It’s been a week, folks. There’s a difference between knowing something and experiencing something, and I feel like this week was the move from knowledge to experience. We’ve all been learning crazy new family rhythms and many of us have faced disappointment as something we were looking forward to has been canceled or changed. We’re finding creative new ways to connect with friends and family online, and boy-oh-boy is there a lot of awesome stuff being offered out there. Whether you’re figuring out your new normal with kids home from school or you’re a homeschool family excited to take advantage of some of the wonderful creativity being shared, we hope this list below is helpful to you.
Around the Warren
A Time To Embrace…Artists: Pandemic Patrons, Assemble
Our own S.D. Smith reminds us of how much good just a little support can be. In big and small ways, artists and writers and musicians need our support right now, and we can become Pandemic Patrons!
- It’s extremely noisy out there, I know. I feel it. It seems like, on top of the news and toilet paper memes, everyone is launching online solutions and online classes and online everything. It’s often generous and sacrificial. Some of it is because artists and others are scared and don’t know what to do. On top of other fears, they’re afraid of losing their livelihoods. I know. I feel it.
It may literally be, “a time to refrain from…embracing,” but we can give a metaphorical group hug to artists right now.
Emelie Thomas navigates the middle space between dust and the shining spark of personhood.
- Glancing over featured books in a children’s library, a gleaming cover caught my eye. From beneath the dust jacket, a young girl gazes at a silver, iridescent title — Stardust. The back of the book declares, “We are all made of stardust, so shine in your own way.” Stardust, by Jeanne Willis and Briony May Smith, is a story of a young girl who is repeatedly outshone by her older sister.
Around the Web
We Are Okay, and We Are Not Okay
I’m keeping this same link in here from last week—my friend Christine Keegan’s blog—because I have not seen anywhere else words that have so deeply touched the heart of what we’re facing—the unknown of it, the frustration, the fear, the faith. (And also, I can see how many of you didn’t read this one, and I want to give you the chance.)
- I think too, that it is possible we are not as fragile as we might think. We modern people talk about our breaking points, we joke about them even. But I think about people like Corrie Ten Boom or Dietrich Bonhoeffer, or a myriad of others before me and I think, maybe our breaking points should be a little further down the road than they are. We are broken, yes. I know we are broken. I know we don’t have it all together and that we have nothing to boast about in ourselves. I know it’s good to be real about our broken, messy lives and not to put up a false front or pretend that everything is okay when it’s not. And I am happy to say I am not okay. This family is not okay. Every day there are about fifty moments of not-okay-ness. But we are also okay.
Help for Parents Who Are Suddenly Homeschooling (Against Their Wills)
We’ve got families in all sorts of educational contexts here at Story Warren, but if you’re one who’s navigating this new normal of doing school at home, our own Kelly Keller has some great wisdom for you.
- All week long I’ve been joking that I ought to open a Remote Quarantine Consulting Business because I’ve homeschooled for thirteen years. However, since schools are now closing right and left, here is some of my best advice for free. Be kind, be wise and be well in these uncertain days.
What’s Out There
A completely non-complete list of all the awesome good-priced, free, discounted, livestreamed, giveaway, etc., stuff that has been posted up on the internet for this season (with a focus on books and beauty and imagination, ’cause that’s what we do around here). If you’re looking for a place to be a #PandemicPatron, perhaps one of these links will be your place to start.
- As long as schools are closed, Audible is offering books for children and teens, streaming for free.
- Glenn McCarty is reading from Junction Tales weekdays at 10:00 am (EDT) on his Instagram Live
- Jennifer Trafton is reading aloud from Henry and the Chalk Dragon over on her Facebook Page
- Andrew Peterson will be reading aloud from On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness nightly at 7:00 pm (CDT) on Facebook Live.
- Mo Willems has granted permission to use his books for digital story-times.
- Sally Lloyd-Jones is hosting story-times, activities, and Q&A on Instagram.
- My friend Jon Bauman is reading my book, The King’s Messenger, as a bedtime story to the kids in his congregation. You can follow along (and enjoy his beard–all stories should be read with beards this good)!
- Kate DiCamillo is posting writing tips for your young writers on YouTube.
- Jennifer Trafton teaches online writing classes for kids! Check out her newsletter for updates and discounts.
- Jonathan Rogers has a slew of free and not-free writing classes and groups that your older writers may want to join up with. They’re listed in this Rabbit Room Digital Care Package along with more stuff.
- Some of the world’s greatest museums have virtual tours online. Hop on over and explore the wonders of art housed in places like British Museum and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
- Deborah Neuhs is a friend of Story Warren–she’s led art workshops at Inkwell in past years–and she teaches art for a living. In this season, she’s got online art classes available for a really great price for individuals or groups.
- Cassie Stephens, an art teacher in Franklin, Tennessee, is streaming daily art lessons at 11:00 am (CDT) on Instagram and Facebook
- Oh, and Mo Willems is also putting out regular doodle videos on YouTube.
- Slugs & Bugs have been hopping over on Facebook, and they’ve scheduled two StageIt concerts on Saturday for just $10/family.
- Michael J. Tinker is hosting daily Sing-along concerts at 11:00 am on Facebook.
- Playbill has a Broadway stage production of Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella on YouTube, and on Friday evening, March 20 at 8:00 pm (EDT), they’ll have trivia and giveaways on their Twitter.
- Andy Gullahorn and Jill Phillips have been holding Quarantine Happy Hour concerts on Facebook Live.
- Scott Mulvahill has been doing some pop-up concerts on Instagram Live
- The Rabbit Room has launched The Local Show: Streaming Edition.
- Tiler Peck, the principal dancer ant the NYC Ballet, is giving online ballet lessons on Instagram.
- The Cincinnati Zoo is holding daily safaris where you get to meet their animals on YouTube!
- Mystery Science has a great set of resources for learning science at home.
Something to Do with Your Kids
If you’re all at home together, maybe it’s time everybody in the family learns to cook. Even your littlest ones can join in the fun of making dinner. Here’s some great resources from America’s Test Kitchen Kids.
Something to Watch
I’ve been working from home and really busy. I find that I do better if I can hop offline from time to time to breath in the spring air. But while you’re inside, if you need a breather, here’s two minutes of God’s gorgeous creation
Thanks for reading. We’re on your side.
-The Story Warren Team