The collaboration between parents and teachers is crucial in keeping the wheels of education turning while children are at home during school shutdowns. 

“It goes without saying that the minutes and hours spent at school are critical to build knowledge and foster motivation,” explains Erin Albee, an educator in Park Ridge, Illinois. “But these are unprecedented times. All of us in education have to work energetically to come up with solutions. By recognizing the partnership with parents at home, we will find a way to get through this together.” 

How we as parents structure our children’s time at home in the coming days and weeks is not only important to the kids, but will prove crucial to our own sanity. Below is an example of how your day could look. It’s important to let your children know what the expectations will be, and how your family will work together to make this time successful.  

And as a common sense side note: Your child’s entire day at school isn’t spent at their desk, nose to notebook. They have physical education, school assemblies, recess, et al. While your day should reflect a good portion of academics, balance here is key. 

Here’s an example day for your and your children during school closings: 

Before 9 a.m. 

Keep your before school routine as normal as possible. Eat breakfast, make beds, brush teeth, and get dressed. Executing your morning essentials will make it feel like a normal day. 

9 a.m. to 10 a.m. 

Time to get moving. Go out and walk the family dog. Practice some yoga. Ride a bike or shoot some hoops. Getting the wiggles out is crucial before nose to grindstone time.  

10 a.m. to 11 a.m. 

Academic time! If your school is offering it, now is the time to hop online for e-learning assignments posted by the teacher. For the younger set, work on flashcards, sorting activities, or educational math games.  

If you are floating between several children, remember that during a normal school day, your child is in a class with lots of kids. Your child’s teacher isn’t standing by their desk every second – he or she is used to working independently more than you realize! 

11 a.m. to Noon 

Time to get creative. Dive into a STEM project. Draw or paint a picture. Make some cookies. Practice your instrument. Construct a craft or engineer a design. 

Noon to 12:30 p.m. 

Everyone is hungry…let’s eat. Have children lend a hand for lunch. Don’t switch on the television or pass out tablets. Just like lunch at school, interact and chat while everyone is eating. 

12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. 

Let’s all pitch in. Clean up after lunch. Take out the garbage. Wipe down countertops, doorknobs, and light switches around the house.  

1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. 

Quiet time. Take a nap. Read a book quietly. Work on a puzzle. 

2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

Back to academics. Finish any assignments from the morning. Online academic games are perfect for this time. 

4 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

Afternoon fresh air! Get outside for a walk or play. Host a family treasure hunt outside. Build an obstacle course.  

5 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

Dinner time. Ask children to set the table or help make dinner. No electronics (naturally) during dinnertime. Talk about the day’s highs and lows. Set goals for tomorrow.  

6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

Kid’s choice. Play a family game. Watch a funny television show together. 

7:30 p.m. until bedtime 

Wind down. Take a bath or shower (especially important to get rid of any germs!). Read a book together.  

Maintaining a routine will benefit every family member. Remember to stay smiling and positive.  

Happy together time!