Drawing above by Milo R.
It’s Wednesday morning. The alarm wakes me up like any other morning, yet it’s nothing ordinary about this morning, even though we’d like to keep it as normal as it can be.
I’d guess it was a similar start in most of the families with kids ready for a new kind of school day. Instead of whining or complaining, I want to emphasize the small solutions, and we managed to create one that worked for us.
Preparing for what might happen
My husband has always worked remotely, so he has both a routine and a bunch of tasks to do. Since my aim has been to not work full time, the roles between us were clear when this situation started to get worse.
The idea of getting prepared started when it looked evident that either one of us will be getting the virus at some point. We’ll be running quite smoothly even if my husband would get sick. But if I get sick, and he still needs to work at least a bit…. then I can see potential problems. And no, this is not about mocking him, but the fact that family stuff, three boys, a sick wife, and work don’t go well together
Keeping up the service level
So I made a plan. I wrote to my siblings and dad that if nothing more positive comes out of this, at least I cleaned my fridge and defrosted the freezer. This was the only extra effort we made.
I made sure all the laundry was done, and there was a laundry machine running once a day to keep that level. That means the gang has clean socks and underwear for the week.
Since we have been using the K- ruokakauppa solution that delivers our groceries already for years, I make sure I have two premade orders (once a week) to ensure we will get the basics each week. I usually have a premade order, so I know that I can get the delivery when I need it.
We spend a few weeks at the summer house every summer. Wanting to spend time also away from the kitchen, we started to prepare a menu for the week. It takes a little time, but it works for us like a charm. That helped us buy the right amount of food as well as all the other items. The menu was planned so that we were able to prepare both lunch and dinner at the same time, in this case, straight after breakfast to minimize kitchen time. This is a routine we use now as well.
We went to an art and craft shop to get some paint, paper, and a puzzle of 1500 pieces, and a few new children’s books.
We also made sure we have the home gym equipment that we need if we can’t exercise anywhere else. This was on our list to get anyway.
Our Covid-19 daily routine
- 7:00 wakey, wakey
- 7.30 breakfast together (we do this every morning)after that hanging around, playing with the toddler
- 7.30- 8.30 lunch and dinner preparations
- 8:30 morning walk for the big boys to the seashore and back (transition to school mode)
- 9:00 school duties start, and toddler heads outside with an adult
- 11:00 lunchtime (we do this together too)
- 12:00 school duties continue (include sports outdoors) /toddlers naptime
- 13:30 time to chill for bigger boys (usually computer games)
- 14:00 toddler wakes up from his nap
- 14:30 snacktime (yes, this one too together)
- 15:00 outdoors time
- 17-17:30 dinner of course together
- 20:00 toddler’s bedtime
- 21:00 bigger boys bedtime
Fixing the daily timetable is easy, helping kids to learn requires more
We have managed to create quite an ok timetable for schooldays since it wasn’t that different from our normal days. The most innovative part was to figure out how to help the bigger boys to manage their school tasks and help them to learn.
The boys (10 and 12) are used to computers. I mean they are used to play games with computers. I’m glad it was at least that. We didn’t need to start from the beginning.
My husband went through how to install and use (the basics ) MS Teams with them and that was the easiest part. The 12-year-old can more or less manage his days, even if taking breaks sometimes seems to be forgotten, but 10 years old needs some help with that.
We used the interval timer to have 45-minute work and 15 minutes rest alarms, to help to remember breaks.
Additionally, we went through the task for the following day already in the evening. At first, it seemed to be enough, but our 10-year-old is better with a visual reminder. So I used post-it notes for each subject and wrote tasks on those. After finishing the task, he could mark those done and through them away. It worked better than reading those from the list.
Try to find something positive
I used this situation to create a habit of drinking more water during their school day. I said it helps their brains to function, which is true, but it also means they need to go to the toilet at times, and at least then they need to take to a short break 🙂
It’s been nice to see how fast the kids adapt to the situation. And I have to give credit to their teachers too. The first day was a bit rough on the edges, but after that, it has been running smoothly.
Can we see this situation and change now as a possibility? We could make sure all the graduating teachers have at least a basic understanding of how to teach online, or even better full capability to transform their classes into an online format.
The experts on online teaching and IT instructors often say online classes can be transformed into on-sight classes, but classroom teaching is harder to put online. So we could also make sure the material and the methods are digital and online supported, meaning if a similar situation would’ ever happen again, we’d be prepared.
And of course, if all this could be done online, and we’ve known to have the best education system in the world, we might have a ready-made education product to sell… I know, a bit naive point of view but still, think about that!
Would you like to buy one of the best education in the world?