One surprising impact of the Coronavirus at my house is how many more reminders my middle schooler seems to need now. Although he used to be pretty self-sufficient, the combination of staying at home for 6 months, having no scheduled activities, and mostly playing video games during that time, seems to have set him back. With school fully online, he is struggling with the lack of structure and daily comings and goings that helped him stay on top of everything. Even basic tasks like showering regularly, have fallen by the wayside (and who among us hasn’t skipped the occasional shower when we know we’re not leaving the house?).
To counteract this, we are trying a new organizer for him that I created with The Trip Clip.
Each day he fills this out, making a plan for when he will do each of these things that day, and then it’s up to him to make sure he follows his plan and gets everything done by the end of the day. It puts him in charge of his schedule, and removes the burden for me to remember to check on all of these things each day – I can just ask him how he’s doing on his organizer for today.
Without this list, he was occasionally waiting until an hour before bedtime to start homework, having forgotten that he was also supposed to exercise (because there’s no soccer now), practice his instrument, and leave some time to shower and read before bed. He also wouldn’t check how much schoolwork he had until he sat down to do it, and then would get overwhelmed by how much there was to do. Maybe it’s the fact that he only has his classes 2 days each week, and so the workload is bigger with multiple days break between, but he is having a lot of trouble keeping in his head what he has to do for each class and seems perpetually surprised by all the assignments.
This planner is helping him recognize that he has more than an hour of responsibilities every day in addition to online school, and he’s going to need to work on his time management skills to get it all done.
If you try this, or you have another system for helping your kids get through online school, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!