How are you settling into your socially-distanced life? Has your schedule fallen in disarray yet? Are you managing to pick up the pieces?
By helping your kids maintain structure in their days, you’ll help them to feel safe during these unusual days—but you’ll also keep yourself sane. Feel free to use this schedule as a springboard for your own, or find the daily routine (or lack thereof, we don’t judge) that works for your family.
Advice For Working Parents
Hey, superhero. Maybe you left your cape at the office, but wow your job just got difficult, and you’re killing it. You’ve got overlapping priorities and not enough hours in the day. We get it.
While you think about your kiddo’s schedule, don’t feel guilty about keeping work on your radar. Conference call? Time for a worksheet. Zoom meeting? Art project time. And if your littles start making an appearance in the daily meetings? We’re all in this together.
Advice For At-Home Parents
You’re used to being an at-home superhero. But we’re almost certain you’re not used to being a stand-in teacher, too. (That said, cheers to all the homeschoolers out there!)
Just because you’re quarantined doesn’t mean you magically got a degree in childhood education. Is their school providing virtual learning opportunities? Great. But even if they’re not, you don’t need to craft award-winning lesson plans. Focus on bite-sized activities—and don’t forget to focus on fun.
In the Morning | Wake Up
Let’s not get too ambitious. There’s no need to try to keep the same hours as they would during a regular school week—but it’s still good practice to have the family up and running every day. Out of bed. Teeth brushed. Hair brushed. Beds made. Clothes changed? Well, that’s optional. (Who’s still in PJs? Asking for a friend.)
9 – 10 AM | Creative Power Hour
You’re signing into Slack and combing through emails and getting into work-concentration mode, so this is the ideal time to give your kids some independent tasks. Try a creative exercise! Coloring sheets, LEGOs, building blocks, or watercolors with paper are all great ways to encourage them to set their imaginations free (and far away from your laptop).
This can also be a good time to get chores out of the way. Clean those rooms!
10 – 11 AM | Reading Time
Need to jump into a virtual meeting? Boss breathing down your neck about a project deadline? Need some “me time” and maybe a shower? Let younger kids savor some screen time in front of a read-aloud storytime video while you focus on that conference call. Fire up an audiobook for older kids, or let them have some independent reading time.
Do they want to read the same book they’ve read 10 times already? Great. As long as they’re engaged in a story, count it as a win. And if you’re running out of reads, you can always keep things fresh with a new, themed monthly book box!
11 AM – 12 PM | Virtual Field Trip
Odds are, you’ve had to explain why your kiddo can’t go to their favorite park or ice cream shop about 100 times by now. But modern technology is a marvelous thing, and your little explorers can still see the world—just virtually, for now. Help them visit museums and cultural sites, learn about aquatic life, and see wild animals up-close. It’s not true travel, but hey. You’re doing your best.
12 PM – 1 PM | Lunch
Congratulations on making it to the halfway point! It’s time to feed your little beasts. If you have older kids, this is a great time to have them help out. Keep things simple—we’re talking plain sandwiches, cheese and crackers, unpeeled carrots simple here. There are no teachers judging your Pinterest lunches anymore. (PS, don’t forget to feed yourself.)
1 – 2 PM | Academic Hour
You aren’t your child’s teacher, and no one expects you to be. Time to call in the professionals. A solid hour of an educational YouTube show, Khan Academy coursework, or an educational game on a tablet are all great choices. And if they get bored before the hour’s up, try not to sweat it.
Got young kids? It’s your lucky hour, because this is nap time. For them. Okay, for you too.
2 – 3 PM | Recess
Odds are, your kids are bouncing off the walls by now. The more you can get them moving, the better. If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard, let them grab a toy and run around while you keep watch from behind your laptop. Only have a balcony? That’s still fresh air and sunshine, ripe for the taking. And if you’ve only got the great indoors to work with, try kid-friendly yoga or dance videos. Or let them chase the family pet around.Whatever works.
3 – 5 PM | Free Time
A little structure can work magic during uncertain times, but balance is key. Let the kids end the day with a little guilt-free play time. They’ll be entertained, and you’ll have time to check off your final to-do items. Happy kids are resilient kids, so prioritize play and remember to give yourself a little break when you can.
You’re doing the best you can in the middle of these unprecedented times, and there’s no one “right” way to handle your day-to-day parenting, so take it all one day at a time. Check out this article whenever you need a little lift, and keep checking back here for more helpful tips.
Wondering how Literati is responding to COVID-19? Read that here.