Virtual School for Families Step One: Schedules

Here at AIS Kuwait we’ve recently moved to virtual school as part of local efforts to contain Coronavirus.  As well as supporting the teachers I work with to design online learning, I’m also aware of the fact that this is a new experience for our families too.  Over the next few weeks I’ll share some tips, ideas and resources to support families managing Virtual School at home.

For today’s post we’re going to talk about schedules.

Your kids are quite likely used to having a relatively fixed school day schedule.  One of the practical necessities of school is that we have set times for breaks, lunch, different lessons, etc.  The prospect of weeks without a schedule can be fun, but it can also leave kids feeling unsure of what to expect. 

Below you can see, download and edit a couple of different examples of a daily schedule.  

As Mum to two young kids (5 and almost 2) I needed something that gave my 5 year old structure and balance.  I also wanted a schedule that he could read independently. You’ll notice the schedule combines some set learning time with routines and time to play.  I’m not expecting we’ll follow this to the minute everyday, but it at least helps him to see what his day might look like and separate school days from weekends. 

Use child friendly images to encourage independence in children who are still learning to read.
Adding in activities that children enjoy such as time for video games is a great motivator to work hard during school hours.
For older children it will be useful to separate school time into individual lessons to help them stay focused and manage their day independently.

Editable versions of these schedules can be found here.

When making a schedule for your child(ren), here’s a few ideas to consider:

  • Can they read it? Use recognisable words and pictures to make a readable version to promote independence and literacy
  • Is there time to play? Balance is important and we don’t want our children to be sat in front of screens all day long
  • Is there time to move? Our children are used to having recess, PE, and any number of other activities – how will you keep them moving? 
  • How long are the blocks of time? The longest block we have is 2.5 hours – but thats time with me doing ‘school’ – anything I want him to do semi-independently is shorter
  • How much supervision is there? My husband and I are both working from home, as a family we’re trying to balance our son having different things to do with a practical sense of what he can manage with different levels of involvement
  • When do ‘work hours’ end? With the switch to working from home it’s going to be easier than ever for these lines to blur – setting a clear block of time as a family is an important way to help us finish work each day
  • Intensity – some moments of quiet, of relaxation and even boredom are important.  These help kids regulate energy, think about what they have done and spark creativity.

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2 thoughts on “Virtual School for Families Step One: Schedules

  1. Loved this smart post about online possibilities for teaching. Starting with ideas and questions about schedules – just perfect! Love the downloadables!

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