This has been a tough week. Last weekend the playgrounds were closed and roped off with police tape. Public gatherings of more than 2 people are banned too. So, it is outside time on our 3rd floor balcony these days.
Last week I saw this mostly quarantine as an opportunity to really establish our schedule, something I have been trying to do all school year. This week, however, I have been coming to terms with some things. I don't have the mental and emotional stamina to maintain this schedule during quarantine. The kids are doing a lot of learning without my help right now. Quarantine is going to last a long time, probably months, and life on the other side of quarantine will probably be different. I realized that I need to stop thinking about getting back to normal after this and focus on what will keep us all emotionally healthy during it.
So, here is our new quarantine schedule for learning and mental health:
8:00 am breakfast and some cartoons in French (French time) or English cause, whatever.
9:00 am I am working on research and writing for this website. The big kid is reading for part of the time and doing a text version of the RPG he created on Messenger Kids (language arts) for the other part. *Post about why RPGs are amazing for learning here. The tot has gone off to play with the Keva blocks.
10:00 am We're playing a game together. One day we were play testing a rock game for someone while the tot watched a show. Another day we all played Draftosaurus together. Starting this week, we are doing live streaming games. Check out the play with us page to play along.
11:00 am Make and eat lunch.
12:00 pm Read aloud time (science, history, and more language arts) and math with the big kid. We're reading Outbreak! Plagues That Changed History as part of the Immune System unit study. You can find it here. The tot is helping Adam with a cleaning project.
1:00 pm The weight of the world is crashing in, so, we play Farm Together on the PS4 and talk about actual agriculture and money management (math, science, and social science time). The tot rests on the couch. He doesn't take many naps but he will rest.
3:00 pm We break for Yoga with Adrienne (physical education). We consider this an important activity for our mental and physical health.
4:00 pm The big kid takes the dog for a walk. Me and the tot have balcony time and watch the squirrels chase around on the trees. After, we have snuggle time/me checking messages. The big kid works on the board game he is designing about the immune system (science and language arts).
5:00 pm Make and eat supper.
6:00 pm Adam and I are watching the news. We started about 2 weeks ago to keep up with the changing landscape of our world. The boys are playing in another room, sometimes quietly.
7:00 pm It is bedtime routine for the tot. This starts the evening block of our day. The big kid usually tries to get his RPG going again if he can. We play games, watch movies/shows/documentaries, or play video games. This time has learning moments in it, but sometimes it is just fluff and that is okay.
Our schedule is a little different every day, but this is the general flow of it. We are absolutely prioritizing mental health right now. The situation is hitting me harder than the rest of our family and if I am not up for an activity, we're not doing it. I spend a lot of my day working on this website. I feel great being able to help people with game selections, educational content, and general homeschooling information. This site is my project that gives me something positive to focus on and occupy my mind. I hope it is helping you. I know it is certainly helping me.
If you don't have a project to work on right now, I recommend that you find one. I have this website and blog. Adam is working on parody videos and figuring out how to live stream some game play on our website. The big kid is designing a game (board game design project here). The tot is just enjoying our new subscription to Disney + and snuggling his mama.
As a note, learning is more than text books and worksheets. Look for what your kids are learning from what they are doing and note that, don't disregard it just because it doesn't look like school.