Can’t find what you’re looking for?
Translate / Traduire / Übersetzen / Tłumaczyć / Išversti / Tulkot / Traducir
Routine / structure
Home is very important right now for working, learning and spending time together. But you don't have to turn it into a school. Don't put pressure on yourself to create the perfect curriculum or fill every hour with schooling. Be mindful of what you see on social media and remember that every family is different. If you're struggling or finding things challenging for any reason, reach out for support and help.
It's normal for a lack of routine and structure to make children and young people feel anxious and upset. It can be challenging to find a routine that works for everyone, especially if you're juggling working from home with taking care of children with different needs
Establish a routine that helps you and your children have positive structure for the day. Allow for flexibility, as your child may want to do something else. A rota or timetable, even a loose one, can help alleviate anxiety. Structure can help children see what's happening next in the day, look forward to rest of the week and differentiate between weekdays and weekends.
Talk to your children about how they'd like their day to be structured and how that might work with your own responsibilities. Encourage your children to talk about their interests and passions and think of ways to incorporate these with learning. Reassure your child their school and teachers are there for them. And that they'll carry on teaching them - but just not from school.
If you are working from home, it may feel like a juggling motion keeping the kids occupied and meeting work commitments. Speak to your employer about flexible hours so that you can take time out to be with the kids, especially if they are younger children. If you live with your partner, it is important to share the workload with each other, if they are too working from home. Try to work alongside each other and perhaps sharing the load when home schooling the children. If you have young children who are still resting or napping through the day, use that time to do the more complex work tasks so that you have time to focus.
Find a suitable place to work while being close to your children to supervise them. Having a set work space helps all the family know you are working.
One of the biggest challenges can be supervising children appropriately. Some older children can be lest on their own but younger children and babies cannot. When your children need you, take time off and return to your tasks later. Give yourself permission to take care of your family and don’t feel guilty for doing so.
Build in self-care and if you feel you need some time, take a break. As this is a very isolating time, looking after your wellbeing and emotional health is necessary. Mindfulness apps or a 5-minute yoga or meditation session can be helpful and the children can join in too. Create a suitable and comfortable workspace; it does not have to be its own room but just some space that works for you. With the abundance of technology, use this to your advantage to help keep your child occupied. If you have a garden, encourage them to get some fresh air too.
It’s normal for a lack of routine and structure to make children feel anxious and upset, especially if they have special educational needs and disabilities. If your child’s no longer going to school, creating a routine is important and there are ways you can do this together.
It’s important to include your child when thinking about how you structure the day and different activities you can do together. You might want to think about having different routines or activities in different rooms for example, depending on the space you have at home. Perhaps there’s something your child loves doing, like artwork or playing games that can become part of their daily routine.
It can help to ask your child’s school what they normally use to create routines.
Popular examples include:
Pictures are easier for many children to understand than written words. There are resources for making timetables on Twinkl, or you could draw your own. Some children will want to know the time when different activities will start, but other children won’t need this. It can help to ask your child what they’d prefer.