Now that we are into the term, you have a realistic idea of what might be required of your child and what learning from home looks like. This is a good starting point, because it provides a baseline, but now it is up to each family to figure out how to hone that schedule into something that suits their unique situation.
Perhaps you are working from home right now and just trying to get through a Zoom meeting of your own without being interrupted. Maybe you are discovering your inner ‘homeschooler’ and relishing this change – downloading resources and signing up to free trials whenever you get the chance.
Whatever situation you find yourself in – with your mix of children, time, mental health and learning abilities – it is important that you customise your schedule to fit your family’s needs.
So, why don’t you start by asking yourself these questions:
- What are the stated requirements of the school or the recommendations of the government?
- When are my children at their best? Is it mid-morning? First thing? After lunch?
- What are your work/parenting task requirements? What time do you actually have to work with?
- When are the natural lulls in the day? When does everyone seem to need some alone time?
- What are some fun things that you can incorporate into the day? This doesn’t have to be complicated, but do make it something YOU enjoy too.
- How can you use meal times to create a rhythm?
Once you have answered the above questions, sit down with a whiteboard or a sheet of paper, and invite the family to contribute as well. Ask each child to bring a journal or notebook to the table so that they can set out their own learning schedule as well.
If you do like learning by example, check out this Khan Academy breakdown that offers options for kids of different ages or these suggestions from Oxford Owl, but just make sure that the particular model (or models) you decide on works for you.
Creating a schedule is likely to involve a bit of trial and error, so don’t worry if it doesn’t come together right away. We are all learning so much throughout this process and every mistake is an opportunity to realign ourselves towards where we want to be.