With distance learning, working from home AND trying to remain sane, life has felt like a whirlwind. I've always been one for a routine and schedule but this year has challenged me to the core and I realized quickly I needed to get my life together or else we all would go crazy and nothing would get done. I've also had to say goodbye to my perfectionist ways and say hello to finding ways to make life more doable. I'm not expert but since sharing is caring. Before I get into our Fall Routine, I wanted to share 3 tips that have made our life feel more doable and less stressed.
Tip #1: Utilize products that help you save time AND sanity!
With the kids home all day and ALWAYS hungry I've been using Chinet® Classic White™All Occasion Plates for meals and projects. I love that they're durable, versatile and make clean up a breeze. Saving time doing dishes helps save my sanity! We've also been doing more projects lately and Chinet® Products are so convenient.
Chinet® Comfort Cup®Insulated Hot Cups have also been a go-to for me. I've been up to 2-3 cups of a coffee a day and love that they actually keep my coffee hot until the last drop. I usually grab one to take along on our daily walks or outings to sip my home made latte or sometimes tea.
Tip #2: Present over Perfect
This is something I've had to remind myself of over and over again during this year. Having days where I feel stretched thin, beyond capacity, I take a deep breath and quickly make a list of the things that are TRULY important. YES I want my kids to learn and YES distance learning has been hard, but the days when I focus on just being present for them in whatever capacity that is, we all have a more positive day. Sometimes that means my emails pile up and sometimes that means we drop everything and go for a walk just to regain our sanity.
Being gentle with myself and managing expectations has made all the difference.
Sometimes present over perfect looks like ordering pizza for dinner and camping out on the floor of the living room for a movie night after a long day. Home cooked meals served at the dinner table are great but pizza on our Chinet® Classic White™All Occasion Plates is also great and sometimes what saves my sanity after a long day. It's funny how the nights with the simplest things turn out to be the most amazing memories.
Tip #3: Find A Realistic Routine & Stick To It:
Emphasis on REALISTIC. At the beginning of all of this craziness, I was determined to keep life feeling "normal". Which to me, meant setting up a strict routine and schedule. After about month of driving myself nuts, I realized there needed to be a shift. We needed a routine that kept us on track but also allowed for life to flow. So, our Fall Routine looks a little like this. Our routine/schedule is a general outline but easily moved based on what's going on that day. Sometimes a shift needs to be made to accommodate a hard morning or kids that just need a little extra rest.
6:30am-8:30am Wake Up/Breakfast- Everyone gets up between this time. One of the nice thing about distance learning is we can ease into the mornings.
8:30-9am Get Dressed & Ready To Learn- As tempting as it is to stay in pajamas all day, I do my best to make sure everyone is dressed for the day before morning meetings (a.k.a zoom sessions) begin. Being dressed in versus wearing pajamas all day helps the school day feel like an actual school day and we all focus much better.
9am-11:30 School Is In Session- Both Audri and Kai having morning meetings on Zoom. Once their meetings are finished, we move on to completing the designated assignments for the day. One thing I've found really helpful to keep Kailand focused and motivated to learn is making a check list of all the assignments we need to complete. After he finishes one, we check it off. Visually seeing his progress helps him stay motivated.
11:30-12:30 Lunch Break- If the weather is nice, we take a walk or have a picnic lunch. A change of scenery is always nice after being home most of the day.
12:30-2pm Finish up school work- Most days, we're able to wrap up our school day by 2pm and head out on a "field trip" for some fun. Sometimes it's to the park or the zoo. And recently, it was to the pumpkin patch. Planning a small activity for the end of the day provides and incentive for the kids to complete school work and have something to look forward to.
2pm-3pm Field Trip/Activity- Finding an activity or opportunity to get out of the house for a bit is usually my goal. Even if it's as simple as a walk or bike ride. Staying inside all day drives us all crazy, so even on cold days we try to get out doors and enjoy fresh air.
3pm-6pm Free Play/Screen Time/ Dinner- By the end of the day, the routine becomes a bit more loose. The kids play and I usually catch up on emails/work and make dinner.
6pm-8pm Dinner/ Bath Time/ Bedtime- Most nights we have dinner together at the dining room table. But some nights, Mama is tired and we camp out in the living room with pizza and a movie. And that's just fine because saving my sanity at the end of a long day is important...lol.
After our pumpkin patch field trip, the kids had so much fun painting the pumpkins we bought.
So that's it! That's our Fall Routine and that's how I've been making the best of this crazy year while also staying sane!
*This blog post is in partnership with the Chinet® brand, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.