Today was our 8th day of social distancing and our 8th day of not a whole lot of structure.
I purposely didn’t go crazy with trying to be structured straight out of the gate because this is a lot of change at once.
Massive changes like this with no warning and no time to prepare are hard.
So I let the kids enjoy their time off from schedules. We have been overscheduled for SO LONG.
We have had some boundaries for the past 8 days. But not too many. There were limits on screen time and device usage. And bedtimes have remained consistent for the younger three. The 8th and 9th grader were given a little more freedom to stay up and to sleep in.
A week was enough time for us to be very relaxed with routines and expectations. We are all ready for more structure.
To allow the kids to have some predictability and give me some blocks of time where I can hopefully still be productive, we came up with our first draft of a schedule.
Not knowing exactly what the expectations are going to be in the distance learning department, we will have to adjust, I’m sure.
And there will be other things that may not work and will have to be adjusted.
Rather than impose a schedule on all the kids, we had a family meeting.
I told everyone it was time to have some structure, we needed to come up with a plan, and we needed to figure out how we wanted to configure our day to take care of the following things:
- contributions and responsibilities at home
- time outside
Number 3 and 4 would normally have swim practice Monday through Saturday for 2-3 1/2 hours a day, depending on the day. So they want to workout at least 90 minutes a day to keep themselves in as close to swimming shape as they can until swim practice starts.
So we came up with this schedule to start with:
We will start this entire schedule on Monday.
The “jobs” portion started today.
In the past, we have had a “contribution” chart that has worked well. The kids rotated through the jobs on the chart every day. That way, nobody got stuck doing whatever they thought was the worst job all the time.
The numbers in the chart represent the kids (the chart we use at home has the kids’ actual names on it).
So on Monday, Number 3 was responsible for emptying the dishwasher in the morning, emptying the recycling and vacuuming and cleaning the mudroom. On Tuesday, his jobs changed.
Today the kids decided that rather than do different jobs every day, they each wanted to be responsible for an entire room, and they wanted to keep that job for a week, and then switch.
So we decided on this today:
Mudroom: Number 5
Kitchen (am): Number 7
Kitchen (pm): Number 3
Laundry & Litter Box: Number 3
Playroom: Number 6
Dining Room: Number 4
Each kid will have a week where they have to clean the kitchen in the afternoon in addition to sorting laundry and emptying the litter box.
Since Number 3 got annoyed by everyone and left the meeting early, he got stuck with the double duty on the first week.
Everyone else picked their own area to start.
Since they all came up with this plan and agreed on it, the complaints should be minimized.
I’ll make up a revised chart this weekend which has details of what should be done in each room so expectations are clear.
So everyone’s contributions toward the greater good are figured out. If we have to make tweaks, we will.
This brings me to the next thing in our schedule.
Exercise and workouts.
Number 3 and 4 have asked me to design workouts for them so they can stay conditioned until swim team is able to start back up.
Here is what I gave them yesterday:
Number 5 and 7 saw Number 3 and 4 working out at their stations yesterday, and they wanted to join in today.
So I made a new station workout today that would enable all the kids to participate if they wanted.
Number 3, 4 and 7 went for a 30 minute run before we started the stations. Number 7 loves to run.
Then we did our HIIT workout.
Stations 1 – 4 were in the front hallway, and stations 5 – 8 were in the family room.
I have a tabata timer app installed on my iPad and my phone. (search Tabata timer in the app store)
I set the iPad up in the hallway and my phone in the family room so the kids would know when to start and stop and when to rotate.
And then they got started!
Here is what it looked like and how it worked:After I finished filming how it worked, I hopped in the rotation.
Number 6 joined in the last three rounds after feeling left out. 😂
Number 7 had a meltdown when she couldn’t get the hang of the bicycle crunches and ran up to her room before we finished.
When we were done with the stations, Number 3, 4 and 5 did the yoga for runners video.
If you are looking for really good, free, online yoga practices, check out Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. She’s awesome.
I do stations for dryland workouts at swim practice all the time. They are great for kids who have shorter attention spans, and they can work lots of different areas of the body, and they kick your ass.
Setting up stations is a great way for you and your kids to workout at the same time, and it keeps things from getting super boring.
Most of the things we did today don’t require any equipment, and you can do them in small spaces.
Oh, one last thing.
Since we are starting online learning on Monday, I did all the technical stuff today. Accounts were logged into and we figured everything out today so we don’t have to deal with that on Monday.
That’s often one of the hardest parts of starting this distance learning stuff.
So we got that out of the way.
If you are starting distance learning next week, see if you can take care of the technical login/registration/whatever stuff ahead of time to reduce the (inevitable) frustrations that will come up.
That was a long one.
I didn’t get a lot of work done today, but we did a lot of cleaning, a lot of setting up of systems, and a lot of the not fun groundwork that will (hopefully) enable us to have a pretty good week next week!
Hang in there Moms! (and Dads!)