This series is by request. I was going to do a quick tip a day, but I realized that wasn’t going to be very helpful for those who need it, so here we go:
It can take a LOT less time to get their work done.
You’re not doing anything wrong, and they may even be doing more schoolwork per day depending on what their teacher assigned, there’s just less time being spent in travel, classroom management, and probably in instruction since they have one-on-one access to help.
While you’re adjusting, you may want to add some assignments of your own to keep them out from under foot, my go to suggestions:
- Daily Exercise – If they don’t get this, they will climb the walls and may not sleep at night. Assign a half hour to a full hour of exercise a day, outside ideally. Whatever gets it done is all right whether that means a video game like Dance Dance Revolution or Ring Fit, or just putting on cheesy dance music and moshing in the living room. If your kid does a sport, try to keep up some form of practice.
- Journaling and Scrapbooking – You need them to burn time and they need to cope with big feelings, set them up with age appropriate journaling materials and require them to do a decent amount each day. I expect a page of journaling a day from my older kids and let the younger ones loose to express themselves with art (it’s very abstract art in O.’s case). If your older kids tend to get their work done so fast you’re stuck with them underfoot all day, have them also do a scrapbook collecting news items about the COVID situation. Do your best to preserve these for them, someday it will be a piece of family history.
- Daily Free Reading – Require an age appropriate minimum amount of reading per day, stretch it as much as possible because it’s as good for them as it is for you. This should be screen free if possible because they’re going to get plenty of screen time otherwise. If they grouse about reading, act like it’s no big deal to you if they don’t and hand them dull chores to do like laundry folding. Mine will generally disappear to read. Vital caveat here: this is free reading, let them read whatever they want, this isn’t purely academic but sanity saving, and if they read trash but come out of it with a love of reading, you’ve won the war if not the battle.