Much of what we experience from a typical day of school or work is a sense of routine and structure. With more time being spent at home due to COVD, many of us are starting to see the struggles of not having this daily structure. Learning to establish routines and schedules is going to be valuable for all as we approach the beginning of the 2020 school year.
For Parents and Children:
One of the many benefits that school provides for a young child is a sense of routine and consistency throughout the day. Routine is incredibly important and helpful for a child. Some helpful ways to create this for your child is implementing a routine throughout the day that stays consistent. Having consistent times for school work, breaks, meals, and family time can help your child know what is expected of them and establish a routine. Just as you would for a typical day in school, continue to implement consistent morning and night routines.
Visual schedules are an excellent way to help your child keep track of their day. These can be as fancy or as simple as you want. Create pictures to outline the child’s day including school work, lunches and breaks so that they can see what to expect throughout the day. Additionally this can be used as a behavior tool as well to remind your child what is expected before they earn free time or other reinforcements.
As a teenager, you are starting to develop more independency for yourself and can start taking control of some of your own routines. With online or hybrid school programs, more responsibility is laid on you to be on time for classes and completing assignments on time. Creating a schedule that keeps track of your due dates for assignments, class times, and important responsibilities will help you stay organized and on top of your responsibilities. You can easily create a schedule on your devices or on paper; whichever works best for you. There are lots of free apps out there that are designed just for this purpose.
Begin your day with looking at your schedule to determine what is needed to be done. It may be helpful to also write down your goals that you would like to accomplish. As you proceed through your day check off what you have completed and continue to add in what may need to happen on other days.
While you may have years of experience with needing to schedule and structure your work and home lives, COVID has certainly added another level of challenge. It can be so easy to become distracted by other responsibilities around you when you are home more often. If possible, create a separate space for yourself where you can work, teach, or help kids with school. Even in small spaces, set aside a part of a room as your work space. This can help separate that work and life balance.