A Day in the Life of a Quarantine Schooler – Guest Blogger
As a school district we’ve just completed our first week of learning from home. As a family we’re two weeks in (3 out of 4 of us are high risk). We received some amazing advice and spent our first week “deschooling,” since there was no new class work coming from school.
Besides a writing assignment that was due at the end of the week, we kept things very low key. We spent the week getting used to more of each other, adjusting to our new normal, and tackling our anxiety about everything that is happening around us.
Now that online learning has begun our schedule is a bit more structured.
It’s likely just after 7am, our 3rd grader is up since his body clock is finely tuned to wake up within 5 minutes of this time. Our 4yo is up shortly thereafter. They’ll spend the next little while shaking off the webs and deciding on what they’d like for breakfast. For the next hour or so they’ll eat, get dressed, make their beds, and get ready for the day.
By about 9am, we’re usually set to get started with the days activities. Lesson plans from school are available by this time. Depending on the weather forecast we’ll spend an hour outside or get started on school work right away. Either way the next two-ish hours are spent doing some work and getting some fresh air.
Our 3rd grader’s lesson plans include everything they’d typically do in a day at school. So he’ll have math, science, reading, writing (which is a difficult subject for us and can be rather time consuming), and once weekly specials. His specials classes included PE, art, music, library studies, and life skills. This week he started an art journal and is focusing on gratitude in life skills. He got an overview for the rest of his specials and will have assignments beginning next week. He had daily assignments due in math and reading each day that he turned in via google classroom. He had larger projects in writing and science that were due on Friday, so we spent a bit of time everyday getting those done. The school is also utilizing the Seesaw app for assignments and communication.
During this time we’re trying, and failing, to keep our 4yo involved but quiet. We’ve given her workbooks with letters, numbers, shapes, colors, etc… to complete. She’s been playing with a few things using Osmo. And there’s been lots of play doh, clay, coloring books, stickers, crafts to keep her sitting still for more than a minute. And yes, the amount of screen time has increased, “If You Give A Mouse a Cookie” has definitely been playing on repeat. My husband’s TV station has been doing a story hour twice daily via FB live, so she sits down to listen to those as well. The biggest issue seems to be giving both of them the attention they need during this time.
Around 11am they both get free time for a little bit. They can pretty much do whatever they’d like. Like I said screen time rules have become a bit relaxed. We mostly make sure that during this time whatever they’re doing they do together and are attempting to get along.
Just after 11:30, I’ll usually start fixing lunch. They don’t really help with the preparation (as our food allergies and issues are extensive), but they do set the table and other things that help contribute. They’ve been enjoying #MoLunchDoodles with Mo Willems during this time and they each have their own art wall next to their bedroom door, where we’ve started displaying their creations.
Lunch usually lasts about an hour, or MUCH longer for our 4yo.
Around 1pm, we do clean up or “how to be a helper” time for about an hour or so. The kids usually tidy their rooms, dust, sweep, or wipe down faucets, switches, and door knobs. Or our oldest just plays with his sister so I can get some house work done.
After cleaning up, it’s back to school work. We complete any daily activities that we weren’t able to finish in the morning. It’s much harder to get work done during this time of day, so we try to do as much as we can in the morning and take breaks as needed.
Once we’ve wrapped up our schoolwork for the day, between 3 and 4:30pm, we try to head outside again. Houses in our neighborhood have been putting teddy bears in their windows, so the kids can go on a bear hunt while out on their walks. It’s been a huge hit with our 4yo. We’ve been lucky that weather here has been pretty cooperative.
Once back inside, around 5-6pm the kids have a bit of quiet time. Our 3rd grader usually gets some personal reading done or reads to his sister. We’ve also been trying to do some creative/educational activities together during this time. We’ve tried some things from our 3rd graders detective kit, some science experiments, journaling (LOVING Wreck This Journal), and sensory play.
The rest of the day is spent eating dinner, getting ready for bed, attempting to tidy, and doing whatever they’d like to do.
Bedtime is between 8:00pm for our 4yo and 8:30pm for our 3rd grader.
It’s been an adjustment for all of us. But we managed to get through the week without too much trouble or tears. Overall, we’ve smiled, laughed, and learned. It’s going to be interesting, that’s for sure. We know not every week will be quite as problem free as this week. I hope as we get used to our new normal that we’ll be able to incorporate more life and play to our days. We are beyond thankful for the advice of all our homeschool friends for their advice and encouragement. And we’re looking forward to this new “adventure.”