12+ Moms Share Stuck at Home Schedule for School & Play

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Today we are looking forward to the unknown.  What will the next few days, weeks…even months hold for our families?

Your school may have already closed or be on the list to close soon.

Kids are home.  Everyone may be home. 

Yet life doesn’t stop…

stuck at home daily schedule - real moms real advice

In fact, it just got a whole more complicated!

The crazy thing is I feel like I might have been training for this!  When my oldest was in Kindergarten, we chose a 1/2 school & 1/2 homeschool model that all three of my boys have participated in for going on 14 years.

I work from home.  My husband works with me…from home.

There are several days a week when everyone is home and the kids are working on schoolwork.

I have done this wrong and I have done this right!  Let me share with you some of the things I have learned to speed things going smoothly with kids at home doing school and surviving it with the most amount of harmony possible…

Hold a family meeting for routine schedule change

Hold a Family Meeting

Our “official” family meeting was last night.  There were a few things that I wanted to make sure that my three teenage boys expected:

  • This is still school, not vacation.
  • We will be creating a daily schedule similar to their previous schedule.  For us, we are delaying it an hour so they don’t have to get up as early since no travel is required.
  • They will still be showering, brushing teeth and getting dressed as if we were leaving the house.  <–They are boys!  This needed to be mentioned!
  • They will be responsible for their own laundry each week including {gasp} putting it away.
  • New chores will be added since we are now all living in a small space and keeping the house picked up has a bigger sense of urgency.
  • Meals will happen at regular times and they need to eat when everyone else is eating because we can’t have the kitchen open all day.  <–Again, boys.
  • They need to plan on going outside at least twice a day.  Fresh air!  We live in Texas so the climate is mild.  We live next to trails and places they can walk (hopefully with the dog) as well as bike or hike.  
  • Exercise everyday.  That can be outside or we have some weights in the house they can use.
  • We need ideas for a daily family activity.  I want to take advantage of the fact everyone is home.  This could be movie night, a board game or playing a video game (I am very good at Saber Beat).

One of the things that surprised me was how many questions they had about the coronavirus.  I had felt like we were answering and reassuring all day, but they voiced some real concerns.  We tackled those with facts and that conversation will absolutely continue as the days progress and we learn more.

Create a daily block schedule

Create a Daily Block Schedule

I am not what you would called “structured” which has made it challenging to create a schedule for school at home.  One of the reasons I chose this for our family is that it was more flexible!  And when I think about schedules, I break out in a sweat…BUT it is a life-saver.

As someone who had to prove it to believe it, understand that having a loose schedule (I like time blocks) makes it easier on the kids and way easier on you.  The kids have clarity on what is going to happen.  You don’t spend the whole day trying to figure out what they are doing.

Daily Homeschool Schedule for Kids of all ages

Daily Home School Schedules Increase Independence

Because kids know what is coming up next, a good block schedule can foster independence in their actions.  Even the youngest kids can help stick to the schedule if that is what is expected.

Give them responsibility for watching the timer/clock and changing to the next activity.  Let them participate in choosing what goes into the schedule and refining it to make it work for them.

What the heck to do with them at home

What Goes Into a Home School Time Block Schedule?

This is going to vary from family to family, but I will use mine as an example.  Below, I will be linking to some other mom’s home schedule in case you are looking for more ideas. 

A word of caution:  Start…even if you aren’t quite sure how to start.  Just trying things out will give you more clarity than trying to figure it out perfectly ahead of time.

Here is what I would recommend you consider as blocks of time:

  • Morning getting up/dressing
  • Breakfast
  • Chores/Clean Up
  • Morning Study Block #1
  • Morning Outside/Break
  • Morning Study Block #2
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon Study Block 
  • Afternoon Outside/Break
  • Hobby/Craft/Creative Play
  • Family Time
  • Dinner
  • Free Time/Homework if Not Finished
  • Relaxing Time
  • Bedtime

My goal is to create plenty of time in the study blocks.  Kids should easily finish everything within the three study blocks.  If you have a kid that gets distracted easily, you might have better luck with shorter study blocks with more breaks.  Encourage physical activity in the breaks to help concentration when they sit back down.

If you find your child is having trouble getting all their work done within the day, look at how hard they are working and if it is reasonable.  You now have the power to control this.  If they are working hard and the amount they were assigned is unreasonable, it is time for you to call their teacher or alter their lesson plan.

One of the benefits of home learning is that YOU are more involved and have a say.  You know your kid and it is time to make sure this period of power is not wasted.

On the flip side, if you are seeing your child breeze through lessons and not need more than a couple of hours of studying in, then adding a challenging book to read or a subject they enjoy to tackle is recommended.  Don’t let them be bored.  Kids crave a reasonable challenge!

Middle School and High School Schedule

Possible Middle School & High School Schedule

I guess I could add college to that since my 19 year old is home from Baylor…but he is a little resistant to this schedule! ha.

7:00-7:30 Wake up/get dressed

7:30-8:00 Breakfast

8:30-9:00 Chores/Clean Up

9:00-10:30 Morning Studies #1

10:30-11:00 Outside/Break/Workout (teens)

11:00-12:30 Morning Study Block #2

12:30-1:30 Lunch/Break

1:30-3:30 Afternoon Study Block

3:30-4:30 Outside/Break

4:30-5:30 Hobby/Craft/Creative Play

5:30-6:00 Family Time/Food Prep/Togetherness

6:00-Night Dinner, Family Time, Relaxing Time, Bedtime

Virtual Learning Schedules from Other Moms

I did a call out on Facebook to see if some of my friends could help out and they did not disappoint!  Check out another sample stuck at home schedule here at Kids Activities Blog.

Planning a Virtual Learning Home Schedule

My friend Cassie sent over this picture which outlines their family meeting results about their daily homeschool schedule:

Cassies home school schedule draft with kids
photo credit: Cassie from 3 Dinosaurs

They have divided their day into chores, school work and crafts activities.  Makes me want to hang out at their house!

Reality with Younger Kids Daily Schedule

Jessicas home learning schedule at home

What I love about Jessica’s schedule is it reminds me so much of when my kids were littler.  YES, there is chaos and more play and it is totally OK to be overwhelmed and just roll with life.

Home Learning Schedule for Seven Kids

When I get overwhelmed, I look to people like Caroline who homeschools 7 kids.  It gives me courage.  She has a system for her home learning schedule that weaves in chores and character building activities.

photo credit: Caroline from the Modest Mom Blog

Grab a printable version of the Character Badges Chart along with Caroline’s tips for managing multiple kids during the day.

Home School Schedule Cards: Mix & Match

I love this idea so much from Erin!  She has created schedule cards that you can print and then mix and match which gives you the ultimate flexibility!

printable homeschool schedule cards
photo credit: Erin from Royal, Baloo

Download & print these homeschool schedule cards.  She says that they have worked really well in her house because kids like control and this gives them some say in how the day will go.  It is the “choose your own adventure” of virtual learning schedules!

Printable Visual Daily Schedule

If you have preschool kids, early readers, kids with special needs or children who learn better with visual cuing, you are going to love this solution for your daily routine from Lauren:

Visual Daily Schedule Cards for Kids
photo credit: Lauren from the Military Wife and Mom

Grab Lauren’s secret to stop nagging, yelling and reminding with her printable daily schedule.

These are totally customizable and can be used for kids of all ages.

If you are juggling toddlers, check out Rachel’s Foolproof Sample Daily Schedule!

Home Learning Preschool to Early Elementary Schedule

Melissa, who is a mom, writer and former elementary teacher suggests this printable daily schedule:

daily-at-home-school-schedule-ages-4-8
photo credit: Melissa from Imagination Soup

Check out Imagination Soup’s printable schedules and tips for learning at home specialized for kids ages 4-8.

Morning Routine for Homeschooling Moms

You may not feel like a homeschooling mom, but you are.  And believe me, it will be best if you take care of yourself in the process.  I love this morning routine for moms who are teaching at home from Aaronica.

Aaronicas Toddler Daily Schedule
photo credit: Aaronica from The Crunchy Mommy

How to Start a New Home Learning Routine

Not only does Janine give some really good advice on how to start a new homeschool routine, but she also has amazing planning guidance for lesson plans.

easy-online-lesson-planner
photo credit: Janine from True Aim

Check out True Aim’s Daily Learning Schedule and Lesson plan tips.  The picture above shows her lesson plan.

How to Start a Temporary Home Education Plan…FAST!

While Cassie doesn’t specifically outline her daily routine, the information in this article is comprehensive and super helpful for those just getting started.

If you are just getting started and don’t know where to turn, check out her tips on setting up temporary education at home that is affordable and doable.

Home School Learning Schedules for First and Second Grades

Katelyn has a lot of information on learning at home for first and second grade.  She has set up a separate schedule recommendation for each grade:

She also has a ton of good advice around setting up a schedule if you find yourself a stay-at-home mom…no matter why.

More Stuck at Home Resources

We are working here at Kids Activities Blog to support you in this new adventure with your kids.

Grab a printable list of fun things to do today…

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