We are living unprecedented times: the COVID-19 pandemic had influenced our habits and society has changed.
For the last four months we’ve spent more time indoors than outdoors. And there is a lot of uncertainty about when this will end.
Many of us, every time we go outside, take our gloves and/or masks.
When you are entering a store someone will spray your hands with hand sanitizer. But you have no idea what ingredients are in that bottle… are they toxic to your little one? Some sanitizers have strong persistent odors… t the beginning of July 2020, the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) warned about the risk of toxic methanol contamination in certain hand sanitizers.
My solution was to wear disposable gloves – no skin contact with the hand sanitizer. One pair of gloves per visit for each store. It makes for a lot of boxes, but we learned to adapt.
Some of us (more fortunate) were working remotely and trying to reconcile work and homeschooling… and since then we appreciate the hard work done by teachers much more.
The distance learning approach was very different from country to country and from school to school. For example, my son’s school had 30-60 minutes on Zoom three times a week. The “recommended homework” was shared on Google Classroom and the children were supposed to go there to search for the documents. Let’s face it: there aren’t many children who will take the initiative to do this daily by themselves.
In some places (like Ontario, Canada) the return to school in September will be voluntary and based on parent choice: https://www.ontario.ca/page/approach-reopening-schools-2020-2021-school-year.
If your approach for the next school year will be remote education, please see below the solution I found for my son for his last months in the 4th grade.
I built a weekly schedule for the whole family, with hours dedicated to French, English, Mathematics, Sciences, and Sports. I printed it out and put it on the fridge. In the beginning, I or my husband were initiating the routine. After a couple of weeks, my son started to remember the timetable hours, mainly the break times😊. We had to check what he was doing about every hour, except, of course, for the break times. Little questions like:
- “What is your homework for this week?”
- “What you are working on?”,
- “Did you finish your readings for this week?”,
- “Did you finish the math?”,
- “Did you submit your homework on Google Classroom?”
were helping us to stay on track.
Honestly, we had no time to do the sports, so those hours went to the break time bucket.
The number of “recommended” math exercises was very small so I did complement it with my 2 books for Algebra and Geometry for 4th grade to consolidate his knowledge. Sorry, for now, only the French versions are available as I had no time to translate them.
Below I am sharing the Weekly Schedule for my son. Please keep in mind that this is built for a 9 to 10-year-old. The recommended break times differ depending on the age of the child. As I was responsible for math, I had to adjust the time to fit my work calendar. We restricted the time spent in front of a screen: computer or tablet time was one hour per day at 1 PM; TV time was one hour per day after 7 PM. His class on Zoom was usually at 1 PM.
The timetable must take into consideration your child’s rhythm. So, if you try it for 1-2 weeks and find that it does not work, you should proceed to adjustments. This is how we arrived to this schedule:
Here is a link to a free Weekly Schedule printable with cute African animals for your kid.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this site are the personal views of the author.
3 thoughts on “Being a Good Parent During a Pandemic Period: How to Survive Working from Home with Your Kids 😊 – Part 1”
Sounds you have it mostly figured out. Well done. There seems to be a great balance between learning and resting. Plus, you and your husband are hands-on parents, but yet allow your kid to be responsible for his timetable and duties.
Once thing – you say break/computer/tablet time is 1pm but then you also say that his Zoom class is at 1pm. Do those collide?
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Thank you for your comment. Yes, his Zoom class was in the same time window as his computer time. The class was usually less than one hour and only 2-3 times a week. Now the school year is finished and we are keeping the same routine.
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That’s awesome! You want to keep it as stable as possible.