Last week all hell broke loose as moms (and dads and grandparents and guardians) everywhere scrambled to figure out what to do with the kids being off of school for so long (some even say that the 2019-2020 school year is totally done). While the first week was a learning period as we all researched tons of homeschooling resources, this second week should be more about figuring out a routine that works for both you and the kids. This way, they know what to do and expect during the week and you get some sort of normalcy to these chaotic and uncertain times. Here are some helpful tips on how to create and keep a (semi) normal routine with your kids at home due to COVID-19:
Find Balance Between Fun Time and Learning Time
Unless you’re a teacher by profession, homeschooling might be out of your element. But because you don’t want your kids to fall behind or lose their learning momentum, you still want to incorporate some type of learning activities into their daily life while at home because of the coronavirus. But this time doesn’t have to always be about learning. Even though they might be in school from 8 to 3 normally doesn’t mean you need to follow the same schedule. Incorporate any school work their teacher may have suggested into some fun or downtime so that their day is balanced and they have some sort of routine they are used to during the week. Sure, some days might deviate from the schedule, but for the most part, find some sort of balance between the two for everybody’s sanity.
Have A Special Learning Space
Last week I had workbooks and paper printouts everywhere, but finally cleaned up my act and placed my three-year-olds and six-year-old’s educational goods in separate bins that I’ll pull out when school is in session. They’ll work on the kitchen table where I can see, direct and help as needed while also doing other stuff downstairs. A space for learning will help them get into the learning mindset and keep the mess and chaos to a minimum (translating to less clutter and mess to pick up on your part later).
Even though you have a dedicated learning space for your kids at home, don’t forget to take it outside if the weather permits! A bit of fresh air always refreshes the soul and helps the kids get out the wiggles so that they’re not tearing down the house with their crazy antics. There’s also tons of learning activities you can do outside, too!
Mornings Are Better For Learning
Research always point to mornings being the best time for productivity and the same holds true for learning. Wake up, get the kids dressed, have breakfast and then start them on the day’s educational resources. Save the fun time for the afternoon! Or you can have books and paper learning in the morning and then take school outside (to the front or backyard because we are ALL practicing social distancing) so that they get a change of scenery.
It Helps To Be Prepared
Although you don’t need to plan out your weeks in advance like teachers normally do, it does help to take some time out on the weekend (Sunday usually works best) to prep on what you’ll do for the upcoming week. Figure out what worksheets they’ll do, what topics will be covered, what free resources you’ll use, etc. This helps make transitions from school subjects easier and just homeschooling in general easier on everyone.
Have Your Partner Help
If you can’t do it by yourself, ask your partner to tag in and tack over for a few hours or subjects. Having any help will make the homeschooling experience much more pleasant.
Have Reasonable Expectations
Remember, you are not a teacher by trade (unless you are a teacher mom). This isn’t your normal and you’re just in a temporary situation and you need to make the best of it. Have reasonable expectations for the kids and yourself and just be willing to go with the flow if needed. As long as your children are still learning, consider yourself the best teacher around!
What other tips and tricks would you add in about keeping a normal routine despite all the craziness that’s happening with COVID-19?