At Home Survival Guide – Part 2

Learning at Home

As we talked about in Part 1, there are many things you can do at home. This is the age of lock-downs and social distancing – it can be a scary time (especially when you turn on the news). While it’s ill-advised to tune that out entirely, it is good to keep your mind on something else – something productive, something positive.

Here is some more advice on what to do when you’re stuck at home.

Play D&D at Home

As you all know, I have a passion for Dungeons and Dragons. This tabletop RPG is the perfect story-engine for creating memorable gaming moments with your friends and family. The system is versatile enough that you can adapt it to suit players of any age. In fact, this is a great tool for tapping into your children’s imaginations.

Play D&D
Don’t steal Xanathar’s Fish…

Unfortunately, you need friends in order to play a session of D&D. This can be a challenge in the age of social isolation, I know. But luckily there are many ways to get around this while being safely at home. There is some advice for running (or taking part in) online games on D&D Beyond – be sure to check it out. Personally, I use a combination of Discord and Roll20.

Nothing beats the feeling of an in-person game (especially if you’re trying to convey non-verbal cues when you’re role playing), but this is the safest way to do it at the moment.

For the Dungeon Master stuck at home, this is also a good time to create that campaign setting. There are great resources and tutorial videos out there (let me know what you use). Furthermore, there are great official releases to help you with this kind of thing. I, for instance, like seeing other campaign settings to see how things are structured. Great examples are Eberron: Rising from the Last War, the Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica (for all you Magic the Gathering fans out there), and Critical Role’s Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount – just to name a few. There are also great resources on the DM’s Guild.

Play Video Games

This one is obvious, I know. With all the scary things out there, it can be easy to forget about this. Whether you’re playing couch coop with your fellow inmate or battling strangers online, gaming may be your best chance to socialize.

The Witcher III
The Witcher 3, by Greg Rutkowski

For those the single-player people out there (I’m one of them), home is where the fun is. I, for one, finally have the chance to tackle God of War! Also, if you still have Toss a Coin to your Witcher in your head, you could dive into the wonderful Witcher series of games.

The latter is great for any writers among you who need some inspiration. In fact, if you’re struggling with burnout (or a block), it might be a good idea to take a break and play something restful (like Dark Souls, because life is hard).

Learn

As an English Literature tutor, I see learning opportunities everywhere. While it is tempting to treat this time at home as a vacation, it might be better to add some value to your life. Imagine how great it will feel if you come out of this with a new skill or a deeper understanding.

There are many things out there. From Masterclass to Udemy, you can improve your artistic skills and beyond. Perhaps this is also a good time to learn a new language! Speaking of which, the Duolingo owl is asking me to have another go at Spanish.

Time to Learn
Forbidden Books, By Alexander Mark Rossi (1897).

Remember, learning is more than just knowing about fractions or the dates of battles. It is about learning how to be you – or a better you. If you have kids, this is your chance to show them how to be compassionate people. Show them how not to be scared of what’s happening out there – yes – but also teach them to understand. Let them know that there are real people out there – not numbers or ‘others’ – that need to be understood, thought of, and remembered. Teaching is – after all – the truest form of compassion.

Be safe out there, guys.

Keep writing.

Top Image: Drawing Lessons (circa 1800), by Abraham van Strij [Public Domain]

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