I’m curious, what do you think about what’s going on in our country and around the world right now? I’ll admit, at first I was annoyed by it. I thought everyone was overreacting over something that’s barely worse than the flu. I was upset that we had to reschedule our Disney World trip, and I’m still worried we’ll have to push it back again. I was dreeeaaaddding being home 24/7 with two young children. I, of course love my children more than anything, but I also really enjoy my alone time while they’re at school. It’s my time to get things done around the house or just relax.
I’ve changed my attitude though. The more I’ve read about the benefits of social distancing and what has been going on in Italy, the more I understand how beneficial it is and how this time together can actually be a huge blessing. We’ve decided to make the best of it and I’m actually pretty excited about this time at home with family.
I could tell that Raley was needing a break anyway. She tends to get super whiny a couple weeks before she’s due for a break in school, and Spring Break was two weeks away. We noticed a change in her attitude and behavior before Fall Break, Thanksgiving break, and Christmas break, then once she’s back at school when those breaks were over she was back to her normal self. I think these young elementary school age children just get tired and burned out by the go-go-go and these strategically placed breaks are much needed. With us already seeing her tiring out, I think this extended break is going to be very good for her (and us!)
So what’s our plan? I ended up making a grocery run last week (just in time!) and stocking up on several meals to get us through the next little bit. It won’t last us an entire three weeks, but we could probably stretch it to two. I’m glad I went when I did because I hear the shelves are empty now.
I also decided to make a daily schedule. This may not be something that ends up sticking the entire time, but if I don’t come into it with some sort of structure, I will feel a little lost, and we won’t be as productive. Are you like this? Do you thrive on structure or are you more go-with-the-flow?
Both the girls’ schools sent home work pages for them to do while we’re at home. They’re not mandatory, but I think it’s good for them to continue to build on things they’ve learned so there’s no learning gaps when they get back, especially if this ends up being for more than three weeks! I broke down our days into 1-2 hour blocks to try and keep the chaos to a minimum. I came across this the other day and laughed, because it’s probably very accurate, but hey, we at least have to try right?
Here’s our schedule. I’m adding this image in case you think something similar would work for you and you’d like to save it, then I’ll break it down a little more below.
Our Daily Schedule
- 8:00-9:00 Breakfast/Chores
- Eat breakfast and do simple morning chores (make bed, clean bedroom, put clothes away, clean their spot at the table)
- 9:00-10:00 Learning time – Literacy/Reading
- Letters, sight words, CVC words, journaling, reading
- 10:00-11:30 Creative time/Activities/Outdoor Play
- Kids – Drawing/coloring, crafts, activities (see list below), play outside
- Me – Read, do chores, work on projects
- 11:30-12:00 Lunch
- 12:00-12:30 Learning time – Math/shapes
- Addition and subtraction sheets, numbers, counting, shapes (Audrey)
- 12:30-2:00 Free play – Inside or outside (No TV)
- 2:00-4:00 Rest time
- Nap, read books, write/draw
- 4:00-4:30 Exercise/Stretching/Practice recital dances
- 4:30-6:00 Free play – Inside or outside (TV ok)
- 6:00 Dinner
- 6:45-8:00 Family time
- Games, movie night, walk around neighborhood
- 8:00 Bedtime
I broke up the learning time because I wasn’t sure how long I would keep Raley’s attention span if we tried to do both literacy worksheets and math in the same sitting. Today it worked very well to break it up.
Another tip – set expectations. I let the girls know that the next few weeks are going to be different than any we’ve ever experienced before. This is not like a regular spring break or summer break, because we would normally be able to get out of the house and go play or swim or go to the park, but we won’t be able to entertain ourselves that way this time. I let them know that we are going to try and follow a schedule and that I expect them to go with it and not complain. So far they’ve had a good attitude about everything, but that could definitely change!
I tried to think of some activities that we could do over the next few weeks that will kind of mix it up a bit. I know that they’ll get bored if they’re doing the same thing every day. We have a few craft kits that have been sitting in a closet for a while, that hopefully we’ll be able to get done! Here’s a list of a few options for indoor creative/fun activities to keep you busy, especially on rainy days when you can’t get outside.
Indoor Quarantine Activities
- Kinetic sand
- Board games
- Bake cookies
- Stepping stones kit
- Build a birdhouse
- Plant a fairy garden
- Spa day (bubble bath, mani-pedis)
- Paint with water
- Live videos (The Cincinnati zoo does live Facebook videos with their animals every day at 2:00)
- ASL videos
Are there any activities you plan to do with your child that I should add to this list?
I’d like to hear how you’re feeling and what you think about the situation. It’s unlike anything that’s ever happened before and it’s a little scary to think where the economy could be headed. I just keep praying that by distancing ourselves we will be able to stop the spread and allow this thing to be taken care of quickly, and we can all get back to life as normal. Especially those that are sick and those that are unable to work during this time. I think all we can do is pray and remember God is in control.
How are you feeling about all this? Do you thrive with structure or do you prefer to go with the flow? What are your plans for the next few weeks?