Think of your schedule as adding routine and rhythm to what may seem like endless time to your child. Do you know what day it is today, or are the days starting to feel the same? Work with your child’s natural biorhythm and needs. If your child wakes up and needs to burn energy, do active things or take your child outside first. If the school has sent work in a subject your child struggles with, work with your child on this during their alert time.
From the parents I have spoken with recently from many different towns, there is no standard for what the schools are requiring. If you are struggling with your child to learn something, don’t be afraid to be flexible. Take a break. Decide if maybe reading a fiction book or watching a movie with you about the topic would still meet the goals. Let children pursue learning about topics that interest them and give a presentation via video, song, art project, comedy routine, etc. Love of learning is key to success later.
You are not living in a school; you are surviving isolation. Children who are stressed need a balance of play and learning. When we can combine them both the healthier your child will be. At the end of each day, evaluate how the day went with your child and adjust the schedule as needed. Praise your child’s creativity, flexibility, efforts and successes.
Keep meals and sleep at about the same time each day. This will help keep your child regulated. Lack of sleep and food leads to moodiness for us all. Screens in bed are not advised for good sleep and children tell me they are watching until very late into the night. Add quiet time to each day. Schedule in exercise and get outside, it will shift your state of mind.
Be creative with the schedule. Take fist bump and hug breaks. Have themed days, pajama or whacky hat day. Be sure to add in family fun time each day and maybe mark the end of each week with a celebration, awards ceremony or a performance.
And hard as it may be caregivers, fill your tank too. Your calm presence is a most important factor in your child’s regulation. Schedule in caregiver breaks, tea or smoothie time, a bath, music, hoop shooting or FaceTime with a friend. Also try to keep in mind that everything changes and ends.
This is all temporary.