This post COVID homeschool schedule post is sponsored by iD Tech. All opinions are my own.
Well, we’re only two weeks into this ‘stay home’ order, with at least another 5 or 6 weeks to go, maybe even longer. I don’t know about you, but I definitely never planned to be a stay at home mom, let alone a homeschooling mom, who also has to manage two other full-time jobs. To say that this time in our world is overwhelming is a massive understatement. Since we’re all in this together, I wanted to share my story of how I’m coping with homeschooling elementary-age kids and what my COVID homeschool schedule looks like.
Stick to a Daily Routine
Although I don’t think you need to be super rigid with a schedule, I do believe a schedule helps to create structure and ease ambiguity. All of us feel very off-kilter right now, and most kids (and adults) thrive with a structure in place. Having a general schedule you follow each day will bring some normalcy to your lives. Also, having a schedule helps you feel like you’ve accomplished things during the day, which helps you to feel good about yourself and generally, happier.
For reference, my children are 6 and 7. This is the schedule we follow, although you should definitely adjust it to better meet your family’s needs. I know some people think my kids go to bed way too early, but this works for them and for me. There’s no judgment on how you arrange your children’s lives. This COVID homeschool schedule is just what works for my kids and me, at least right now.
7:00 am – wake up, breakfast, watch TV, get dressed
8:00 am – academic time (see below)
12:00 pm – lunchtime
1:00 pm – quiet time (they can play quietly in their room, I encourage reading and drawing)
2:30 pm – snack time
3:00 pm – outdoor time (if it’s raining, we do more enrichment, below)
5:00 pm – dinner time
7:00 pm – get ready for bed, pjs, brush teeth, read books
7:30 pm – lights out
Limit Screen Time
Although there are days I definitely use a little more television or tablet time than others, during the school week, I do limit screen time to early mornings and after dinner, only. I am more lackadaisical on the weekend because let’s be honest, I need the break too! However, during the work and school week, I think it’s really important to try to keep their day as similar to school as possible. For me, that means finding ways to enrich their learning that don’t require screens.
Create a COVID Homeschool Schedule
The best way to ensure you don’t resort to too much screen time is to create a daily academic schedule. I’m sure you’ve seen lots of examples floating around the internet, but here’s a look at what I’ve been doing, generally.
8:00 am – Reading
8:30 am – Journaling (either based on the books they read or a writing prompt)
9:00 am – Math (they have a computer-based math game through their school, you can also find worksheets online).
9:30 am – Science (we normally watch a science show or do a simple experiment – baking counts for math and science!)
10:00 am – snack
10:15 am – physical activity (yoga, stretching, jumping jacks, running around outside, etc.)
11:00 – Enrichment (playing with modeling dough, building blocks, drawing or another art project)
My kids are still quite young, and they both are exceeding their grade level requirements right now, so I’m not stressing too much on filling their entire day with academics. I know in elementary school, they still have a lot of recess and other enrichment activities like PE, library, and computer. The schedule I created in a good mix to ensure they are keeping up with their reading, writing, and math, but also ensuring they still have fun and physical activity every day. I do worry I might not be doing quite enough school work, and that’s where additional help and tutoring support can help.
I am very lucky that my mom is a retired elementary school teacher. At the end of my first week of homeschooling, I was already feeling pretty overwhelmed by the weight of having to be the primary educator for my kids for 6 or more weeks. My mom offered to read with my kids every day, so we started that this week and it’s been amazing. She either reads them a book or they read one to her, and it gives me a break so I can concentrate on other things during that time. She also was a reading specialist, so she is much more adept at the tips and tricks to help with phonics and also reading comprehension. Although you may not have a retired teacher in your family, as I do, I bet you do have friends or acquaintances who may have experience with teaching and they can provide you with additional resources or ideas to keep your kids engaged and progressing.
If you feel like you need additional support, there are also excellent tutors and online academic programs in which you can enroll your kids to ensure their learning is on track or to introduce them to a whole new type of learning. I decided to enroll my kids in private online lessons with iD Tech so they could learn more about different types of STEM learning.
Why I Chose iD Tech
I chose iD Tech because they offer so many great ways to engage my kids online during this ‘stay home’ mandate. They offer virtual tech camps, online private lessons, and the world’s #1 STEM summer program for ages 7-17. They have over 20 years of experience and more than 450,000 alumni. The iD Tech programs transform your kids’ love of apps and video games into a foundation for college, internships and dream careers. Their programs offer skill development in important STEM skills. ID Tech was founded in Silicon Valley and their in-person programs are held at 150 prestigious campuses worldwide, including Stanford, NYU and many others. During the summer, weeklong day and overnight options are available, with courses for all skill levels in C++, Java, Python, AI, machine learning, VR, 3D printing, game dev with Fortnite, Unreal, Minecraft, Roblox, and more. In addition to their flagship iD Tech Camps, they also offer all-girls camps, pre-collegiate teen-only Academies, an advanced capstone experience, and year-round Online Private Lessons.
Our Experience with iD Tech
I chose to enroll my kids in private project-based tutoring. I specifically chose the bundle of five coding courses for kids age 6-9. Since coding is such a useful skill in the twenty-first century, I thought it was a great choice to get my kids thinking about coding at a young age. The process to enroll was so easy. You can just create a simple profile on the iD Tech website. Then, it leads you through the steps to select the course or courses that work for you. There are several different instructors and times you can register for the courses. It’s so nice that there is a lot of flexibility. You can schedule classes for times that work best for your kids and for you too.
I chose to enroll my kids in Coding 101. Our instructor, Rosie, was so sweet! She’s a current senior at a university in Boston. The Zoom call worked very smoothly and my kids were able to watch her and learn a lot about coding. The part that impressed me the most was how knowledgeable Rosie is. After only one session, I felt like my children had already started to learn a new language – coding language.
One other cool thing about iD Tech is that a second sibling is free! Both of my kids were able to do the first course together, and will continue to do the course together over the next couple weeks.
iD Tech Discount Code
If you’d like to try iD Tech for yourself, you can save $125 off any Virtual Tech Camp with code: STACEY125. Swipe up here to read more.
Overall, homeschooling has been a challenge, but we’re slowly getting there. Now that I have two full weeks under my belt, I’m definitely feeling more confident. It’s also been so hopeful to have iD Tech tutoring as a supplement to their learning. None of us expected we’d have to create a COVID homeschool schedule. All we can do is try to have a positive attitude and do the best we can. You’re doing great mama.