If you are anything like me, you may be losing your mind right now. Trying to juggle working from home with keeping track of the schoolwork your children need to be doing each day is not an easy task. My life was scheduled wonderfully before having to stay at home. We went to school, then off to activities, and finally home for homework and dinner, baths and bed. I have found it very difficult to create a realistic schedule for my kids while being at home.
With after school activities not available, there should be a lot of “extra time”, but I feel like I’m struggling everyday to get it all done. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to find a routine that would work best for us. I’ve created numerous lists and schedules, but they didn’t seem to work. Finally, I sat down with my kids and we put together a schedule with their input…
And Hallelujah! It’s working!!!
Creating a Realistic Schedule Tips
Involve Your Children in the Decision Making
Just like we do with our students at the beginning of the year when creating classroom rules and expectations, allow your children to have a say in the daily routine. This creates “buy in” with the schedule and gives them the feeling of “having control”. This was a very important part of creating the schedule for my kids!
Make Time for “Breaks”
The deal that I have with my children is that they complete school work for a certain amount of time and then we will “take a break”. Their breaks include doing PE activities, music activities, outside time, walks/bike rides, playing games, etc. I try to not include TV or iPad time as a break option, because the whole goal of the break is to get the to “unplug” from technology.
Reflect a “Normal” Day
Our schedule timelines follow what a “normal” day would be if we were still attending school, dance, Taekwondo, baseball practices, etc. The majority of schoolwork is completed by the end of the school day. They practice after school activities at the regular times and days as before the quarantine began. It is so important to maintain consistency during this time. Our children crave the regular routine!
Allow for Flexibility
Every day is going to be a little different. With three children, I find myself juggling a little bit. There are days when my oldest needs more help completing her schoolwork, others when my preschooler wants more “hands-on” attention, and still others when my middle child refuses to do any schoolwork at all. I’ve had to remind myself that getting some of it done each day is better than nothing. The times you write down on your schedule are a goal, not set in stone. 😉
Make Some Time for Fun!
Each day we decide on a fun activity to include in our schedule. We call it “Free Choice Fun Time”. 🙂 This may be going outside and drawing with sidewalk chalk, blowing bubbles, doing an art project, cooking, or completing a science experiment. In our schedule, I have saved this for the end of the day. It serves as our “reward”, but instead of treats, stickers, etc, we are spending quality time together as a family.
If At First You Don’t Succeed…
Like I stated before, the schedule that is now working for our family took 3 weeks of modifying before we got it right. And what works for my family may not necessarily be the “best fit” for yours. The main point here is to NOT GIVE UP! You can create a realistic schedule for your kids that fits your needs. You will fall into a new “normal” that works until all of this is over. Hang in there and keep trying!! 🙂
We have included a mock schedule to give you a starting place if you would like. It is editable, so times and events can easily be changed to fit your routine. You can access this schedule in our Resource Library (access code – ETTC2020).
– Written By Janessa Fletcher
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