My husband and I are fortunate to have jobs that are conducive to working from home; but with schools closed nationwide, that has become a challenge with two young kids and a teenager at home for the foreseeable future.
So how can you be productive and actually get work done while being interrupted every 5-10 minutes for snack requests, to mediate sibling squabbles or to the whine of “I’m bored, what can I do?”
Besides teaching math, reading and science, schools more importantly provide a consistent and predictable environment which most kids rely and thrive on through a daily schedule. Providing that continuity at home can help alleviate the stress, boredom and uncertainty for kids during this unprecedented time.
When building a daily schedule for home, here are a couple of tips:
- Since young kids have short attention spans, keep blocks of time to 30 minutes.
- Incorporate elements from your child’s class schedule into your home schedule.
- Allow for free time and outside time.
- Get creative – considering adding in art projects or baking sessions.
- Include time for household chores.
Here is an example of a weekly schedule I put together for my 1st grader.
There are so many wonderful and free educational sites that can help your kiddos stay engaged during this extended break. Here are some of my favorites:
Prodigy: This is a popular site for learning and practicing math skills.
Epic: Find exactly what you’re interested in among tens of thousands of books and watch learning videos.
K5 Learning: This site has free printable worksheets by grade level for math, reading comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, grammar and cursive writing.
Scholastic Learn at Home: Grades 1-2: Scholastic News has created daily lessons that include books, spelling practice, and videos about topics including spiders, our bodies and animals! They will publish more during the extended break too. There are daily lessons for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, grades 3-5 and grades 6-12 as well.
National Geographic Kids: This site covers a variety of topics and includes videos, quizzes, articles, etc.
National Geographic Family: Activity ideas for busting boredom with your child.
Storyline Online: Celebrities such as Kristen Bell from “Frozen” read children’s books aloud.
Typing Club: This is a free site that allows students to work on their keyboarding skills.
Verywell Family: You might find this parenting website’s roundup of 17 fun, educational websites helpful too!
The kids were excited about their schedules this morning and were eager to get cracking. It’s about 4pm, we have survived day one and mostly stuck to the schedule. I’ve been able to get some work done and write this blog, so SUCCESS in my book. Hopefully my kid’s enthusiasm for their schedule will last until Friday. And the end of the day… enjoy the extra time your kids, stay healthy and just breathe.