Stuck At Home With Kids – Our Actual Block Schedule

Baby and Kids, Lifestyle, Video

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!

Page family sitting on the couch, from Fun Cheap or Free

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).

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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

Jordan opening her blinds, from Fun Cheap or Free

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.


MORNING BLOCK

boy cleaning the sink, from Fun Cheap or Free

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!


SCHOOL BLOCK

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

family riding bikes outside, from Fun Cheap or Free

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!


DINNER BLOCK

girl cooking dinner with family, from Fun Cheap or Free

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!


BEDTIME BLOCK

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!


NIGHTTIME BLOCK

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

kids playing the piano together, from Fun Cheap or Free

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 technology to further lessons and teach new skills! We love Simply Piano for teaching the kids piano. But there are so many out there.


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!

Image with text that reads "stuck at home with kids" from Fun Cheap or Free

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?

Block and roll, Freebs 🙂

Jordan Page signature

17 Comments

  1. Naomi Evans

    Hey Jordyn!!
    I never make comments and only once in awhile pop in for ideas. Just wanted to stop a minute and say THANKS!!
    You’re beautiful! Your family is beautiful and what you are doing as a family is BEAUTIFUL!
    Thank you so much for being relatable and keeping it real! I love that you share everything that’s important: Family, Faith, Fun, Finance, Frugality….. (Wasn’t planning on the “F” theme, but it works!🤣)
    We have a family of 7 kids. We’ve entered the teen years which brings all kinds of new dynamics, but I still enjoy tips from you.
    Hang in there! You’re doing amazing things!!
    My favorite mantra is “Breathe Deep, seek Peace!!” (Thanks to kids who love dinosaurs and being introduced to “Dynotopia”!)
    You’re amazing!❤️

    Reply
    • Fun Cheap or Free

      You’re so sweet! Sounds like we could learn a thing or two from you with teens. 😉 XOXO

      Reply
  2. libby

    Me and my friends are on (semi) lockdown here in London, we’re student nurses so its kind of a waiting game to see if we’re gonna be called in.
    We’re doing pretty similar stuff tbh. In the mornings we set aside 9-12 to do online lectures after making beds and cleaning my living space (1 room!). Break for lunch doing some youtube excersise classes (check out global martial arts university). Revision and assignments in the afternoon until about 5 when we go out to the park for some fresh air. Everyone I know’s cooking alot more instead of relying on ready meals and take out, which is good. In the evening I do a group call with my larger circle of friends and we play video games or watch movies ‘together.’
    Can’t imagine having to do it with kids but sounds like you’re doing amazing!! Good luck xx

    Reply
    • Fun Cheap or Free

      It’s amazing how we’re so far apart but still basically living a similar life. Hang in there! XOXO

      Reply
    • Susi

      Hi, Libby! Please share how you watch movies and play video games online with your group of friends! Thanks!

      Reply
  3. Ashliegh

    I love Lexia! We used it when I taught 3rd grade! I just ordered it for my PreK student to start while home for this time. They are running a special discount for quarantined students, $110 a year (regularly $175) with the code L2RCOVID at lexiaforhome.com. I didn’t see it posted anywhere, but the online customer service representative told me about it. I know it’s a bit pricey, but a great program with many targeted activities available based on your child’s performance! My 4 year old is loving it! Also, Khan Academy For Kids! Bonus for that one is it’s more than reading and it’s FREE! Congrats on the twins! They are beautiful!

    Reply
    • Fun Cheap or Free

      Wow, thanks for the tips! And thanks for the love! XOXO

      Reply
    • Michelle

      Thank you for sharing the Lexia tip Ashliegh! It’s a wonderful reading program, but it is expensive, as you said. This coupon code is such a blessing! My 2 daughters used it when they were in charter school, but since we started homeschooling, I’ve been wanting my 7 year son to use it. Now maybe we can. 🙂

      Reply
  4. April

    My 2nd grader and a couple of his classmates did a zoom call together to check in with one another (my sons birthday party was meant to be today cancelled of course so this was a fun alternative) they all chatted and played hangman and just had a fun time.

    Reply
    • Fun Cheap or Free

      Oh, that stinks that his birthday party got cancelled! It’s great that they got on Zoom together and could hang out for a little bit. This is one of the instances where technology is great! 🙂

      Reply
  5. Danielle

    Hi Jordyn. New Zealand is currently gone into lockdown and although I have a 19 year old son, I thought I’d still come by to say thankyou. I may use the block schedule to do things such as wanting to learn another language or just try some of the fun activities and get him away from being on the computer or PlayStation all day.

    Reply
    • Fun Cheap or Free

      Prayers for you and your family to get through this strange time! The block schedule is great no matter the age or who it’s for. It’ll be good for your family! 🙂

      Reply
  6. Amy

    I’m really excited to start your whole block schedule and zone ideas. But my question is…what happens if the kids don’t do their chores or finish what is expected of them for the zone their assigned to? I have 4 kiddos (12, 10, 4, 1) and I’ve been struggling with getting my kids to take chores seriously. And it seems I’m always just on them, reminding them over & over to get them done and it’s driving me crazy. Help!! 😆

    Reply
    • Fun Cheap or Free

      You have to set expectations and allow them to earn something (whether physical or something as simple as a family movie night). Then if they don’t finish what was expected of them, they unfortunately don’t get to earn that treat. You can either do individual goals or family goals. The key is in sticking with the consequences if they don’t complete them. The only child that you should have to help with their chores would be the 1 year old; the 4, 10 and 12 year olds are definitely old enough to do things on their own and can live with the consequences if they don’t.

      Reply
  7. Vanessa

    I had been using the block system for a couple of months before quarantine started and it was working great.

    Now my house became 2 different offices, a university, school, middle school, gym etc, all with different schedules. Both my kids have to follow a fixed schedule for school but it’s not the same. One is from 8 until 1:30 and the other one from 7 until 3. Both with breaks and lunch time.

    We have managed well so far but I have wanted to implement a new block schedule but I don’t want to have 4 different ones and is driving me crazy!

    Kids are wasting so much time in the afternoon. I’m not used to being on top of them for everything they have to do and since the routine has change so much they are not doing anything!

    Reply
    • Fun Cheap or Free

      You can’t help it if your kids are on 2 separate, fixed schedules for school, so don’t try to fight that anymore! Make each of them their own block schedule for the school day if that helps you to know when they should be doing certain things. Then, make up an afternoon schedule that works for you and see if that helps you out. Remember, this isn’t a forever thing, even though it may feel like it! Do what helps you to keep your sanity and keep things organized right now and adjust your expectations for those things you were getting accomplished and are having a hard time with right now. Don’t forget that your kids can help out with things around the house as well! Have the whole family pitch in on things in the afternoon that need to be done and you’ll be much happier.

      Reply
  8. HTV9

    Communication and sincere listening. Lots of it. That’s the family lifehack I got. Keep these posts coming, they’re great!

    Reply

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