027: Creating A Schedule That Works for Your Family with Ellyse Colson
Need help creating a schedule that works for your family? Tired of all those unrealistic schedules being passed around the internet when you’re just trying to figure out how to work from home and homeschool suddenly due to Covid-19?! I know we were! Ellyse is going to give you some ideas to help you create a schedule that fits your family’s needs and personalities.
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Who is Ellyse Colson?
Ellyse has been working in the educational field for the last 10 years. She has built a school-wide curriculum from the ground up and will be releasing her own course on how to build your own curriculum as a homeschooling parent later this year. She is highly organized and loves creating schedules for both herself and her clients. Learning is best done through doing. Given time and space, kids will learn more and be more willing to learn.
Prefer to watch the interview?
Why Your Schedule May be Failing:
Maybe you’re trying to implement the schedule your child’s school sent to you. Or Maybe you created a schedule like the many floating around the internet. They look great. They follow a standard school day. So why isn’t it working with your kids?
There are many factors that make it difficult to get a child to follow your new schedule.
- You’re stressed, resistant, and/or overwhelmed and your child is feeling that.
- The sudden change in routine is throwing everyone off and so your child is resistant to the change.
- They don’t see you as their teacher and they struggle to align the two roles… heck you’re struggling to align the two roles.
- They’re scared about what they’ve heard about the virus (you’d be surprised what they pick up)
- They were just sent a packet of worksheets or are now being expected to sit and watch their teacher online all day.
- They’re not able to get social interaction with their friends. At home or at school.
- They don’t see school happening at home, they expect a separation of school activities and home activities.
Needless to say, there’s a lot going on for our kids and being thrown from one situation to the next without any input or interaction is hard on anyone!
So how can we make it easier on them and on us while still doing what we need to do?
Easy Schedule Tip- Making Learning A Part of Their Day:
Kids, and let’s be real most people, learn best by doing. And anytime you can get them moving and learning, you’re activating more of their brain which makes it more likely they’re going to remember what they did. Plus it has the added benefit of getting the wiggles out so they can more easily concentrate when they do need to sit still!
Here’s a few ideas we came up with to add learning into their every day activities:
- Cooking dinner with you- reading and math
- Cleaning up- Have them find ten blocks
- Count by 5’s while doing jumping jacks
Tips to Creating a Routine and Schedule That Will Work For Your Family
- Realize this is an ongoing process. You should involve the whole family with a family meeting and every day reflecting on what worked well and what didn’t and what you can do to make it better for tomorrow.
- Each night before school day spend about 30 minutes to write out what needs to be done the following day in these 3 areas.
- What schoolwork needs to get done
- What business or job work needs to be done
- What housework needs to get done
- Decide who is in charge of what. Share the responsibilities with your partner, and if your kids are old enough, delegate amongst everyone. It may mean taking shifts with your partner, if available, so you are doing housework and managing kids for 2 hours while your partner works and then switching.
- Through trial and error decide when everyone works best and build your schedule and routines around that. For most, kids tend to learn best in the morning and then playing in the afternoon while you work.
- Have set breaks, especially movement breaks. EVERYONE, adult and child alike, needs breaks to be most productive. This also helps with motivation because everyone knows there’s an ending. That the work won’t go on forever. Science typically says an average of 45m of work to 15 m of play for an adult and the younger the child, the more those numbers invert.
- Determine how you and your child work best.
- Do they work better at a table or laying on the floor or in their bed? Even many teachers are offering flexible seating options.
- Do they want to power through and get it all done or do they need it in smaller chunks with more mini-breaks?
- Are they getting overwhelmed by giving them the whole packet? Maybe give just one small chunk of work at a time.
- Do you all need a set schedule or just some routines? Different personalities need different structures. It will take some reflection and trial and error to find what’s right for your family.
- Put on instrumental music to make a calm workspace.
- Work near natural light or even outside.
Non-screen ideas to add to your schedule:
Here are some of Ellyse’s tips for adding educational fun through the day!
- Put puzzles together.
- Build with legos.
- Create with playdough.
- Free draw and paint.
- Shaving cream on cookie sheets or the table and draw in the shaving cream with their fingers.
- Draw or practice writing with side-walk chalk
- Play card games (helps teach following directions, taking turns, and so much more)
- Cook together
- Vacuum shapes.
But don’t be afraid to add screens to the schedule.
There are even more FREE opportunities online now more than ever and they’re a lot more interesting to your child than worksheets. In addition to the free museums, zoos, and aquariums there is literally something for every need. Every day we’re in isolation I share one new idea or resource in the Calm & Centered Summit group on Facebook where this summit took place. So even though the live portion of the summit is over, be sure to join to get access to additional resources and videos.
Here are 5 to get you started:
- Kahn Academy- A great math resource from elementary through college.
- Scholastic Learn at home– Has audiobooks and story starters.
- BrainPOP– Short informational, but fun, videos on a wide range of subjects. It includes quizzes and activities.
- MobyMax– Helps struggling learners quickly catch up to grade level and closes learning gaps for all your students. Find and fix missing skills with personalized learning, pinpoint assessments, and motivating rewards.
- Usborne Books & More- Books, puzzles, and fun activity books to engage every age. Join my VIP group for free weekly themes and resources!