Getting into a good routine at home during the COVID-19 pandemic is not as easy as it may seem. Self isolation means that your family has needed to adjust to changes at a rapid pace. Just as your child was getting used to a routine at the beginning of the new school year, they have pivoted from being settled at school to learning online from home. A daily schedule will be effective in your household if everyone sticks to it each day - here’s an example schedule for those in their primary school years. If your school has moved to remote and flexible learning, you can always alter this schedule to suit your school’s recommendations.
How to make a daily schedule work at home
Start with a good night’s sleep. Everyone, not just children, needs adequate and quality sleep during the night. Getting a good sleep each night will help your child to start a new day afresh.
First things first, talk to your child through their routine and explain that having a routine filled with lots of interesting things to do will keep their days enjoyable. Talk to them about what motivation means – it’s the same for children of all ages.
Setting goals may be new to some children but the sooner they experience how good it feels to tick something off their list, the easier they will find it when they’re older! Achievements and reaching milestones also lead to happiness.
Routines with balance break up the day
Balance during the day is the spice of life. The home routine above breaks up the ‘fun’ and ‘not so fun’ tasks and you’ll notice that these are spread out during the day. The time blocks set aside for school related work also gives children a needed break from learning stimulation.
A good tip is to offer snacks throughout the day to replicate ‘brain time’ at school. A short break does wonders to allow your child to refuel, ready for the next task.
If you’re working from home, be sure to get some tips from here. Consider starting the day at the normal school start time, depending on your family arrangements now everyone is based at home. You’ll soon find that all members of the family will need their own dedicated space to learn and work from. Seeking advice from your school will ensure that your child is set up with the right programs and apps that the school will use to deliver learning materials.
Screens – to use or not to use?
There’s a great debate about limiting screen use at home for primary school aged children during self isolation but in fact, technology can assist students with their studying success. The trick is to determine the type of apps available on devices, including laptops and iPads, that will allow your child to learn. Your school will have some resources available for children to use whilst at home.
Learning tasks should be undertaken both with and without technology, just like at school. Although parents aren’t school teachers, you do have to set clear guidelines for your children and ensure that they adhere to these. The Raising Children Network provides some great tips for ensuring a good balance when it comes to screen time.
Wind down time
Before bed is wind down time and your child has already packed a fair bit into their day, from exercise to fun activities and school work. Sitting down towards the end of a busy day helps your child to get their mind and body relaxed, ready for a good night’s sleep.
OSHC services place a great emphasis on stimulating and fun activities for children to get involved with. The routines designed also allow for time in between for breaks and quiet time to relax. Having a schedule allows both adults and children to organise their time and to achieve their goals. This is especially important during self isolation when regular activities, such as sporting games, are postponed.