Coronavirus and Working From Home with Kids

Friends, in the past week Coronavirus (Covid-19) has reached pandemic levels, and I am left scrambling to create a new normal: working from home WITH my kids for the next several weeks! Working my very full-time job, while both of my children are home (my husband can’t stay home), will be daunting to say the least.

Admittedly, it makes me feel like I could end up doing a mediocre job of both. However, in an effort to exert some semblance of control over the situation (as one does), I focused on ways to set myself up for success! Over the weekend, I set-up a “Coronavirus Daily Schedule” for my children so I can HOPEFULLY get all my work done during the day (without requiring night and weekend work) – while also providing them with some enrichment.

We Are All In This Together

In the spirit of community, I am sharing the documents I created, to help you navigate a similar situation.  Even if you already have a schedule that works for you, I believe there is so much goodness in getting a chance to learn about someone else’s approach. So, at the end of this post, I will include google drive links to a downloadable copy of the schedule we are using! 

I developed the schedule in two different versions so my advanced reader and my pre-reader can EACH have a hand in managing their time throughout the day.  There are two versions of the schedule, one with words and details and the other with simple words and symbols.  Now, my 6-year old and my 4-year old can both feel empowered to look up and decide “what’s next?” – and even better if they can do this with limited guidance from momma. This would allow me to work within my unpredictable schedule to break when I can to set up an activity, answer questions, or just snuggle – without too much interruption during scheduled calls and meetings.

A Little About Me and My Kids

My name is Mac, and I am a working mom.  My work is split into my day job, higher education administration in DC, and my evening and weekend pursuits at Sew Altered Style. At Sew Altered Style, I serve as a sewing blogger (who has been working towards a fully handmade wardrobe for the past 5 years), and a sewing pattern company co-founder  (see our IG here and our sewing pattern portfolio here).

My ALMOST 7-year old daughter and 4.5-year old son are lovely and full of more energy than I can bare most days (you’ve probably seen some of our antics on Instagram). I originally built this space (Harper+Lu) for all things sewing, but now I’d love to share more of my personal journey as I navigate personal and professional spaces.  I hope that you will stick around!

Our (Work-In-Progress) Schedule

Full schedule for our first-grader:

Adapted schedule for our pre-reader:

There are several homeschooling schedules and even one infamous COVID-19 schedule that are circulating the internet – but they weren’t quite right for me. As a working mom, I needed to create a schedule and systems that allow my young children to work as independently as possible during the day, so I can take calls and meetings as needed. I sat down with my husband and broke out the various blocks of time that might make sense for our children (variety is the spice of life after all), and then got to work on mocking up a schedule. The four large color-coded buckets are:

  • YELLOW: Daily Routine Items (wake-up, meals, chores, bedtime)
  • GREEN: Electronics Allowed blocks (non-fiction learning-based tv shows, open electronics time for good behavior)
  • ORANGE: Non-Electronics Allowed blocks (arts and crafts, music, reading, puzzles, stories on audible/podcasts, etc.)
  • BLUE: Physical activity (walks, bikes, scooters, etc.)

Downloadable Document Links to Make It Your Own!

I recognize that our schedule won’t work for everyone (hello, late wake up and late bedtime), so I am including access to the documents here so you can tweak them to fit your family’s unique schedule. I’d love to hear your suggestions for updates to these versions. I am hoping to try this out this week and tweak as needed:

  • Link to the Google Docs version here
  • Link to the Google Sheets Version here

Note: the documents are read-only. You should be able to copy them and create your own. I am hoping to avoid any version control issues that way

Thanks for joining me on this ride. I know it won’t be easy for any of us, but having some sort of schedule (even a rough one), will help us maintain our sanity.  Speaking of which, maybe I need to make a schedule like this for me! I’ll let you know if I do!

Wishing you all health, happiness, and as much balance as you can muster,

Mac

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