- with laundry (washing, hanging to dry, folding and putting them away, matching socks)
- with meals ( wash veg and fruit, add spices, chop veggies, fill pots with water)
- set the table
- clear the table
- wash the dishes and put clean ones away
- sweep the floor
- vacuum the floor
- tidy their room
4. SCHEDULE CHORES
I always say our family is a team and we have to work together, even more so when things are so mixed up.
Even little ones can help. Maybe talk about what chores can be done at the dinner table.
And guess what? these are all great life lessons!
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6. SCHEDULE OUTSIDE TIME
This is separate from exercise time and it doesn't have to involve exercise.
My youngest LOVES soccer so he uses his outside time to kick the ball against our garage. What do your kids like to do? Baseball? Basketball? Road hockey?
My eldest just likes to go for a long solitary walk.
A walk around the neighbour can be made extra fun by having a scavenger hunt.
Maybe you have nice weather and no snow...take out your bikes or skateboards or scooters or roller blades if you have any of those. Or maybe its so nice you can plant some seeds!
Still snow on the ground? try sledding, or shovelling the sidewalk to help the snow melt faster.
1. SCHEDULE A WAKE UP TIME!
This gives the day some normalcy. Wake up and do the same morning routine Monday to Friday. Brush teeth. Change clothes. All the regular things bring reassurance.
Have a morning check-in. Have a family discussion about how everyone is feeling.
5. SCHEDULE LEARNING TIME/ ART TIME
Perhaps your children's schools have set up remote learning, in which case the academic portion of your Monday to Friday is already covered. Perhaps you don't have access to this. Hopefullly some of these ideas will help keep your kids' brains active and creative and learning.
Before our on-line classes were set up I scheduled academic time with things linked to the main subjects: math, science, English, social studies. My youngest explored Slam Poetry, my eldest started to read Hamlet.
I'll be making a separate page of ideas for each of these for different ages.
Think outside the four main subjects.
Try a cooking class: if you have cookbooks flip through one together, or watch an online video tutorial, or bake cookies and use math when measuring.
How about Art Time? Spend some time gathering the materials you have around the house and then pick a project to work on the next day.
Be sure to give eye breaks if you are going back to back with subjects.
Here is our schedule
Print out a copy of my Happy Family Happy Day Scheduleand fill in the spaces to meet your own family's needs.
Let us know on Social Media your ideas!
9. SCHEDULE FAMILY TIME
Life is precious. Family is precious. Use this time to make happy memories. We will use this two hour slot to play board games or watch a movie or TV series together.
Maybe make it a day task to gather the old games you all want to play together.
3. SCHEDULE MEALS
Have designated spots for every activity will break things up. Meals are at our main table and no where else, even snacks.
Get your kids to help with dinner prep as well! Teaching kids to cook is a useful life skill.
How wonderful to eat together again. With teens and their busy schedules (my eldest works, my youngest has soccer and guitar) it was rare for us to eat together at a table all at once. Cherish this time!
I found it very useful to make a schedule for my kids...not overplanning, just giving structure to the day. This gives a sense of normalcy and calm. I have teenaged boys and one in grade 12 so academics needs to be kept up with them. I've fit in four slots for the main subjects and they choose which subject to work on when (math, science, English, social studies). If you have little kids you don't have to be as focused. I will provide ideas below...
CHECK HERE FOR SOME OUTDOOR IDEAS KIDS IN ACTION IDEAS:
LEARN ABOUT EACH OTHER AND UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER:
As you work with your kids you will learn a lot about them. You will learn how they learn!
There are seven basic learning styles. How do your kids learn?
1. Verbal - this learner remembers what is spoken or read aloud. They are alos good at writing.
2. Visual - this learner rememebrs what they've seen (pictures, photogrpahs, diagrams, charts). They like spatial understanding.
3. Kinesthetic - this learner needs movements and physical things to learn like acting out skits, or writing and using flashcards, or placing their hands on things.
4. Auditory - this learner responds to rhythms or verbal cues like music little poems and can use these things to memorize facts. They may study better with music on so fetch some headphones if you have two different learners around. They may like to talk out loud as they learn too.
5. Social - this learner prefers to be in a group (yes hard during Social Distancing but you can use family or video chats) and is interpersonal so they are sensitve to the feelings of others
6. Solitary - this learner prefers to work alone and is more reflective. They will most likely want their own special space to learn in.
7. Logical - this learner excels at puzzles and math and will apporach learning in a systematic way using systems, reasoning and sequences.
Combination Learners - lots of us are combination learners preferring two or more ways to learn!
Check here frequently as this is being built live and will keep changing!
7. SCHEDULE QUIET TIME/ READING TIME:
Designate a space for cozy quiet time. We've set this time aside for reading. I've quite enjoyed following this as well.
My eldest has to read enough for school so he does mind puzzle books like suduko and crosswords.
if your kids are very little and can't read or are just learning use this time to read to them and work on their reading skills together.
Maybe spend some time searching the house for what books your kids would like to read alone or with you or to have you read aloud to them.
Another idea is to pick a big book or series like Harry Potter and take turns reading pages as a family. This works for different reading ages.
I'm not a doctor or a scientist or a healthcare provider etc.. I feel helpless instead of helpful. All I can do is share what I can do, as little as that may be. I'm trained as a teacher, and I work as an artist, writer, and website builder. FULL DISCLOSURE: I make no money off of #familythemedays. I make & share them because I believe in #FamilyLiteracy. That said, if you're #SocialDistancing or in #SelfQuarantine and not sure what to do with your kids I hope you can use some of these ideas either on this Page or anywhere on my site.
You know your family and know what they like.
Maybe you'll have Music Time or Dance Time!
Maybe you'll have Dress-Up Time or Puppet Time!
Maybe you'll have nap time!
Maybe you'll have Science Experiment Time!
Click here for some ideas for Learning Time with your Kids at Home:
CHECK HERE FOR SOME KIDS IN THE KITCHEN IDEAS:
2. SCHEDULE EXERCISE TIME!
Exercise is so important for mental and physical health to keep active, plus it's fun!
We live in colder climes and the weather is not the best right now but thanks to You Tube I exercise with my two teenaged sons. We made space in our tiny living room and it is now our spot to move in the morning. I will post more ideas and actual links later.
Decide when and where this will be done. My sons like to exercise in the morning but maybe yours will want to move around more in the afternoon.
CHECK HERE FOR SOME READING IDEAS READING TIME:
INTROVERT OR EXTROVERT OR MORE?
I've got one of each as sons and I've had to explain to them over the years what an extravert is and an intravert is so that they have patience with each other.
Extroverts need to recongize that introverts are going to need some alone time to refuel. Introverts need to recognize that Extroverts need to be around people to refuel. This might be a challenge when Social Distancing but talk about it with your kids so that the family can respect that everyone is different.
We are all unique! Families are full of personalities!
It is so fascinating! Share the results around the dinner table or during Family Time!
8. SCHEDULE FREE TIME A FEW TIMES A DAY
When the kids finish their chores or little academic assignments they get free time, but I've also made sure to give them their own free time.
Kids need time to do what they want to do. This can include video chats with friends, watching fun videos, playing games, playing with toys, whatever. They decide. Or maybe it's just they need time alone in their room.
My sons also take turns using the x-box as a socializing time with their friends online.
Click here for some ideas for ART TIMEwith your Kids at Home:
CHECK HERE FOR SOME KIDS IN ACTION IDEAS:
Trust me when I say this has kept sanity in our household. It has stopped my sons from quarreling constantly! (Oh, they still fight, but not as often. lol).