Scheduling Your Way To Sanity Through Coronavirus Quarantine
How To Create A Daily Schedule Your Kids Will Love
I have been homeschooling my son who has ADHD for seven years now. As I field questions from parents getting ready to have their children home all-day for several weeks I have a lot of advice I want to share. But if I could only give one single nugget from my hard-earned collection of gems that have kept me sane over all of these years, then I would have to say, first and foremost, make a daily schedule. Having a plan is always best and as far as children are concerned, having an idea of what is coming next is a source of comfort when things have gotten rather chaotic.
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How To Make Your Daily Schedule.
Divide your time: I always have two schedules up. One is our weekly at a glance schedule and the second is our daily schedule.
Our weekly calendar highlights any events or appointments we have scheduled. These are usually our volunteer events, games, and practices, doctor’s appointments, or field trips. Stuff like that.
Our daily schedule is the type I am encouraging parents across the world to develop right now. I always have my own copy of this as well as his copy. Because he has ADHD this tool is especially helpful for him. He can see what he has left and doesn’t feel overwhelmed with the unknown. It also saves my sanity because he isn’t asking me four thousand times a day how much he has left. We also both get satisfaction from checking off each completed task. His daily schedule looks like this: (This is just a typical Monday – I won’t bother with an entire weeks worth because most of you will not be using this for academic purposes but every day is slightly different.
9:30 am: Breakfast
10 am: Bible Study and Prayer
10:30 am to 11 am: Reading (required reading)
11 am to noon – World Literature – Grammar & Comp + Vocab
noon to 12:30 pm: Lunchtime
12:30 to 1: Daily Walk (weather permitting) or Exercise
1 pm to 1:45: Algebra 2
15-minute break to move and get some fresh air
2 pm to 2:45 pm: Chemistry
2.45 to 3:15: World History
3:15 to 3:45: Spanish
3:45 to 4 pm: Clean Up
Here is how I would suggest parents dealing with the quarantine schedule their days. Using blocks like these.
Sample Daily Schedule
- Movie or Educational Documentary
- Exercise or art (Find fun art ideas here)
- Early evening
- Clean-Up Time (chore charts are great right here)
- Outside Time
Daily Schedule Incentives:
That new schedule will likely be met with enthusiasm, at first. If this quarantine continues for several weeks you may find it necessary to institute incentive. Bribery, you ask? Kind of. How we worked it when T was in the lower grades was like this. If he completed the entire day and also managed a RAK (Random Act of Kindness) then he earned different incentives. 3 RAK’s got him a trip for ice cream. 4 RAK’s earned him a DVD from Red Box. 5 RAK’s and a completed schedule earned him a field trip. With the restrictions of the virus, you may choose a family movie night at home with a popcorn bar or a hot cocoa bar, or maybe a family board game night… Stuff like that.
Random Acts of Kindness:
I think this is especially important when we are likely to all feel a little bit stir crazy, anxious, and perhaps off-kilter with everything so surreal in the world around us. Random acts of kindness in your home can ease the tension and bring everyone closer together rather than further apart. Here are a few suggestions:
- Do a chore for a family member
- Fix a snack to share
- Help make lunch or dinner
- Babysit so Mom and Dad can have a few hours alone
- Write a thank you card to someone who has been kind to you
- Paint a picture for a family member
- Take your pet for a walk around outside
- Bake something for your neighbor. Leave it on the doorstep and ring the doorbell before heading back home.
Here are a few samples you are welcome to print from my shop. This print out includes both a completed and a blank schedule for you. You can just as easily grab a pen and paper or a whiteboard or a chalkboard and create the same thing but these are cool too.
One last thing before you go. Careful not to get an iron grip on your schedule. One of the best parts of being together at home is the freedom it gives you to go with the flow. If you discover your kids are really interested in space one day then go ahead and dig deep into that particular thing no matter where it takes you. Make moon phase cookies out of Oreos, paper mache your way into a moon pinata, or watch Apollo 13.
If they just want to dance and listen to music all day go with it. Let them research music history and have everyone find and share one song that really speaks to them and share them with everyone else. Have everyone come up with one dance move to teach everyone else and then choreograph a dance with the combination. Have fun. Laugh together, play together, enjoy each other. Just make the best of this time together. Life is what we make it.
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