RACINE — Kimberly Wolfe is a preschool teacher at the Carleton School, and she and her husband Jamie were adjusting to life without their children at home: son Tyler is working in Pennsylvania, and daughters Elizabeth and Emma have been in college at Kent State.
Things changed with the arrival of COVID-19; Elizabeth and Emma came home from college, and Wolfe is working from home. She said that there are a lot of challenges trying to teach and communicate with preschoolers, especially those with disabilities.
“I am at my computer every day communicating with students and their families, reading, sending educational videos, trying to help them continue their progress…but it is difficult to not be in the classroom, to not be able to work with them in person.”
When Wolfe is not teaching, she is photographing wild flowers, gardening and crafting pieces for her outdoor spaces. During this time of “togetherness” she came up with a family project that allowed them to do something fun and creative together.
“We needed a distraction from the stress this pandemic has caused,” she said. “This was Emma’s freshman year at college, and Elizabeth was set to graduate in May. Elizabeth has projects to complete before graduation that are difficult to do at home, Emma is finishing her courses online, they are stressed, so I came up with a project we could do together.”
Wolfe said she saw the idea from a magazine several years ago and tucked it away as a project to do when there was time, and now there was time.
Some of the birdhouses are made from recycled materials including freight packing and leftover wood from the fence that surrounds her home.
“My husband cut the wood and built the houses, the girls and I painted and added the embellishments. Now we are waiting for the birds to move into their new homes,” said Wolfe.
In the picture it looks as if Tasha the Corgi is too. With all the beautiful flowers and birdhouses in Wolfe’s garden, it shouldn’t be long.
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Lorna Hart is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.