How to Make a New Home Routine During School Closure
The COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted education and made children stay at their homes which rose to a new problem: What will the kids do all day? This isn’t a normal day where they can just go outside whenever they want. It’s far from it.
As a parent, you might be scrambling to find a way on how you can smoothly transition your kids into an at-home life. Entertaining them during the weekends is already hard, what more when you have to entertain them every single day?
The key lies in the routine that you will set up for them. Most probably, your kids are not new to it since schools have their own sets of routines which they follow as well. Doing so will make it way easier for you and your kids to start and end the day. Remember, the goal here is to keep your kids as busy as they can while learning and enjoying at the same time.
Here’s how to set a routine for your child:
Start with their school routine
Set up a routine close as to what your kids are used to. Let them eat their breakfast, snack, and lunch at the same time they have it in school. Divide the day into small chunks that you can allot for different activities such as reading, watching, writing, and so much more.
If possible, ask the teacher of your kids about the routine that they usually follow and set up yours just like them. This way, your kids will not be shocked by the sudden transition and they can adjust accordingly, too.
Give them time to play
Once you are done with the food and school stuff, it pays to let your kids play. After all, kids are kids; playing is a part of their system. Giving them the time to play is actually hitting two birds with the same stone—they are enjoying and learning.
Besides, child-led play is very helpful to them. When kids play, they learn to imagine, build, create, and invent, which are all part of learning. The more they play, the more they develop these skills and the more they learn.
Schedule in reading
Reading is very important for kids. And since they are at home all day, this is a great time to build a reading habit for them. For example, you can allot 20–30 minutes each day for them to read any book they want.
It is not necessary that they will be reading continuously for 30 minutes. You can divide it into blocks; just take note of the time. It is even better if you join them when reading. And in case your kids want to read longer, then that’s better. Do not be afraid to mess up with your schedule as long as they are being productive.
Make a screen time routine
If you want to give your kids screen time while schools are closed, making it as productive as it can be. Use this screen time as a parenting tool for your kids to learn. To make screen time productive, try the following:
- Make screen time predictable by setting up a specific time, so that they will know when they can expect to be on screen. For example, you can let them have their screen time while you are cooking. Make sure to stick with the allotted time, so that they will not overindulge into it.
- Once the screen time is over, make sure that all screens are turned off, be it the television, iPad, or laptop. If your house is too quiet, just play soft music which can relax everyone in the house.
- Download educational games your kids can play during screen time. Make sure that the games you will download are appropriate for their age.
- If you need to open the screen beyond screen time, make it to the point that it is really needed and it is worth it. For example, when you have to watch for some important news or announcement, or you need to make a video call to a very important person.
Have some quiet time
With everything that is going around, having a quiet time is very needed. Your kids need to take a nap and so do you. A quiet time will help you and your kids destress and feel relaxed. While your kids are taking a nap, this might be your chance to find out more things you can let them do while they are at home.
For example, you can read online articles or join forums that will help you adjust to your current situation. You may also find some tips and tricks here on how you can make homeschooling more fun and enjoyable for your kids.
Consider your schedule
If you are working at home during this time, your routine must be aligned with your schedule. Working while your kids are around is very challenging; that is why you must let them know what you expect from them and vice versa.
Let them know you can’t stick to them every minute since you have work, too. And while you are working, you can set up a schedule where they can learn or enjoy on their own. For example, you can let them watch educational videos or play educational games some more. Your kids might find this set up hard first, but they will surely adjust in no time.
Aside from work, you must also include your other needs such as taking a bath, sleeping, and everything else into the routine. You are a parent—you need some break, too! Go and read or take a walk when you badly need it. Keeping yourself stressed won’t do you any good most especially right now.
Stick with your routine
Sticking to a routine is easier said than done. You might have the most beautiful routine, but making it work is the hardest part. Here are some of the things you can do to help you stick with your routine:
- Include your child or the entire family when making a schedule. Ask for their opinion. For example, you can ask them about the subject they want to learn first or so. Give them the freedom to set their own pace and consider their choices. This will likely make them more productive.
- Let everyone know the daily schedule by posting it somewhere accessible like the fridge. This will let them know the flow of the day and you no longer have to remind them every now and then.
- Do not be afraid to disobey the schedule sometime. Just carry on and start again. There will surely be adjustments that will be made throughout the day and that is totally fine. As long as everyone is being productive, then you do not have anything to worry about.
Creating a new routine could be very challenging, but it shouldn’t be!
Though creating a new routine is not a walk in the park, it is no doubt the most effective way to keep things in their place at these times, especially now that you and your kids are pretty scrambling about home learning.
Do not be afraid to mix things up as long as your kids are learning and having fun while you are being productive as well.
If you have some tangible tips, tricks, and practical advice about how to create new or change home routines that could be helpful to other parents and teachers, we encourage you to be involved in our growing community. Share your experiences and give actionable tips to others by registering at All Digital School (which is 100% free of charge!).
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Let us know what other practical tips we can do to create a new home routine during this COVID-19 school closure.