What a crazy time!! Everything is out of quack, that is why now, more than ever, children need an academic schedule. When things are out of hand, a schedule is something that is consistent and makes the unpredictable a little more normal.
Within each time frame there is a general topic: reading, math, STEM, etc. that sets up an expectation that during a certain time of the day attention will be dedicated to that topic. What students learn within that hour should have student input. Allowing students to have control over some aspect of their learning, helps them feel some power during an unprecedented time.
Here are some tips on each of the areas in the schedule:
READING: A lot of libraries are still open, so take advantage. If they are closed, ask among friends if they have books you can swap. If need be, have your child read labels on food products, organize items on the shelf in alphabetical order, or write and illustrate their own books. If you are still short on reading material in your home, there are lots of online platforms to explore.
MATH: Great time to get students off of worksheets and into applying math. Have students count money, play games like Monopoly, Chess, and Mancala, measure rooms, follow recipes, create a city block, or race toy cars. Here are a few ideas for free math ideas and information.
CREATIVE TIME: Do art projects, play music (make sure to have children’s music playing for young kids, most teach lessons) or learn to play an instrument, build with Legos or blocks, or make clay or playdough.
STEM TIME: This is a fun time to explore things in your yard, neighborhood, kitchen, etc. If you have electronics/appliances that are broken, allow your child to open them up and check them out. STEMfinity has some free resources if you are looking for ideas.
PLAY TIME: Play is important for people at any age. Having play time in the afternoon allows children to have something to look forward to. Try not to use this as a punishment and taking it away if the child doesn’t do their reading or math, that only leads to resentment of reading and math. If they aren’t engaged in reading and math, it just means we need to be more creative during that time to keep them interested.
TRIVIA TIME: This is a time for kids to find out information about something they are interested in. Have them write down some interesting facts about a topic of their choice and share it during dinner.
PE TIME: Get outside!!! As we are all going to feel cooped up very soon, and kids especially need to get outside and run, bike, move. If kids are left to their own devices, they would sit in front of a screen all day and eat. We need to make sure to limit screen time.
MEAL PREP: This is such an important time for bonding. Cooking with your kids teaches so many skills from measuring, how to use utensils, reading recipes, understanding cooking times, and more.
I hope this helps with the long days ahead, we are all in this together. And, if you have free resources or lesson suggestions, please share them in the comments. Make sure to take care of yourself, and remember that breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
For breakfast I had, a big bowl of Cheerios!