Students across the country are wrapping up another week of learning at home. Adjustments are being made by adults with the transformation to remote working or being furloughed. Kids are trying to deal with a new normal that has been thrust upon them. It is expected for stress levels to be high. Not to mention, balancing a complete day of work and school is like conducting a three-ring circus.
For me, having a daily schedule has helped with the transition. Our schedule is not anything fancy, but it is based upon my kids’ brick and mortal school routine. It starts the night before by setting out their clothes for the next day. Each morning, they get up to their alarms set to the same time as the academic year. We run the same morning routine as a regular school day—get dressed, make your bed, eat breakfast, turn TV off, and put dishes in kitchen. For the “schoolwork” part, I have let my son (a second grader) choose the order of his day. He likes to begin with reading a book before going online to complete assignments. We have lunch together, then some more schoolwork time. In the afternoon, it is PE. Since the weather has been nice, we have used this time to take bicycle rides around the neighborhood and along a trail. The lunch and bike riding have been great times of bonding as we have more time to talk with each other. Once home, the afternoon is spent how they like—playing with toys, creating art, or doing science experiments.
In addition to a daily routine, flexibility and grace are needed. Online meetings, either school or work, calls for the schedule to be adapted some days. Issues with technology or assistance on assignments also put plans for the day on hold. In a way, these situations give you the feeling of being in the office with coworkers again. Just know there will be days which run as smooth as ice and others which you feel like nothing has been accomplished. Give yourself grace knowing we are all in this together and there is no perfect solution.
The following website is from The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at the University of Texas, and contains videos for learning at home parent/guardian support: https://www.meadowscenter.org/library/resource/helping-your-kid-with