The news came quickly and without much time to prepare – four weeks at home with our children! Where do we even begin? Four weeks seems like an eternity for those of us who usually send our kids to school and go off to work! What do we do now, with all this time on our hands?
I used to homeschool my daughters, and through trial and error, we settled into a good routine that worked for everyone. I’d like to pass on a few things that I learned over the years.
- Routines and schedules are really important. In these uncertain times, having a predictable daily schedule is really comforting to children. Create a daily schedule (your children can help!) and try to stick with it.
- In your daily schedule, find the “pillars” that occur everyday at regular times. For us, this was meal times. But it could be bath time, nap time, etc.
- Other things to make sure you include in your daily routine:
- Outside play
- Read alouds
- Quiet time
- Free play
- “School time” with simple literacy and numeracy activities
- Healthy meal and snack times
- Limit screen time. It benefits everyone.
- Involve your children in mealtime. For example:
- Children can slice bananas or other soft foods.
- Add literacy to your meal making by talking about first letter sounds and finding other words that start with the same sound (for example: ‘sandwich’ starts with what sound? What other words start with that sound?).
- Add numeracy to your meals by counting the different items on your plate, or how many potatoes went into the pot.
- Create a bedtime ritual. It’s even more important now to get good sleep so our bodies are healthy. Having a consistent ritual each night will help children calm down, feel comforted and sleep more soundly. Something we all benefit from!
Right now, at my house, it feels like summer with lots of fun free time! But I know that without putting a routine in place and involving my children in daily activities, this long break will become less fun and more stressful. By planning out our days, even just a little bit, we are ensuring that we will enjoy this time together.
Author: Rachel Sandhorst, NE IA Food & Fitness F2ECE Associate