While school closures are important to ensuring our safety, we realize they are not only interrupting our daily routine but the routines of our children as well. A regular routine will help children feel like they are still on a normal schedule and help keep them learning during their time away from school.

According to experts, children do best when their routines are regular, predictable and take place day after day. Consistent routines help children establish a sense of what is normal and help ease anxiety because routines help them know what to expect each day.

Here are some things that should be a part of your child’s schedule while their school is closed.

Wake up time: Children should continue to have a consistent time for waking up every day. This ensures children get the right amount of sleep and allows them to wake up smoothly, get dressed, and prepare for their day.

Academic time: To ensure that children continue their learning, time should be set aside so that children can read, write in a journal, study, practice math, explore science topics, or do other activities similar to what they would be doing in their classroom.

Creative time: Children are curious and creative. Allowing them to use their creativity is a great way to help children stay engaged in the absence of school time. Children can draw, paint, play with clay or Play-Doh, build with Legos, listen to music, help with cooking or baking, or other creative activities.

Exercise or playtime: Physical activity is vital for healthy children. Consider taking children for a morning and/or evening walk, exploring a local park, or doing other physical activities indoors and out. Exercise can also help children focus on other tasks, manage their emotions, and sleep well.

Quiet time: Having quiet time for children, especially young children, is very helpful in allowing them to disconnect from their activities and balance their emotions. Quiet time can help them better focus when the time comes for them to return to their academic and/or creative activities.

Mealtime: Maintaining a schedule for meals helps children avoid hunger and ensures that they have enough energy to get through their day smoothly.

Below is a sample schedule that you can adjust if needed to help create a new routine for your school-aged child while their school is closed.

It is important to keep your child on a regular routine even though their school is currently closed. Routines help children feel safe and let them know what to expect each day. A proper routine can also help ensure that there is time for learning, creativity, exercise and play every day. These types of activities can also help your child make a smooth transition back to their classroom when their school is open again.

To get started, download a free weekly schedule template in a  word document, or this colorful PDF.

This article was written by Jeffrey Wiser, Program Manager,  Families In Schools. About Jeffrey: Jeffrey Wiser manages and facilitates two Professional Learning Networks bringing together parent and community engagement leaders to build capacity around the Local Control Funding Formula, Local Control Accountability Plan, California School Dashboard, etc. He is also a former high school teacher and analytics contributor for the Athletic AZ. Learn more.

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