Creating a Schedule During Coronavirus School Closures
Many students all over the United States and in all age groups are facing school closures as a precautionary measure to stop/slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Parents and students can face this challenge with confidence when they have a good plan for how to maintain their educational progress during the time away from formal schooling.
This article will help you to create a plan for what to do during your school's closure. A sample schedule is also included to help you successfully navigate this time of home-based learning. These tips and the sample schedule are appropriate for all ages and academic levels.
A good plan is the best way to start any new challenge. When you begin planning for your school's closure, you will need to think of three important aspects:
- Health and Well-being
The more your home-based learning can mirror your school-based learning, the easier it will be for you to continue learning with fluidity. This continuity in your learning journey will allow you to have a smooth transition to home-based learning as well as back to your regular learning environment when the schools reopen.
So, to that end, make sure you get up at the same time you normally would on any other school day. Have breakfast, get dressed (in your school clothes), and complete your normal morning routine in the same manner that you normally would.
Start your learning time at the same time that you would normally start. Complete your subjects in the same order that you would at school. Dedicating a space to home-based learning, whether it be an entire room or a place at the kitchen table, can also help with maintaining a routine.
Do your best to maintain the same academic schedule that you would normally have. Remember, maintaining your norm will help you to stay in your learning mode and will help the transitions be more successful than if they were accompanied by huge changes in routine.
Your teachers will likely have given information about what should be accomplished academically during your time away from the school. Make sure that you stay in close contact with the school to be aware of any updates sent by teachers or administrators related to academic material.
It is recommended that you divide the total amount of work assigned by the total number of days in which you have to complete the work and routinely complete an equal portion of the work each day you are home. Do not fall into the trap of believing you will be able to get it all done at the last minute.
In the case that your school/teachers have not already assigned work, consider continuing your academic progress using online academic resources like Study.com. Study.com has short 5-10 minute animated videos on hundreds of topics in every academic area for all academic levels. You will also find suggestions for discussion questions on interesting books, project ideas, and fun activities to bolster your learning process.
In the lessons offered on Study.com, you will find all you need to keep your brain sharp and your knowledge growing during your time away from school.
Health and Well-being
You may not even realize how much exercise you get while going through a normal school day. It is important to maintain this level of physical activity to be healthy and fit.
After each subject, get up and move around for a few minutes. This movement time should be longer for younger children and shorter for older students, however it should be at least 5 minutes for every student.
Remember to eat healthy snacks and a healthy lunch during the day. In fact, it is a great idea to pack the same snacks and lunch that you would normally have at school. This will help with continuity and with your health and well-being.
Finally, make sure you take time for some outdoor time if you have a backyard and/or can safely accomplish this goal. Depending on the age of the student, ensure that students get at least one to three large blocks of time (30-45 minutes) of free time to creatively explore and play on their own.
Here is a sample schedule that can be adjusted for any age group.
When using Study.com resources, keep in mind that while most video lessons are 5-10 minutes long, you will also need to budget time for answering each video's associated quiz questions.
|Wake up||Normal||Get up at the same time you normally would: helps continuity.|
|Start work||Normal||Again, this should be the same time as normal: helps continuity.|
|Lesson 1||20-40 minutes||It takes less time to complete lessons in intensive study, don't overdo it.|
|Break 1||5-10 minutes||Assists with maintaining health and well-being.|
|Lesson 2||20-40 minutes||Remember to study subjects in the same order you normally would.|
|Break 2||5-10 minutes||Be active. Have some water.|
|Lesson 3||20-40 minutes||Young students should be given lots of hands-on creative work to do during lessons.|
|Lunch||30-45 minutes||Ensure that some physical activity is allowed during this time.|
|Lesson 4||20-40 minutes||Young students should do something creative or quiet reading after lunch.|
|Break 3||5-10 minutes||Get up and move around. Don't forget to have some water.|
|Lesson 5||20-40 minutes||Remember to study your subjects in the same order you normally would at school.|
|Break 4||5-10 minutes||A small snack may be needed.|
|Lesson 6||20-40 minutes||For most students this will be the final academic time of the day. Continue the pattern if necessary.|
Remember to adjust your time frames to suit your child's needs. Children will most likely not need as much time to complete their work as they would have in the classroom, but highly distractible students may need a lot of supervision to help them stay on task.