This is the end of 3 weeks of Distance Teaching for me!
I definitely feel like things are starting to mesh a little bit better. I even said on Thursday, “Wow! This week went kind of fast”. Even though routines were set in place before, they are going more smoothly. My kids are getting the hang of it and are starting to really like this learning from home thing. This last week I spiced up our meals a bit and dinners were much better. I even planned ahead on a few!
I have had a schedule the whole time with Distance Learning. I am schedule type gal. I schedule everything, its how my brain works. My schedule is working really well. But this week as things are solidifying more, I realized I needed a “schedule within my schedule”. I am sure that is called something.
I found myself sitting down at my computer and I would check email and that would lead me down a path that went in all directions, then I would remember I needed to fill in my attendance, so I would do that, and then oh yeah, I need to make sure my assignments have been put up on Google Classroom, when in Google Classroom I would see that I should check in some of the students work. It was kind of like, “If you give a Mouse a Cookie”. I needed a schedule of what I do when I sit at my computer.
So, I created a schedule for each time slot when I sit at my computer. This has been really helpful because each time I get interrupted by one of my kids needing help, I know what I need to work on next. I simply cross things off and I know where I need to pick up next. I just laminated it so I can re-use it. It helps to focus my scattered brain. I also put a section to write down my meetings for the day. Each week I have been having meetings and they are all at weird times. I haven’t missed any but I have come close.
I have included a copy of my schedule, only with the intent that you create your own and have an idea of what works for me. I know yours will look much different than mine.
At Home Tip
Today’s tip is a little different, it is not a teaching tip.
About a month before the world shut down, I had come up with this 5-minute cleaning plan.
Being a full-time working mom with 2 jobs, 3 kids and not having any help, my house can get quite messy. It is cluttered, we have too much stuff and not enough space. I have been de-cluttering in small increments, and it has made a big difference. But I needed a new plan…. My excuse is always I don’t have the time and my body needs the rest (it really does).
So this idea popped into my head.
Why don’t you spend 5 minutes cleaning right now. Set the timer for 5 minutes and get as much done as you can. I scurried around like a madwomen and it actually made a big difference in just 5 minutes. The next day, I thought, I am going to dust for just 5 minutes. I set the timer and just dusted for 5 minutes. Each day I picked a new chore. It started to make a big difference in my house. So I used my Google Keep App and made a checklist of 31 things to clean in the house. Every 7 days or so is a de-cluttering day where I de-clutter an area of need.
But the key is to only spend 5 minutes.
Don’t turn a job into a 20 minute job because then you won’t want to do it again the next day because mentally you will be thinking, it will just turn into more. When the timer goes off, stop. You can always go back to it later.
Now that I am home, I am still implementing this still, because believe it or not, I am still so busy with working both jobs, teaching my own 3, cooking all 3 meals in the home and the house is messier since the kids are home all day. They have been creating a LEGO city in the living room in their school breaks and when I am on meeting calls. See my Instagram for pictures.
Since we are home now, all day, everyday, I added another element to it.
I wrote down easy “kid tasks” that they can do in 5 min. I put them on little strips of paper and put them in a sandwich bag labeled “TO DO”. Each day after lunch the kids clean up their lunch and then put their hand in the “TO DO” bag and pull out one card. Then we put those cards in the “done” bag to re-use next week.
We set the timer for 5 minutes and everyone does their task. They stop as soon as the timer is off. Some jobs are done much faster than 5 minutes. After that they all have one other chore to do to help the family. I chose these from a list that I have on my phone, also in Google Keep.
The kids actually like it, 5 minutes is not long to do any chore, they love that when they finish or the timer goes off they get to stop even if it is not done. They didn’t like it at first. Now as soon as lunch end, they grab the bag without me even asking them too and pick their chore.
Some of the Kids Chores
Take out the Trash
Clean the kid’s bathroom toilet
Clean the kid’s bathroom counter
Wipe down the kitchen counter
Sweep the kitchen
Sweep the back patio
Sweep the front stoop
Pick up the living room
Wash the doors
Clean the light switches
Clean the walls
Pick up Dog Poop
Remember this is new territory for everyone. Give people grace.