Maintain Routines at Home During COVID-19

Your kids are at home (while you probably have to work from home, too) for the next while. Read on for ideas on how to manage the kids’ schedules while school is closed, and why it's important to maintain routines.

Keep a Morning Routine
Chances are you're working from home so try to maintain a morning routine for the kids too. Research shows that kids thrive on consistency and routine, as it provides a sense of security, and in these uncertain times, kids need that more than ever. Wake them up at regular times, feed them breakfast, then pull out the workbooks and assignments.

Set Up a Designated Work Space
Your kids have a space in the classroom, so why not give them a space at home? This gives them a dedicated area where they can focus on daily learning activities, and art and crafting.

Find Balance Between Learning and Downtime
As tempting as it might be, don't let your kids spend the next weeks in front of electronics. Sure, TV and gaming devices are great, but do find a way to set aside some learning into their day. There are plenty of activities for kids that will teach them a thing or two: set up a science experiment, play math games, read books, or spend time in the kitchen. Computers and tablets can be helpful with online activities and learning, but save screen time fun for later in the day, when they've completed their work.

Make Daily To-Do Lists
You write out your to-do list for the home and for work. Do the same for daily lessons for the kids, and other activities you have planned for them. Your schedule should include meals, quiet time activities such as reading, time to complete any schoolwork provided by teachers, time for creative play such as arts and crafts or a family game, time for outdoor or active play, close to home, chores, and free time for your children to do something they enjoy. Schedule a phone call or video chat with a friend daily to help prevent feelings of isolation.

Utilize Free Online Educational Resources
Take advantage of free online educational resources to help kids keep busy with educational games or homework help. We have a list here. If your kids want start a new hobby during their time at home, there are plenty of online resources to help.

Get Outdoors
Kids don’t get enough outdoor time under normal circumstances so get outside if you can. Take the time to ride bikes, dig in the garden, do a messy art project or set up an outdoor learning lab in your backyard.

Maintain Regular Bedtime Hours
It would be easy to take a relaxed attitude toward kids’ sleep habits during this break from school but maintaining a consistent routine plays an influential role in helping kids get the sleep they need. Kids who get an adequate amount of sleep have improved attention, behaviour, learning, memory, and overall better mental and physical health. The last thing you want is for kids to be off their schedule once they do return to class.

Don't forget to set reasonable expectations for yourself and your kids. It’s okay to admit that your kids probably won’t be getting the same level of instruction that they’re accustomed to. Keeping them busy, reassured and safe during these uncertain times is key.

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