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Beleaguered in Bangor
Managing distance learning for kids in varying grades all while working full-time from home is challenging, so kudos to you for how well you’ve done it so far. It’s certainly not easy, but you’re spot on with the notion of using a schedule to your advantage. Not only will a schedule help your family know what to anticipate throughout the day and week, but it will also help you clearly see where you can appropriately budget your time for your many other responsibilities.
So where to start? We love Common Sense Media, an awesome resource for entertainment and technology recommendations for families. They put together a few sample schedules by grade level that you can customize for full-day distance learning. (These are for K-2, but they’re really customizable for older students, too.) I recommend creating one of these for each child, so that the schedule includes their goals for the week, clickable links to their learning sites so they don’t have to keep toggling around, and activities for their free time.
Once you have your kids’ schedules laid out, I highly recommend having a start-of-the-day meeting that consists of walking your kids through their goals, schedule for the day, when you need complete silent time, when you’ll be available for assistance, and where to find everything they’ll need. Come back together at the end of the day to check in about how the day went, what they learned, how to charge and store their devices, and where to put away materials.
Here are a few of our favorite parenting hacks, designed to make the day run more smoothly.
Have a signal for when it’s okay to interrupt you. The stoplight system can work well, but get creative and do whatever works for you and your kids.
Put the kids to work. There’s no reason you should have to do it all on your own. Have the big kids help the younger one get prepared for the day, read with or to the little one, and with household chores like laundry and meal prep. Your youngest doesn’t have to be left out: Maybe they’re in charge of getting everyone’s school materials ready for the start of the day and putting them away at the end of the day.
Set up a snack station. Put all the pre-approved snacks in one place that’s within easy reach of the kids, and include designated snack times in the daily schedules. Instead of interrupting you every time they’re hungry, they can help themselves.
This isn’t easy, and you’re killing it! I hope these suggestions help lighten your load just a little bit.
“Not only will a schedule help your family know what to anticipate throughout the day and week, but it will also help you clearly see where you can appropriately budget your time for your many other responsibilities.”