Bonus Resources for The Extraordinary Pause

For parents, teachers, counsellors, therapists

The COVID-19 Coronavirus turned the world upside down. In every land, parents and children, teachers and healthcare workers, folks from every walk of life are trying to make sense out of the turmoil. For some, this book will reflect many of their experiences. For others, things did NOT slow down, as their parents faced double duty of working in essential jobs while figuring out how to take care of and teach their kids at home, or lost their jobs and struggled to stay afloat. Many children missed and lost loved ones. But we all are facing constant changes and new situations, and this book is aimed at helping kids navigate them with positivity. 

One way to work through all of the emotions and experiences is to discuss them. This book and the following resources are intended to help create dialog at home and in the classroom around the changes created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Thank you for purchasing this book! Your purchase will also help us to provide free books to kids in communities around the country through our cooperation with Random Acts of Reading  and Kid in Need Foundation.

Here is a free version of the ebook so you can take it on the road with you. If you would like to share it with others, please encourage them to purchase a copy online (or get their own hardcover and thus have access to the ebook for free), so we can keep on paying it forward.

 

Starter Questions: 

What changed during the pandemic:

     in your family?

     with friends?    

    at school?

    in your community?

What was the hardest part about living through a pandemic?

What good thing happened that was unexpected?

How did the pandemic change your ideas about:

    Connecting to others?

    Health and safety?

     Attending school?

What did you miss most?

What are you most grateful for now?

What did you learn during the pandemic that you will take with you into the future?

 

Breaking it down:

MOVING FAST:

What did your days look like pre-pandemic? What activities filled your day? Did you have much down time, to relax, read, draw, play? Do you feel like there was more or less going on in your life? 

THE SMELL OF PANCAKES:

Can you remember any smells or sights from before the pandemic?  Did you cook with your parents? Or buy food with your Auntie? What foods do you remember? 

SEEING COLORS: 

Before the pandemic, did you take the time to enjoy the sight and smell of fresh grass in the yard or dirt? Did you plant flowers or veggies at home or in a community garden? What were parks and playgrounds like? 

NOTICING OTHERS:

Could you ever have imagined a time when you wouldn't be able to see friends, go to stores, play at parks, or go to school? Can you remember what it felt like to be in a crowded place? What was that like? 

LOCKDOWN:

How did you feel when you first heard about the virus? What was it like hearing that it was spreading all across the world to every country? Had you ever thought about the whole world before or was this the first time? How did it feel to be stuck at home? Was it hard so share your space there with family members? Were there new opportunities to spend time with family members?

SCHOOLS CLOSED:

How did it feel to have your school closed? Were some kids in school and some at home? How did you motivate yourself to work? What was the best and worst thing about going to school at home? Did you have family members who were able to help you learn, or did you have to manage more on your own? What was that like?

RESTAURANTS EMPTIED: 

How did the pandemic change your family's time together? Did your parents still have to (or get to) work? Were they laid off or put on "pause" because businesses were shut down? 

BIRTHDAY PARTIES POSTPONED:

Everyone has had at least one birthday during the pandemic. What did you do differently? How did that feel? Was there something special about it? What are you looking forward to when the pandemic is over? 

VACANT FIELDS:

Did the pandemic stop you from being active in sports and other hobbies? Did your sports teams stop playing? What did you do instead? Were you able to stay connected to your teammates? How? What did you do to stay healthy?

ICE CREAM PARLORS:

Lots of spaces were closed for a long time. What restaurants or activities did you miss the most while things were closed? If you could have had ANY flavor of ice cream during the pandemic, what would it have been? 

PLAYGROUNDS: 

Was your family still able to socialize with friends during the pandemic? Play is an important part of life. Did you find new ways or places to play? What changed? What were you missing the most?

REMEMBERING BEFORE: 

What is one thing that you really remember and miss about how you lived before the pandemic? What did you daydream about? What did you NOT miss?

HUGS AND KISSES: 

Were you able to feel close to those you love during the pandemic? In what ways did the virus keep people separated? How did that feel? When you can hold hands and hug your family and friends again, how does that feel? 

THE BULLY VIRUS:  

Did you feel afraid of the virus? Is it strange that something invisible can make such a difference in how we live our lives? What did you do to feel strong and confident during the pandemic? It's ok to be scared and to feel worried at times. How did you handle the big emotions that came with this pandemic?

WHEN THINGS ARE SO UNEXPECTED: 

A few years ago, nobody could have imagined a pandemic like this that would affect people all around the world. Do you remember how you felt when school was first closed? Did you think you'd be back soon? How did you feel when you realized the pandemic could last a long time?  What's it like to not know what the future holds?

MASKING UP: 

Does it feel normal now to mask up? Can you imagine feeling safe without a mask again at some point? How do you feel when you need to mask but others aren't? Do you have a favorite mask?

CHANGES AT HOME: 

How did it feel to be stuck at home? Was it hard to share your space  with other family members? Were there new opportunities to spend time with family members? Did your parents keep working or were they sent home? Who helped you with schoolwork? Did you help your siblings with school, or did they help you? Sometimes it takes a group of people to get through tough times; who helped out in your home? Were there people in your community who helped out? 

VIRTUAL CLASSROOMS: 

A lot of kids could not return or not return fully to the classroom. Did you go online with your teachers? How did it feel when you couldn't be in the same space as your friends? If some of your class was in person and some was at home, was that strange? What was better or worse about virtual learning?

THE WEIRDNESS OF TIME: 

Did the days go by quickly or slowly when the pandemic first started? Did the school day go faster when you were at school or when doing school at home? Does it feel like summer whizzed by? How has time felt to you during the pandemic? How is time different during "normal" times?

THINGS THAT CHANGED (for better or for worse): 

What changes made you sad? mad? What changes made you happy? How did the pandemic change how you see others? Did you find a new appreciation for your grandparents, siblings, friends? How did you handle new responsibilities? 

Some people were able to adapt quickly and fairly easily. For some, being home all day brought lots of challenges. Some parents could work from home, but many moms and dads still had to go out and do really important work to keep our towns and cities moving. They didn't get to press pause, even when everything around them was slowing down. The essential workers are the real heroes of the pandemic: the caretakers, delivery people, nurses and doctors, grocery clerks, sanitations workers, scientists, teachers, etc. 

WHAT THINGS DO YOU APPRECIATE DIFFERENTLY NOW? 

Write a short story about your life during the pandemic. Think about how it felt, what your days looked like, what you missed, who became important to you, and how you changed. Compare and contrast things you had always done with what you had to do differently. End with the biggest thing you learned about yourself during the pandemic!

 

You can share your stories with us at Eifrig Publishing! We are creating a free library where your story can be found on the virtual shelves, and you can read others' stories too to see how they adapted. We'd love to hear from you! Please send it to MYSTORY@eifrigpublishing.com