“I complain a lot about the schedule, but I kind of like it” my teenager commented in our fourth week of quarantine. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I realized this was a breakthrough. She was seeing the value of planning out the day.
One thing they don’t teach in schools is how to organize time. Kids follow a bell schedule and sometime in upper elementary school, a daily planner is tossed their way. That’s about it.
When coronavirus made me a homeschool teacher overnight, I grabbed onto this school day routine that was making the rounds on social media.
It was too rigid for my crew but it got us through that first week. More importantly, it opened up conversations about time blocking.
“The idea is simple,” best selling author Cal Newport explains, “Assign specific times on your schedule for when you want to complete specific tasks.”
It creates a rhythm for the day. Both the kids and the parents know what to expect next and when they have time to get done the things they want to get done. At the end of each week, discuss what’s working and what isn’t. Keep the good stuff and improve the bad stuff.
For example, after the first week, both kids were complaining that all their screentime was at the end of the day. I didn’t love that plan either because well...it’s not the best way to get ready for a good night’s sleep. My daughter proposed that they have an hour of screen time during their quiet time after lunch. BRILLANT!
I admit I’m a schedule follower but now is not the time to go all drill sergeant. We need to love on our kids, friends, and family more than ever. We need to love on ourselves. If that means letting an arts and crafts session go all morning just because, then so be it. Or skip it altogether because you just aren’t feeling artsy today.
Put your relationships FIRST!
The bigger lesson here is that we have to approach these stay at home orders as a team. We all have goals we are trying to accomplish and I would rather be a coach than a manager. Celebrating wins, teaching lessons and cheering from the sidelines.
You don't have to chose between your personal and professional life. Here's my secret weapon for getting the family chaos to calm.