Scheduling for Success; How to Build Structure Into Your Children's Day
Many teachers take the summer to ready their lesson plans, curriculum gets updated, new teaching techniques emerge and they adjust the previous year’s lessons accordingly. This year they’re having to account for something completely unexpected, teaching your children through a computer screen. While they prepare for an entirely new method of teaching, you’re preparing to become your child's co-teacher. That reality can feel very heavy, but with a few tips and tricks you can master this new normal.
Keeping a schedule can help to bring a bit of normalcy to various situations. In this case, with many of us schooling our children at home this fall, a schedule will provide structure, create consistency, and should help to lower anxiety.
Before we get started we want to remind you to ease into things. The first 5 days don’t need to look like the next 5 days, which don’t need to look like the 5-10 days after that. That’s to say, you’re going to have to find the schedule that works best for your family.
Here are some action items for building structure into your children’s days:
Develop a flexible schedule.
Have a set of expectations that encourage a variety of activities like their school work, reading, physical exercise, and family time.
Make sure your kids get dressed and eat a well balanced breakfast each morning. If you were used to sending them off to school with breakfast here are 3 simple and balanced school breakfast ideas from Healthy Height that may help. By getting them fed and ready, kids are more likely to take school more seriously than if they were showing up to lessons in pajamas.
Pack a lunch.
Wait, really? Yes. Meal prep helps to keep that schedule moving and then you don’t have to stop what you’re doing to get lunch going. If mornings are too chaotic and packing a lunch has gone out the window, send the kids outside for some “recess” while you assemble lunch. Here are 8 back-to-school lunch ideas for picky eaters.
Give them a say.
Talk to your kids about what interests them and try to balance that with activities to keep them active. By empowering them with a say in some of their school schedule they’re more likely to be open to participating and going with the flow.
Officially end the day.
Try to wrap up the day at the same time everyday. When kids are in school this is signaled by the bell, try having an alarm set to go off at a specific time. Once it rings, clean up the learning space and they’re free to go.
Remember, schedules at home don’t need to mirror their school schedule, you have more flexibility to be more creative at home. For example, if you prefer your children get all of their school work done right after their video lessons with the teacher and use the second half for play time and discovery that’s perfectly fine. Or if you have a child that needs frequent breaks to keep them focused then that works too. While structure and consistency are good for your family, remember to be kind to yourself, it’s okay if you don’t have all the kinks worked out yet.
Next time we’ll be covering every kid's favorite subject - recess! More specifically, how to burn through that endless supply of energy. If you found this article helpful please share it with your fellow parents and give us a follow so that we can continue to share with each other.