedar Springs’ new Red Hawks Online virtual school this year. School News Network took some time to get to know him better in this edition of Meet Your Principal...

‘I want it to look happy’

With help from generous donors, elementary teachers worked to make welcoming, kid-friendly space while following the rules of social distancing and sanitation...

Amid uncertainty, new protocols, there’s laughter, new connections

Junior Olivia Austin reflects on the first day of a very unique school year...
- Sponsorship -

HOW'S SCHOOL TODAY?

Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...

RADEMACHER & FRIENDS

Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -

MEDIA PARTNERS

Maranda Where You LiveWGVU

SUSTAINING SPONSORS