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Since there have been so many school closings with the threat of Coronavirus infecting our communities, how do parents plan to keep their child(ren) busy? Especially since some school districts like mine closed for five weeks! If you are looking for a daily schedule for school-age children to follow during COVID-19 school closings, read on!

Almost daily, I am learning of more and more educational websites stepping up to offer assistance for at-home learning during this unique situation affecting so much of our nation. When you think about it, we are fortunate to be living in a time where so much education is right at our fingertips!

While many kids are cherishing that they have no school for the next few weeks, it is important to keep some sort of structure and schedule in their lives. And in our lives too!

The thought of having my kids lay around in their pajamas, watching movies, and asking to play video games for the next five weeks, in all honesty, stresses me out. Not to mention, I am trying to take an online course to continue my learning and get articles written for my two blogs.

For the time being, we have had a lot taken away from us – from dining out, going to the movies, attending a social event. But nothing can take away our desire to learn.

Yes, in some foolishly seeming way, I am trying hard to control something in a world so out of my control right now. I might be looking for a way not to feel even more of a mess than I already am.

Or maybe, just maybe, this can be an opportunity for us all to learn how to push through a trying situation. After all, the challenges presented to us in life is what builds our character, right?

And so I am trying to look at the positive side of this whole insane, chaotic situation. Trying to think of school closing as an opportunity for us all to continue growing and learning in some fashion.

As stupid as it may sound, I needed to learn how to make a schedule. This ruffled mom is NOT a schedule sort of person. 😆 Therefore on Sunday night, I stayed up for hours to come up with a daily schedule for my family to follow.

At first, Monday morning my kids gave me a little pushback, but surprisingly they seemed to be happy about this schedule. It comforted them to know life, and their education was continuing, despite it being different for now.

Click here to access this schedule as a Google Sheet.

And I think they feel safer, more in control, happier, and productive, having this routine in place. To me, this is especially important because many school closures will go for weeks beyond a typical week of spring break. I have even seen some estimates where schools are not planning to open back up until after summer vacation.

While we are only through day 3 of this schedule, so far, it has been working out well for us. I might not be saying the same around the middle of April, but hey, for now, it is going well.

One final point I want to make is that a set structure isn’t for all families. My intent isn’t to say I have the answer. All I am hoping is that my work here helps some families feel less overwhelmed out there.

No matter how we are spending our days at home, distancing ourselves, and trying to keep kids busy, we are all feeling the same panic, stress, disbelief, and fear. So it isn’t the time to judge other parents or compete with one another. This pandemic is something we are all trying to get through together.

So with that, here is what I came up with.

Daily Schedule For Families of School-Age Children During COVID-19 School Closings

8:00 – 9:00 AM
Wake and have breakfast. Get dressed. Brush teeth. Have a daily schedule to wake up around the same time Monday through Friday and continue the routine of eating breakfast, getting dressed, and prepped for learning. Then designate an area for children to sit and to start at 9:00 a.m. Use the kitchen table, counter, a desk, the coffee table.

9:00 – 10:00 AM
A great way to start the day is with some reading. For younger children, read a favorite book, educational non-fiction piece, or a comic. Toddlers and preschoolers can read picture and chapter books. Slightly older kids, including tweens and teens, can have an hour of silent reading. Kids might also enjoy listening to audiobooks with earbuds. They can even borrow books virtually through Overdrive.com using your local library card!

10:00 – 10:15 AM
Take a short break with a quick snack. Get outside for a few minutes if the weather permits.

10:15 – 12:00 PM
If your school provided activities to do at home, work on those assignments during this time. Work together through any directions given by teachers, figure out what needs to be completed and give examples or guidance where needed.

Have children work on math facts, play math-related games, or search online for printable math sheets. Scholastic online is offering a FREE daily learn-at-home experience to help kids continue learning with school closures. This is a perfect time to work through those activities.

Then provide some independent work time and leave the room so kids can learn to self-study. Really, this is a great opportunity for children to develop this skill as they will surely need it in high school and college!

12:00 – 1:00 PM
Lunchtime, which is the perfect time for kids to help you make lunch, make their own lunches, and enjoy some downtime.

1:00 – 2:00 PM
Housework – sorry kids, I am going there! Have children organize toys, help wipe down surfaces, vacuum, put away laundry, unload the dishwasher, file papers. Even better if they can do something outside on a nice day! It will help you all feel more in control, organized, and accomplished. Plus, it will get everyone moving and getting some exercise in!

2:00 – 3:00 PM
Take about an hour to work on some writing activity. Have the child(ren) write about the books they are reading. Give a writing prompt for something positive to focus on and have kids write in a journal. Some good examples – Where is a place you would like to go this summer? Or what is your favorite vacation memory? Kids can even do an easy word search, crossword, or draw a picture. Anything that makes them write.

3:00 – 3:30 PM
Have kids use this half-hour to explore science. Again there are so many resources online. My children have gone on virtual zoo tours, examined aquariums from a webcam, and even explored Mars with 3D satellite technology! You can also use this time to create an experiment together.

3:30 – 4:00 PM
Social Studies was always my least favorite, so I put it last on the schedule. 😂 Although, since so much is going on around us, this could be a good time to answer questions. I have used this time to help explain supply and demand, the financial market, and the role of government. There is so much going on now that helped me justify history’s place on our schedule. However, I won’t be offended if you cross out this timeslot and end your child’s learning early for the day. 😁

4:00 – 6:00 PM
Free Time

6:00 – 6:30 PM
If possible, have dinner together as a family as much as you can. I know it isn’t always easy to co-ordinate, but kids really will cherish it. We have started a habit of eating in the family room on folding trays while watching television. I’m not going to label it a bad habit because we have come to love watching funny cartoons while we eat together. And we laugh at goofy Geico commercials or complete catchy phrases like “Jake from State Farm?”. It’s just something we have become used to, and I can’t even blame it on Coronavirus since we’ve been doing it for many months now. 😯

6:30 – 8:00 PM
Free Time/Quality Time
Watch a movie or favorite show together. Play with toys, build with blocks, do a puzzle, play a game. Anything calming and relaxing. We all need this time! Lately, we have been playing Mario Party for the Nintendo Switch. So much fun!!

8:00 – 8:30
Get Ready For Bed

As a bonus, I have our daily schedule available as a Google Spreadsheet. The schedule includes a timeframe to work on certain subjects.  Included are some excellent links on the web to use for learning as well, such as virtual tours, webcam experiences at zoos and aquariums, math skills and games, reading materials, and educational videos.

In conclusion, I hope you find something useful in this article to help you get through this unique challenge we are all facing. Whether you use the daily schedule during school closings or just found the article interesting, thank you for stopping by. Come back and visit this ruffled mom anytime! And in the meantime, stay healthy!

XOXO
Christina

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