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Creating Routines in Uncertain Times

Updated: Mar 25, 2020

As schools across the country close, parents have gone from homework helpers to home school teachers overnight. How should families prepare for these drastic changes?

Written By: Lauren Fraulo, Senior Director of Education and Program Development

Here at the Mission Society of New York City, our program and administrative staff are working to create and gather resources to support our parents, staff and students during the recent school closures and COVID-19 pandemic. We want to ensure our community stays informed and has the knowledge they need to continue learning during these uncertain times.

A first step all families with young people can take is creating a daily routine. Making schedules and enforcing routines has benefits for both parents and kids - it helps with family bonding, establishes expectations and constructive habits, and gives children confidence and independence.

Today, we wanted to share a few tips on how you and your family can set up a new routine:

Create work spaces.

Work spaces don’t have to be too complicated! For example, you can create a reading area with comfy pillows or a small box with art supplies, paper, and homework materials. You can even have students include fun things in their work space - colorful markers, their favorite cup, or their own art.

Think about the school routine.

Lessons aren't necessarily back-to-back. When you are making a schedule for young people, include breaks to get outside, get moving, and get creative.

Make breaks a family affair!

Have a break as a family, where you can do some yoga, go for a walk, have a dance party, or watch a short television show. Although we might all be at home, this can be a good opportunity for family time and creating new family traditions.

Introduce a self-directed learning project using your child’s interests.

Has your child always loved video games? Does your youngest love turtles? Have them research careers in the video game industry or write down facts about turtles. Even parents might want to get involved - what have you always been interested in? On Fridays, you can share this project with the whole family. This is a great opportunity to learn about your kids’ passions!

Prioritize quiet time.

Carve out time each day for kids and parents to read, draw, write, or just rest. Additionally, young people should always maintain the same sleep schedule, to mimic their daily routines when they're in school.

Talk to kids about limiting screen time.

What will we use screen time for? How often? Involving kids in the discussion can help them be more accountable and understand why we are limiting screen time.

We hope these tips help you and your families begin to build your own daily routines while all of us are spending more time at home!

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