On Friday we found out they are closing school for several weeks, to try and flatten the curve of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. While the kids may be jumping for joy, working parents are scrambling to figure out how to keep the kids active and learning while also working-from-home to pay the bills.
The two girls currently in our care are 12 and 13, so they are somewhat self-sufficient. Having said that, they would watch YouTube all day if left to their own devices. Now, everyone needs a good mental health day, but due to the school closure and spring break we’re looking at FIVE weeks of six of us—together in a small house—which is NOT good for anyone’s mental health.
Enter my daily schedule.
“But we don’t want to do SCHOOL all day!” they cried.
Never fear, this checklist is more about keeping minds and bodies active and engaged, and less about doing actual schoolwork. I’m not their teacher. (Whew!) Nothing is graded (or even really recorded, for that matter). And it’s all stuff we have easy access to at home.
There are seven color-coded categories. Many activities are linked in the checklist, making it super easy for them to complete on their school-issued Chromebooks. Only one involves a paid account (GeoGuessr, which does have a free option but I splurged the $2.99 for a month of the paid service since it’s such a great game).
They need to complete at least 50 minutes of activities in each category on every “school” day. This gives them a total of 350 minutes or just under six hours of structured activity, which is pretty comparable to their school day. But, they can take breaks and select their own schedule, so each day is mostly their own making… within some clear and simple guidelines.
After they finish each activity, they can check off the item and add the minutes completed, plus type a sentence telling me about what they did or learned. They just need to finish each day’s checklist by 5pm.
Here’s a link to view a sample of my checklist in Google Sheets. If you want to try it with your kids, just make a copy into your own Google Drive and edit away based on what is accessible for your family. (I have one file for each girl, with tabs for each weekday. It’s shared with them so they can open and edit it on their own devices.)
And here are the sites referenced:
- Storyline Online (Videos of famous people reading books)
- Spelling & Language Arts Games
- Duolingo Language Learning
- Dance Routines on YouTube
- Virtual Museum Tours
- Virtual College Tours
- Google Earth
- Virtual Scavenger Hunts
- Video Art Lessons from art teacher Cassie Stephens
- EatFresh.org Recipes
- Khan Academy Hour of Code
- Cool Math Games
- Prodigy Math Games
- History for Kids
- Scholastic Learn at Home
- Mystery Science Activities
- Addicting Games
- YouTube Music
- Mindfulness for Kids
- Google Hangouts
- Podcasts for Kids
Comment to add more!
Sidebar: I’m no spreadsheet whiz. I’m sure someone who is could make this even better with fancy rules and formulas. Let me know if you do that because I’d love to see it!