How Covid-19 is Affecting Our Schedule

I have had several people ask me what our schedule is looking like, and what it normally looks like, so I decided to type this up so I can *show* you some of the differences...and what we're doing about them.

This image is an ideal week for us during a normal time of year:

Obviously I don't actually get to exercise every day, my kids don't all wake up when I want them to, and we sometimes need waaaay more than 30 minutes to clean. LOL!!  But this is generally what we shoot for.  We also have a couple evening activities (like my older kids have a youth night at church, etc.,), but I left those off because I'm focusing on the day schedule here.  We love the variety and flexibility that come with homeschooling!

This is what our schedule looked like last week:

Notice the missing field trips, music class, dance, gymnastics, gym, orchestra, co-op classes, theater, shopping, library, and playgrounds!

To say my kids have a little cabin fever is a massive understatement!

This week a lot of my kids' teachers are starting virtual classes on Zoom, but those bring their own stressors.  It is nice for them to see their teachers and friends, but it is a completely different kind of experience.  

At the moment, my kids' biggest pandemic-related stressors include:
1- Missing their normal friends and activities
2- Starting the virtual classes (fun, but different)
3- The uncertainty of what the next few weeks, months, and future will hold. Our kids are old enough to know that this is not normal and that the economy is suffering in unprecedented ways. We are optimistic, but also honest enough that they know that we don't have all the answers.
4- Our stress. I hate to admit this, but there is no doubt that being home-bound and unsure of the future is stressful for me and my husband, and I've been a mom long enough to know that any stress I feel rubs off on my kids too.

We are fortunate enough that we don't have the added stress of job-loss right now, but we have friends and family members that are dealing with that too.  And while I'm optimistic about our health, we also have friends and family members who are at high (and even extremely high) risk of complications if (or when) they contract coronavirus.  

We are, as some have pointed out, fortunate that we have a basic schedule we can fall back on, but we are going a little stir-crazy.  We have all been a little shorter-tempered than normal, and a little more emotional than usual.

To try and combat the short tempers and wild emotions, I'm trying the following:

* Exercise every day. When it's nice, we've been going outside. When it's not, I've started doing exercise videos on YouTube. I like high-power HIIT videos and kid-friendly things like CosmoKids.  I'm trying to mix things up as much as I can. Research shows that when you exercise your release hormones that help you feel good.

* Provide service opportunities. Research shows that when people serve others they often feel happier. I'm trying to point out when they can help each other, and not make this a chore. "That was so nice of you to put your sister's earbuds away! It made her feel so good to know you were looking out for her!" "Will you feed the dog? He's so hungry, and hasn't had breakfast yet, but he totally needs help getting it!"

* Say, "Yes!" as much as possible! I feel like I am telling my kids they can't do SO many things (and they're even telling themselves!) that it must feel like a never-ending stream of "No."  Normally we wouldn't watch shows every afternoon, but if their school work is done and they ask to watch a movie, I'm totally telling them, "Yes!"  Also if the kitchen is clean and they want to bake dessert every day... that might be a yes too!

* More Group Activities.  They're happening more frequently and they're taking longer than normal--often longer than you can see on the little chart above.  Here are a few things we've done: Art Afternoon, set up a tent in the backyard, played group board and card games, read more books all together, and cooking projects.  I'm sure there will be more too--they seem to really like doing things with me lately (it's like I'm a weird substitute for all their friends and normal teachers...).  

It might be a long 3-12 weeks, so if you have any other great ideas, I'd LOVE to hear them!!

And if you're looking for more homeschool unit studies, be sure to check out our growing collection here!

Happy Educating,
Carla & the kids who don't sit still!