My Lockdown Kids' Schedule and Tips (+ Free Schedule Template)
Ok, friend - if you have kiddos at home like me, we have a long few weeks ahead of us.
That's actual footage of all of us trying to not lose our minds right now. But, we'll survive this!
Here's what I know for sure: children thrive on structure. And so do most adults. I'm sharing my lockdown schedule and best tips below for how to navigate the next several weeks at home. These steps are totally doable for everyone and will go a long way to help us all feel sane amidst the chaos.
But first, can I let you in on a little secret? I work so much that I'm actually excited to have this forced time with my family. And I also LOVE to stay in sweats all day, so I'm not sad about not having to put on actual clothes.
Ready? Let's go!
What's Your End Goal?
Whenever I am faced with a new situation, I always start with the end goal in mind.
At the end of the next few weeks I want to have: exercised and stayed healthy, spent quality time with my kids and husband, made progress on my work, kept my home organized, and helped my kids thrive (in no particular order).
Spend some time jotting down your thoughts on how you want the next few weeks to look and feel. And then, try out my ...
Top 5 Tips For Surviving The Next Few Weeks.
- Make your bed every morning. It seems so simple, yet it's extremely powerful. We'll be spending lots of time in our homes and making our beds is a marker for us and the kids that it's time to start the day (even if you stay in your jammies all day long).
- Keep the kids (+ ourselves) on a schedule. Our kids are on a very tight schedule at school and that's what they're used to. Providing a structure to their days will not only help them feel in control, but also will allow us to be productive. There is no right or wrong schedule here - any learning they do is amazing.
Remember for younger kids, incorporate lots of play, shorter blocks of time for activities to account for a shorter attention span, and lots of breaks. Older kids can have more independent work time and work in longer stretches per subject.
- Get the whole family involved. It's not your job to keep everything running smoothly - everyone needs to participate. Read that again. Every single person in your home needs to participate. Call a family meeting to make sure everyone's clear on their role and expectations. For example, everyone must clean up one activity before moving on to the next.
- Create zones. This step is c r i t i c a l. Since I have plenty of space in my house, I created separate works zones for each of us. My kids'll be in their bedrooms, I'll be in my home office, and my husband will be in the guest room. That works for us given my kids' ages (6 and 10) and my house setup. For younger kiddos, or if you have a smaller space, pick your clean zones and your work zones. For example, decide that the kitchen will always stay clean, and set up school in the dining room. We will all have to be OK with areas of our home not being perfect. And this is so much easier when we know we have clean spaces we can retreat to. (A nightly reset will also be extremely important so you can start each day fresh.)
- Plan meals AND meal times. You all know how I feel about cooking (in case you don't, it's not good. I feel not good about cooking). We are going to be eating a lot more meals at home. SO, plan out your menu AND meal and snack times. If you are trying to get a full workday in from home, you might still consider making lunches the night before. Make snacks accessible so you don't have to oversee snack time (if your kiddos are old enough), and same with lunch.
Most of us are in uncharted territory here (not you, homeschooling moms. You are our heroes right now). We are not all of a sudden going to become home schooling masters. But we can try our very best. Go easy on yourself. Have realistic expectations. And remember ... most of our kids will remember this strange time when they're older. Let's try to make a couple good memories out of it.
OK, on to the resources ...
I created the spreadsheets below for each of my children and I've left it editable for you so you can make any changes you want. My husband and I will still plan to be up around 6am and get in our workouts before the day starts (this is sleeping in for us, as we typically have to get up at 5:30 to make it work).
The schedule below's based on the virtual learning that my kids'll be doing with their school and the structure we layered on top. My kids enjoy more academic-oriented activities than creative ones even in their free time, so this'll work for them. If yours are more creative, factor that into your free time blocks. Note that if it were up to me, I'd move lunch later so that we could all eat together. (11:30 is too early for my husband and I to eat lunch, but this is what their school schedule dictates.)
Also note that I have built-in TV and device time. The reality is my kids will do both daily. This schedule allows us to limit it to what I feel is a reasonable amount, and also mitigates fights since they can see exactly where and when it's allowed. I laminated these and taped them up in each of our workspaces.
Some Additional Resources ...
My 6-year-old loves using Boom Cards for math and she can do it totally independently.
Here are a few sites that were recommended to me, but that I have not personally used:
- Other Goose (Homeschooling resource offering 3 weeks free)
- Homer Learning (offering a free 30 day trial)
- Kahn Academy
- Reading Eggs (for little kids)
- Cosmic Kids Yoga
I'm not big on flooding your inboxes, but if I come across other great resources I'll share them here. For example, I came across this article about coronavirus anxiety tips and how home organizing can help. Essentially, she uses organizing to help bring control and order into this otherwise chaotic time in our lives (something I can certainly relate to!)
Want to become the most organized person you know?
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