Stuck at home and wondering how to maintain? Are the kids climbing the wall, the counters, and your patience? Wondering if you're going to keep it together? Have no fear, we're sharing tips on how you can survive –and even thrive — when the kids are home… We got this!
It's another day filled with kiddos Whether the kids are home sick, or it's spring break, or it's summertime and you're home, too, it's… a lot. And while it's so fun at first to have all of the kids home, it's all too easy to let productivity fly right out the window (and your sanity with it).
*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
In the meantime, I just want to share with you how we are surviving with school being out, working from home, and keeping our cool — all to show you that it can be done, so hang in there! This is how we're handling having 8 kids at home 10 and under, including newborn twins, in real-time!
You ready for this?
Click HERE to watch the video or scroll down for all the details!
Now doesn't that look fun? We're definitely surviving… Keep reading for a recap.
START THE DAY OFF RIGHT
These are the things that really help me get up on the right foot.
- Get Dressed – Even if you don't leave the house. Your outfit doesn't have to be fancy, but getting out of jammas into something comfy will make you feel a little more human!
- Open Your Windows – Fresh air and natural light does wonders!
- Make Your Bed – This is a productive way to start your day, helps you feel accomplished and makes everything feel cleaner. Have your kids make their beds, too! We use Beddy's because they're SO easy to make…literally, you can make your bed in 20 seconds! Use code FUNCHEAPORFREE20 for 20% off.
- Ground Yourself – We are seriously being inundated with messages, news updates and social media posts that build on our sense of dread and anxiety. Before I read any news, I make it a rule to read something uplifting. For me that's my scriptures.
- Prayer and Meditation – Find a moment of peace. It will go a long way in preparing you to handle the challenges of the day!
Check out more details on my morning routine! Of course it's a tad different when we're stuck at home.
MAKE YOURSELF A BLOCK SCHEDULE
I've shared my actual block schedule for right now on Instagram. This is how we're running our day.
The reason why a block schedule is so valuable is it helps you realistically plan your day, but also allows for some flexibility. That way when things don't go according to plan, there's no need to panic. You have a whole chunk of time to get things done. Need more info on how to create your own block schedule?
Block out specific chunks of time for specific things. A time for play. A time for chores. A time for school/learning. A time for meals, time for cleaning up those meals…even a block for work if you have to work from home.
Your schedule can be more loose if you need it to be, but when you have kids at home, a block schedule can really help give you a sense of routine and normalcy! When expectations are clear, kids thrive, and about 1,000,000 pounds of parenting pressure is relieved off mom and dad’s shoulders.
You've already started YOUR day off right, help your kids do the same. This is when we encourage the kids to get ready for the day, we have breakfast and clean it up, do morning chores, start a load of laundry and other basic things that need to get done around the house to start us off on the right beat!
Kids have more energy in the morning and can focus better so we choose to make this our learning block! Here are a few resources we use and love!
By 12:30, we've cleaned up school and we're done with lunch and it's time for FREE time! The kids love this and it often motivates them to work hard.
NAP OR WORK BLOCK
We need to keep our working block because somebody's gotta pay the bills! We also have newborn babes, so occasionally this mama needs a nap—and that's totally okay, too. The littles nap, too. But the older kids need to have some free time! Here are some of our favorite activities.
This is the perfect time to send them outside for fresh air and exercise. Sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate, though! Check out this post full of fun indoor activities for kids!
There are a lot of tasks that you do throughout the day that you can use to help teach your kids some life skills! You have to make dinner anyway, why don't you turn it into a cooking class? I'm planning on rotating kids and teaching them as much as possible. This is a perfect opportunity to teach kids how to do every day tasks that you are doing anyway.
After dinner, we also do a blitz clean and the kids have more play time! This is a great time to have some more family-friendly activities.
Check out our night time routine for more details!
We love our bedtime block. We read from Come, Follow Me and have family scripture study. We finish getting cleaned up, have showers and the kids do their reading at night for 30 minutes. This is a great way to unwind and settle down for the night and allows them to break up the learning a bit!
After the kids are in bed, it's a great time to do any final cleaning, catch up on any projects, and enjoy a little down time! We also prep for the next day to make sure things run as smoothly as possible.
SCREEN TIME TIPS
Be really selective about your screen time! The more screen time kids get, the harder staying at home will get. We let our kids use screens, but we try to make sure they are learning something.
- Learning Games Online – We love Adventure Academy, Prodigy, ABCmouse, etc.
- Art for Kids Hub
- Learning Shows – Channels like National Geographic, etc.
- Learn New Skills
- Just Dance – We love this game so much! It gets them up and moving!
- Podcasts – Work on those listening skills when you let the kids listen to podcasts while coloring.
USE THE CLIPBOARD SYSTEM
We let the kids earn screens by getting their clipboards done—learn more about our clipboard system here! But a real quick run-down, their clipboard includes things like homework/school work, chores, etc. They have to have everything on the clipboard checked off before they can do screen time or play with friends. If the kids understand the expectations, then it makes it really easy to say yes or no to requests for screens and you don't have to deal with them nagging at you.
BE FLEXIBLE & CREATIVE
The block schedule is built to help you be productive and flexible. It's perfect for moments just like this!
Just remember, there is light in everything, look for the light! I'm considering this an inconvenience… but a gift, as well. Take the time to really focus on your family because kids grow up fast!
Share your survival tips below. What are you doing to help yourself and your family get through this? Do you use the clipboard system? Share in the comments how YOU do it so we can all learn!
Looking for more great ideas?
- Get over 100 dinner ideas to help make meal planning a breeze.
- Don't miss our best tips on how to back-to-school shop on a budget. How we do kids' clothes may surprise you!
- With school comes the clutter, so get your house organized and ready before it starts back up!
Block and roll, Freebs 🙂