Perhaps you are a parent who has been juggling virtual learning while working from home. Or you’re a child care provider who has not yet streamlined your communication process with ChildWatch. Either way a year has passed since the first COVID-19 lock downs and children’s education seems to only have gotten more complicated. It has been a challenging year all around for parents and childcare providers alike. Many children have gotten more screen time than anyone would have hoped or planned. If you are taking care of a child or children, it is completely understandable to feel that you are just trying to keep you head above water!
So, what to do when the time for a topical study arises? February brought Black History Month, which has a long history of thorough celebration. March brings Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8th. While International Women’s Day has existed longer than women have had the right to vote, Women’s History Month only received national recognition in 1987, but struggled to gain traction until President Obama’s declared its observance in 2011. With less pre-organized material to draw on, what is the overextended care taker to do to engage children with Women’s History Month?
Here are some ideas for parents and childcare providers to meaningfully include children in the celebration of Women’s History Month:
1. Buy a New Book
Perhaps you have a favorite female historical figure like Marie Curie, Rosa Parks, Sandra Day O’Connor, or Mother Teresa, there is likely a book written about them. Share one of your favorite historical women with your children by reading together. If you prefer more of an anthology there is a huge selection for you too! Bookshop has many already curated lists and a simple google search will turn up a wealth of books to choose from.
2. Share Personal Stories
Talk to your kids about your personal female heroes and why you admire them. It could be your mother, a former teacher, a law maker, celebrity, or activist. Share pictures of a family member who had an impact on you and what it was like for them to live and work in different times. Focus on what you admire and respect about the person and the impact they had on your life. Write a letter or draw a picture about something your child would to ask her forbearer.
3. Do an Inspired Activity Together
Georgia O’Keefe famously painted flowers; spend some time drawing outside together and discuss her. Jane Goodall has made an immense impact on our care for animals and the natural world; clean up a park or garden in her honor. Amelia Earhart is the most famous early female pilot; hold a paper air plane contest for her. Pick any woman you admire and do an activity that honors them with your children. Not only may they learn new names, but this can be a fun way to break up virtual learning.
4. Color Your Sheroes
Pick your favorite heroine and a coloring page for her is just a short search away! You can also check out an education site for themed collections of coloring pages.
Wherever you start, highlighting the modern and historical contributions of women is crucial for all children. It’s never too early to learn about the awesome power of women.
Written by Dianna Garten