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Routines maintain sanity when working and schooling at home

Organize your family's day with these tips

Organize your family's day with these tips

When you have an established time to perform a specific set of tasks, that's a routine, and it can work wonders for the family, writes blogger Cheryl Butler, whose eight kids range in age from 14 to 26. If you're working from home while your kids are homeschooling or remote learning, try her suggestions for setting up routines. If everyone knows what to expect throughout the day, they'll be prepared and less anxious.

Stick to your morning schedule, even if the whole family is staying home. It's tempting to sleep in when you don't have to be somewhere on time, but it works best to agree on a family wake-up time and observe it faithfully. Be ready with healthy but quick breakfast options on work and study days. And send the kids off to the computer with a hug and good wishes.

Get set up for the day. Go over the remote learning schedule and make sure the necessary supplies are on hand, as well as headphones or ear buds to minimize distractions. Activity boxes with art materials and craft projects should be available to keep younger kids busy while you're working. Schedule small blocks of time to spend with your child regularly during the day.

Set work rules. If you're working at home, talk to your children about the importance of your work, and make it clear which periods of time you can't be interrupted. Define the word “emergency” and quiz them on what constitutes a reason to interrupt. Encourage independence by expressing confidence in their problem-solving skills.

Make the dinner routine important. Plan dinner way ahead so you're not rushing at the last moment. Shop with ingredients in mind for dinners your family likes. 

Be consistent with bedtime routines. Parents need time to wind down after the kids go to sleep, so don't let them stay up late. Arrange items they'll need in the morning, supervise bathing and tooth-brushing, and then read a bedtime story together. Teens may need time to talk to you as well.

Establish your own downtime. Whether it means getting up early before the kids are up or taking a bath while your partner reads a bedtime story, make sure you get some time to yourself.

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