Week one is here friends. It will be one full of family fun where we will get to share EVERY MOMENT with our day with our significant other and children. By now you are probably somewhat mentally prepared and have had a good share of laughs thanks to internet memes and funny parenting videos. When the news of long term school closures started to emerge, I panicked. I knew I needed a schedule. I am not one to follow strict routines. But I know my kids work much better when they have clear expectations. This happens during school breaks, specially summer. But unlike any other “break” this one requires a higher level of dedication and parenting.
Doctors and other experts are recommending social distancing as our best tool to combat the virus outbreak. They are asking for everyone to avoid contact with people outside their home and stay away from public spaces. In Europe, governments are imposing fines to those who leave their homes without a strong purpose, ie get groceries or access to basic services. We are far from it, but should take precautions learning from their experience. Thanks to the internet we now have tons of ideas on what to do with the kids, how to deal with the change, online learning resources, and in general the voice of other parents that are facing the challenges of homeschooling and teleworking.
(Please note, we did not include specific times since our kids wake at different times. Please be sure to include your partner in duties as you create a new schedule for your family! Also we did not write in screen time since each family may offer that at different times during the day. This is a guide, but, of course, create a rhythm to your day that works for you. We are all in this together!)
Our Homeschool Schedule Plan
During the weekend I spent time with my oldest drafting an initial schedule of how our days will look like. It is important to me to include him in this process because he is also very affected by all the changes. He has expressed how sad he is to not see his friends and teachers for an extended time. Thankfully technology is now a great ally and we are already looking into FaceTime and Skype with friends. We are also thankful to zoom for opening their platform to schools, making distance learning easier for those that are new to the field. He will be able to connect and get lessons from his teachers in whatever new format they are able to implement. Schools have been wonderful in providing guidelines, materials and resources so we can better navigate this new routine.
There are a lot of great guides and formats on the web to give us an idea on how to structure our days. Incorporating movement, learning and quiet time. This will vary from home to home and depend on the space you have. We live in a townhouse without a yard, so we have set different areas of the house as designated points during the day. This will also allow some much needed social distancing from our kids, as we will have to get work done, take conference calls and recharge.
Parenting is Sharing the Load
As we parents prepare to face the quarantine, let’s not lose sight of ourselves and needs. When possible, divide and conquer are key to a happy home. Dividing responsibilities and setting boundaries will make the difference between a decent level of peace and total chaos. I am creating my schedule so that I have time to workout, read and cook. Things that bring me peace and happiness. We also have a clear division since my husband has an intense workload during the morning.
The schedule I have prepared has a little of all the things I have mentioned here. It is a starting point that will evolve as we learn what works and what doesn’t. As we get a more clear idea of how things are shaping and how long this will last. As always, these are just suggestions to hopefully makes things easier for all of us, using our collective mommy wisdom.