I’ve created these free editable printable templates to share with you during this challenging time.
When my husband and I realized that our whole family was going to be home for several weeks together, our first priority was coming up with a plan to make it work. Creating a daily schedule, meal planner and cleaning checklist became our first priority. Knowing that so many other families are facing the same challenges, I decided to make them editable and share them with you.
Week one with our kids home from school was a bit of a challenge. On Monday we held a family meeting and discussed ways to get on a schedule and stay focused. Our kids are looking to us for comfort, direction and a plan.
Sometimes knowing what is expected of you is half the battle. At first, my kids were a little resistant to the idea, but they then realized that this was in the best interest of everyone. They enjoy bringing the daily schedule to my office door and pointing to the meal times when they’re hungry. 🙂
On a positive note, our whole family is getting more rest and eating healthier. It’s nice to see my older boys so relaxed.
HOW TO DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE EDITABLE PRINTABLE TEMPLATES
To download all three templates and receive instant access to my free library, just subscribe at the top sidebar or at the bottom of this post. You will be sent a welcome email with the password to the library. Go to the library page and enter the password in the box, then download any of the templates, printables and files you would like.
MAKING A DAILY SCHEDULE
I’ve added the daily family schedule we are using as a guide for you. Once you download it, the entire schedule is editable, so you can customize it for your family. It may look simple to you, and it is. I’ve always found that schedules work better as a guide, rather than a rigid task list. There are interruptions and changes daily, but having a plan will help give you direction and keep things on track.
The first thing my husband and I discussed was when our most productive times of the day are. We are both working from home and my husband in particular needs chunks of time when the house is quiet. He has a lot of calls for work and we didn’t want the kids making noise during these times. His schedule is slightly different than the rest of us, but he does follow the schedule for meals and family time.
We have decided to get up before our children and try to get some work done in the mornings, before they wake. None of our kids are early risers, so we found this helpful. They are old enough to get their own breakfast and put the dishes in the dishwasher.
Lunch is usually leftovers or something quick like sandwiches and cut veggies. We are trying to keep everyone on the same lunch and dinner schedule for my sanity.
All of my kids play an instrument and need to dedicate time to practice. We asked them to do this at the same time from 12:30 to 1:00 PM, because my husband doesn’t usually have calls during lunch hour. If they need additional time for recordings and practice, we have them do that before 8 PM.
DEALING WITH DIFFERENT AGE CHILDREN AND A DAILY SCHEDULE
We have our kids doing their school work during the same times that we are working. My older two are already skilled at self study. They don’t really need my help keeping them on task. Honestly, their studies are way over my head anyways.
I will say that we monitor their phone time and I pop into their rooms randomly throughout the day to check on them. We have established a strong expectation of our children from the time they were little. We’ve also explained to them that their work ethic will directly impact their lives in the future. Honesty, integrity and hard work have been at the core of our parenting for years, so this disruption to our lives is not an excuse from our daily responsibilities.
Now, I have to admit, my youngest is the most difficult to manage. I hear all you moms of young children! It’s a difficult task to work and give them the time and attention they need. Our youngest is set up in the kitchen, close by, so I can answer his questions quickly. One of his biggest challenges is learning to be quiet. Total honesty here…I’m bribing him…I mean rewarding him. 🙂 If he can make it through each week with only one warning a day, I’m getting him a Lego set at the end of the week. I’m trying to establish a baseline here, so he knows what is expected of him. While I won’t be able to continue the rewards for many weeks, I do believe that establishing expectations quickly, will help going forward. He also needs to have three questions written down, before he can interrupt me. We’re working on it daily.
USING A MEAL PLANNER
This really wasn’t much of a change for me but I know it will be a challenge for some. If you’re not in the habit of planning and cooking, my best advice is to make a meal plan. I’ve been cooking for my family for 19 years and having a meal plan makes all the difference. When you have a plan, there is very little thought that goes into meal time. You just follow the plan. There’s no mental energy involved, you just do it.
It also ensures you have all the necessary ingredients on hand…no last minute trips to the store. I write out all the meals we will have (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and then make a grocery list from the meal plan. At that point I check to see what I have on hand and write down what’s missing.
We usually grocery shop at ALDI. However, we recently discovered an online shopping service called Instacart. I am not an affiliate for them, I just like the service they provide. It’s basically a grocery delivery service that we are starting to use for our aging parents. When you go to their site, add your zip code and create an account. Then, select the store you want to shop at. ALDI, Costco and Target are just a few of the stores listed, along with local grocers.
After you select the groceries that you want, choose the date and time slot (a 2 hour window) you would like them delivered. Then place your order. There is a three to four day wait for delivery right now, so be sure to plan ahead. Then you enter your delivery address with any special instructions and pay. The delivery fee was four to six dollars, with the option to add a driver’s tip, but you can sign up for free delivery for a monthly or annual fee.
CLEANING UP AFTER MEALS
When it comes to dishes, the whole family needs to pitch in. I break it down into smaller chores, like clearing and wiping down the table, putting away leftovers, rinsing the dishes, loading the dishwasher, cleaning pots & pans and putting away dishes. This prevents a bottleneck in the kitchen and keeps the chores moving forward without overwhelming me.
CREATE A CLEANING CHECKLIST
If you are looking for information to protect you or your family from illness, I recommend going to CDC.Gov. They have a bunch of information about keeping your family safe and healthy.
After checking out their Cleaning & Disinfecting page, I decided to create a handy checklist for my family. This disinfecting/cleaning checklist can also be edited and customized to meet your household needs.
I created a cleaning checklist for two reasons. First, I knew if I didn’t have a checklist, it wouldn’t get done. There are so many things on my list of responsibilities and adding one more is a bit discouraging. But, I know that it’s important, so I created a plan. Having a checklist takes the mental hurdle out of this task for me.
Second, I can pass out the checklist to each member of my family and then assign each member an area on the checklist. This ensures the task gets done fast, with everyone pitching in.
We are using Clorox wipes in “high-touch” areas. We wipe the area down and let it air-dry. It’s easiest for our family to do this just before bedtime. Then I know the areas have been disinfected for the next day.
Just be sure to hold everyone accountable to wash their hands when done.
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Hopefully these free editable printable templates will help you care for your family over the next few weeks. Try to keep calm and stay healthy!