Perhaps your kids are home all week with a low grade fever. Or, maybe your children are home for an unexpected amount of time due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Either way you need a plan Mom. Dad. Grandparent. Caregiver. Adult in charge.
We can’t be out here naked and afraid! (You can’t hide from them with those chocolate chips in the pantry forever!)
Take a moment to set yourself up for success. Kids are work. You need a schedule. When you keep your child home from school (or attend a field trip) you realize VERY quickly, teachers are a special breed of humans. PeriodT.
You learn it’s not as easy as it looks when you have school-aged children at home, during what would normally be school hours, for an EXTENDED period of time.
Unless you are a teacher or homeschooling momma then you may have the temperament and tools to teach children at home. But most parents are not equipped to have their children at home for an extended period of time. It has nothing to do with love. We all love our kids.
It’s just a lot to have them home for a long time unexpectedly, when you thought there was going to be school!
Mommy (and Daddy) have work to do! What am I supposed to do with them all day? How will I get my work done?
It’s time to feed them… again?!!!
I mean…IT’S A LOT!!!
I can help you friend. Not the-drop-your-kids-off-over-here kind of help, but help nonetheless. Here’s a learning schedule I’m using to fill our days.
The girl’s school is providing online lessons during this time of social distancing. Some schools are offering packets. Either way, you may find this generic schedule helpful as you brainstorm the flow of having children home all day. I’ve included basic snack and lunch ideas (mainly for myself). I don’t know about you, but thinking about what the people will eat all day every day stresses me out! There’s also a blank schedule for you to use as you wish. Just click the image below to download learning schedule.
When it comes to completing school assignments, consider where the children complete their assignments and think outside the box. Personally, I like to set up activities in different areas to make them feel more special. A few pillows and books laid out on a beach towel or blanket picnic style, is much more inviting than saying “go read.”
There’s nothing wrong with saying “go read.” (If your child can’t read then that’s going to have to be another blog post.)
Here are a few suggestions for spicing up the learning schedule:
- Chew gum and blow bubbles while studying math.
- Listen to different genres of music to spice up a boring worksheet.
- Turn the lights out and read with flashlights.
- Set up a new work station with a lamp or Christmas lights and office supplies.
My point here is, when your child is home for an unexpected amount of time and needs to learn, Mommy has to beef up her bag of tricks!
Children need time to release! (We do, too, actually. Raise your hand if you are working on this too!) Give them a dedicated time to just be free to do something they like. Sometimes they may complain of being “bored.” But don’t buy into it. Eventually they get into something. If your child needs some prodding, perhaps stage a few options. Puzzles, crossswords, games, cards, craft supplies… just set out one or two things and let them figure it out.
Ask the children to think up their own list of playtime/freetime options. They are usually the most creative among us.
Create time for recess. Children need a chance to get outside and play.
Dig in the dirt, kick a rock, find a flower, ride a bike, swing, make a mud pie, take a walk … do something! Play time burns off that extra energy and will make for a better day for everyone. (I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely heading outside to kick rocks during the Coronavirus shut down!)
A little room goes a long way, for everyone. Especially if you have multi-age children, try to create work zones and stations so everyone has their own space and own supplies (when possible). All work doesn’t have to be completed at the kitchen table or designated desk area. Sometimes for sanity purposes writing on a clipboard (or book) on the floor in a another room is a suitable option.
There’s a time to work in close quarters and a time to spread out. Your nerves will let you know what time it is!
We are humans. There will be sick days, good days, and bad days.
All we can do is try our best to set our families up for success!
I’m suggesting we create a schedule, make time to play, and give each other some space- what do you think? What kinds of things do you do when your children are home for an extended time?