Quarantine with Kids in Rome, Italy

by Kimberley McGee
holland family in rome
holland family at lunch

Maintaing a schedule helps with schoolwork.

 Can you imagine more than 2 months at home with kids under penalty of law?! The coronavirus has hit families around the world who often have tighter restrictions than we do here in Nevada. As part of our How We Homeschool series, we are talking to families around the world about how they are coping. The Holland family  homeschool in Rome, Italy. Alaina and her husband Loren grew up as missionary kids in South America. She homeschools their three boys, 2 (fun-school), kinder and 2nd grade. Her husband, Loren, is pastor of Rome International Church, which is a congregation of the International Baptist Convention.

The twins came across this family on Instagram (@HollandFamilyLife) when they were looking for friends in other countries who were on lockdown. Alaina’s daily updates inspired the twins with the shots of the gorgeous countryside they take on their walks, the foods they enjoy, hobbies and how they pass the time with a positive, if sometimes frustrated, outlook. She shares her homeschool schedule and other insights on the family’s blog, Holland Family Life

How are you and your family doing?

We are doing well considering we have been on lock down here in Rome, Italy for 63 days so far!

holland family

Early on, this mom of 3 took it easy behind the gates of their duplex in Rome.

How has your community been affected by the virus?

In every way.  Phase one, we couldn’t leave the house with our kids (3 boys 8,5, and 2) and all public parks were closed.  One member per family could go to the store at a time.  (We did 55 days in this phase.)

Now in phase 2, it is very similar to phase one except if your parents live in your area you may visit them (ours live countries away).  Parks are now open but you must be wearing masks, gloves and stay 1 meter away from people at all times.  We have been told by the end of May there might be more freedom or it could go back to phase 1 if cases start to spike again.

How has your daily life changed?

We home educate normally so we were thankful schooling morning stayed similar.  But from noon onward everything changed.  No more soccer practice, no more meetups with friends, no more museum or zoo visits, no more Church on the weekends or having neighbors over.

What are you doing to pass the time?

We maintained our family rhythms of once a week we have family movie night with popcorn, game night, craft time, watercolor, learn more Italian, and play a lot outside in our little yard, and we go on bike rides at an empty parking lot behind our duplex.

morning schedule for homeschool

The Holland family maintain a somewhat fluid schedule to help with the monotony.

What have been some surprise benefits of quarantine?

Every lunch we eat together on our patio outside.  Sometimes we play an outside family game right after lunch before nap and reading time. These games have been ring toss, twister, and bird watching. Husband joins us because he works from home now and has been a HUGE help to meal preps and clean up times.

  • I started playing Hand and Foot through video with my mom and all my sisters once my boys went to bed once a week.  
  • Reading at least 1 book a week.  Exercising more consistently and teaching my kids to cook.
  • What is something you wish you had stocked up on that was surprising?
  • Masks and gloves?! 😄  Hand crafts like knitting, crochet, and wood burning items for me and the boys.

How much longer do you expect to be under quarantine?

A long long time. I don’t think things will be back to normal until at least September if not later.

What advice can you offer families in the United States?

Stop believing conspiracy theories.  You are a very individualistic society and sometimes you need to think of the good of the whole group, not just yourself.  Don’t believe everything you hear, but also don’t live in fear.  Take these days as gifts.  



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