Looking for a daily schedule to use during school closures? Keep the whole family sane with this simple routine!
We all just became homeschool moms. And let me just say, my respect for homeschool moms just went from high to through the roof.
I mean, how do they stay on top of it all?
The answer is this: a simple and sustainable schedule. One that works for the entire family.
A good schedule to use during school closures is one that will provide structure to the day, while allowing for plenty of flexibility. Now, what that entails for each family will differ, of course.
But since it always helps to see sample schedules, I want to share the one we’ve been using. We’re on week 2 of this one, and so far, so good!
A QUICK WORD TO THE OVERWHELMED MOM
Before we go any further, though, I want to offer a few words of comfort during this overwhelming time.
Moms everywhere are feeling the sudden pressure of homeschooling multiple children.
But remember, kids all over the country (and world) are in the same boat – and so are their parents. And once everyone is back in the classroom, schools will course correct. Teachers, the professionals, will help our kids get back on track.
It might take some time, but it will all get back to normal.
So rather than worrying about our kids regressing during this temporary period, we should be shifting our focus inward. On making memories, and feeling safe at home.
Of course, we should do what we can to help keep their brains active. But right now, that will look a little different, and that’s ok.
Our kids are going to remember this period of their lives. And when they look back, they’ll remember how they felt much more than anything they did or didn’t learn.
Keep that in mind as you move forward. And know that we’re all in this together, doing the best we can.
Alright, now onto our sample schedule!
OUR DAILY SCHEDULE DURING SCHOOL CLOSURES
I’m using the word “schedule” here, but it’s more of a routine. It’s enough to keep rhythm and structure to our day, but not held to specific times.
To create routines for our days, I love using block scheduling.
Basically, we divide our day into 2-4 hour blocks to categorize the parts of our day using this template. We’re not strict about moving from block to block at specific times like I do when I use it for my own productivity tool.
But it still helps us come up with a structured, yet relaxed schedule. (Learn more about using block scheduling for kids here.)
What’s included in this schedule:
Whenever I implement a daily schedule, I like to display a copy for my older kids to see. I only include what they need to know so the chart doesn’t get cluttered with everyone’s routines.
Here’s what their current routine looks like. It’s the basic skeleton of the day.
And for reference, here is what our whole family’s daily schedule looks like during these school closures. This one is broken into 3 categories, based on who’s doing what.
- Morning routine
- Help kids get ready
- Clean up breakfast, etc.
- School assignments
- Zoom meetings with teachers
- 30 minutes of reading
- Free time
- Read books with mommy
- Baby: in independent playtime
- 4-year-old: worksheets with mommy, then quiet time
- Books & puzzles with the younger 2
- Exercise/get ready for the day *
* Once a week, I do a 30-minute piano lesson with my older 2 kids during this block.
AFTER LUNCH (12:30-3)
- 30 minutes of reading
- Afternoon Zoom check-ins with teachers
- 30 minutes of creative time
- Outside time (if weather permits)
- Free time
- Baby: nap
- 4-year-old: T.V. time
- 4-year-old: Creative time, outside time and free time with siblings
- Free time (technology time, go on a walk, play games, etc.)
- Family scripture lesson
- Clean up
- Get ready for bed
- Bedtime books or family game
NOTES ON OUR SCHEDULE:
Here is a little more explanation on some of our activities:
This is the morning routine and routine charts we use. It’s so simple, even my 4-year-old can do it on his own!
The most important thing to me is reading, so that’s a non-negotiable every day. Other than that, we’re a little more relaxed. The assignments from school can be done in any order, and if they go quickly, they get free time before lunch.
I’m not planning on supplementing what they’re already doing for distance learning. After all, they’re still “learning” throughout the day with piano, chores, cooking, helping the family, puzzles and games, coloring, and on and on.
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This can be anything! Here are some of our favorites:
- Building sets, like these
- YouTube drawing lessons
- Stop motion videos
This isn’t technically on the schedule, but it’s something we use a lot. If everyone is getting cranky, then after lunch, everyone has to spend time alone.
They can do whatever they want during that time, but it’s an excellent way for everyone to reset and enjoy being around each other again! (It works like magic!)
In the end, everyone’s routine will look a little different. But trust me when I say, having any routine in place will make a huge difference for the whole family.
Especially when we’re all stuck at home for the next several weeks!
Just keep it simple. And remember, the most important thing right now is the health and wellbeing of you and your family.
We’re going to get through this!
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