Get tips for how to schedule your day, time management, daily routines, educational time for kids, and a list of online resources available.
This most definitely wasn't the post I had planned for this week - but, I think all of our routines have changed a little bit over the past few days. The best thing I can think of to help in a time like this is developing some sense of routine - for me, that's figuring out how to schedule your day for yourself and your family.
Like many of you, I am about to dive into the world of homeschooling while working from home. Both my husband and I are currently working here, and in just a few days, I plan on starting a simple homeschool routine with my kids. Am I a little nervous about that? Heck yeah. But I think it's totally necessary (there are a lot of predictions that our kids won't go back to school this year) and, in my experience, giving kids a sense of structure and normalcy in a time like this is the best bet for keeping everyone sane.
I've had some questions about ways to create a productive environment at home during the COVID-19 quarantine. To be honest, I'm not changing a lot about our home life. We will still have similar routines, activities, etc. - just much more of it and at different times than normal. But, I really think sticking with some things that are already working in your home are important. There's no point in reinventing the wheel on this - if it works, keep it, and just expand it!
For example, my kids will stay on the same chore system that we're already on. I actually talked about this chore chart a few weeks ago - they will probably just have more expanded roles in the home since there's more time and more need right now. We will still have a similar rest time to any normal day, same snack times that they normally have at home and school, and I'm even following a similar routine to my daughter's 2nd grade schedule.
Another recommendation I have is to not overthink it. It doesn't have to be over-structured - that, in my experience, is a recipe for failure. Keep it fairly simple and stick to general schedule guidelines that aren't too rigid. Also remember to be flexible. If you get to 11am and haven't followed a bit of your schedule that day, that's ok! Just catch up if you can and don't stress if you can't. The name of the game during this time is survival. If you can make it productive survival, that's great, but that's just a bonus.
And, of course, I have a printable available for you guys. 🙂 This one matches my collection of organization printables, The Year of Intent!
I made 2 different printables for this schedule. I made a blank one just in case your times don't line up with mine or you want to try more of a time-blocking approach when figuring out how to schedule your day (more info on that can be found on this time blocking template post).
These printable are available in the printable collection - a portion of my site that is only for newsletter subscribers. It's absolutely free to join my email list and get access to these and dozens of home and organization printables! Click here to get access.
You can see the example of how we're filling in our schedule above. Again, not over-structured, and using lots of the routines and resources we already had in place. As an added element, both my husband and I will be working from home now - I put an asterisk next to the items that my children will be expected to do independently - those will be times that, hopefully, I can get a little bit of work in.
The chores I'm using for both the kids and adults are primarily from Journey to Clean, my home cleaning system. I try to get my chores completed during this block or during an independent time for the kids...Emmie does hers during that first block (I outlined our chore point system here). Most academic times consist of her at-home learning assigned from her school. It normally takes us about 2 hours a day (with lots of breaks). Other than that, we're either outside or in a rest time! For Jackson (my 4 year old), I'm doing very limited academic time honestly. I've seen multiple sources that recommend under an hour of day of actual academic activities for preschoolers - so we're doing lots of conversational learning, a few little activities his preschool recommends, and an educational show or two.
I wanted to also do a little round-up of free items online that can be used right now. Many companies are offering their services for free to ease the burden on parents right now. I've already started using a few of these and have been really pleased!
- Brainpop is giving free access during the time of school closures. You can fill out the form to gain access here.
- ABCMouse.com has free for 30 days.
- Have Fun Teaching is offering grade-specific relief packs full of worksheets for free - click here for access.
- Khan Academy is a great, free online resource.
- Scholastic is offering over 20 days of age-specific learning resources specifically for this closure. Click here for access.
- Fluency & Fitness is offering free 21 day access - this is a great site for younger kids. Get active while you learn! Click here for details.
- This is a huge Google doc of all of the virtual field trips, webcams, and virtual tours available.
- Pure Barre Go is offering free Facebook Live classes a few times a week. I did one yesterday and loved it!
- Peloton App is offering a free 90 day trial. I've used this app for months now and absolutely love it. You don't necessarily need a Peloton bike or treadmill to use this - if you have any brand bike or treadmill at home, you can make it work! They also have yoga, meditation, and strength classes. If you sign up (by clicking here), follow me at LeslieFLambert.
- Planet Fitness is also offering Home Work-Ins on their Facebook page. Just like Pure Barre Go, they're through Facebook live, but they are available afterwards for awhile if you can't catch the live class.
- Tone It Up and Beachbody also have free plans available (I don't use these, but have heard great things).
- Universal is set to release some of their newer movies for home viewing.
- The Met Opera is releasing free streaming of some of its most popular operas. You can access this by downloading Met Opera on Demand through your streaming service.
- Josh Gad is reading children a bedtime story on Twitter each night. (The cutest thing ever.)
I'll try to add to this as I find more resources! (And if you know of other resources, mention them in the comments and I'll add them into this list.)