Maintaining kids’ school schedules at home
Your family’s life has most likely looked and felt a little different since the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Suddenly, your kids are doing school at home and you are their new “teacher.” But, on top of that, you still have to play the parent-role and the work-role, too. Finding balance in all of that can be tough, but forming a new kind of routine to adapt to this “new normal” is a great place to start to help everyone feel some level of familiarity, structure and comfort. Here are a few steps you can take to maintain your kids’ school schedule at home.
- Wake up, get dressed (even if it’s just into a comfy work from home outfit and eat breakfast at normal time. Sleeping in will delay everyone’s day and you don’t want you or your kids to get in the habit of it.
- Schedule times for education and for taking breaks. If you have younger children, have them complete one small assignment then take a quick break to run around or play with toys. If you have older children, allow them around the same time they would have in class to complete an assignment and take breaks in between as they would between classes.
- Keep using and packing their school backpacks. Especially if you’re tight on space to store their school supplies – like pencils, pens, extra paper, clipboards and electronics. Everything they need when it’s time for school will be all in one place. Plus, they can bring their backpacks with them to which room in the house they’re working in throughout the day.
- Eat lunch around the same time. If you usually pack the kids lunch boxes before they leave for school or the night before, keep doing that. That way, on your lunch break, you can spend more time eating with them and connecting and less time preparing and cooking. At school, they eat lunch about halfway through their day, so if you can plan your lunch break for then, too, do it!
- Keep having family dinners (if you usually do). Just because you were under the same roof as your kids all day doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still enjoy a meal together at the end of the day. Continue asking your kids what they worked on, what they learned or what their favorite part of the day was.
- If you have a couple hours to spare when your kids would normally be at practice or a friend’s house, use it as quality time with the family. Play outside together or go for a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood. They’ll still be spending time and doing things they enjoy with the people they love.
- Go to bed at normal time. It’s tempting to stay up later since you really have nowhere to go the next day, but if you’re going to wake up at a normal time, everyone should go to bed at a normal time, too. That way, everyone will get enough sleep and won’t be tired for another full day of school-at-home.
This new routine isn’t going to come together overnight. Remember to be patient with yourself and your family and know that readjusting takes some time, and that’s okay! You can always alter your schedule if you feel like something isn’t working out. We’re all figuring this out together!