Here in Massachusetts, schools are teaching remotely for the rest of the year. Churches are closed, and we are still social distancing. I have about 2-3 hours of extra time each day now; time that I used to spend driving around in my van. I’ve been sitting on the couch, watching Gilmore Girls, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, and loads of movies. (Especially during the last week, when we were on school vacation.) I’ve also been reading novels, listening to talks, doing puzzles, and I spent many hours helping my mother to (possibly) purchase a condo and to get her house ready to put on the market.
This week we are back to school. I’m trying to set up routines for this new way of life, which may be drastically different for some families; but for us it is similar, in many ways, to how we’ve always lived. I’m currently homeschooling Hannah and Mary, and here is our schedule for school days during this shutdown:
- 7:00-8:15 Morning Prayers & Meditation, Breakfast & Chores
- 8:15-8:45 Daily Mass (in our living room)
- 8:45-9:30 Miles Christi Covid-19 video, Religion, Art
- 9:30-10:30 Grammar
- 10:30-11:30 Science, History
- 11:30-12:00 Silent Reading
- 12:00-1:00 Lunch & Chores, Break
- 1:00-3:00 Math, Spelling, Handwriting, Latin
- 5:00-6:00 Dinner & Chores
Joseph, Sarah, and Rachel, who were attending local college, high school, and eighth grade, are also home with us, doing their schoolwork independently. They usually join us for meals. Bobby is still going into work every day. He leaves around 8 a.m. and comes home at different times each night. Fortunately for me, he’s not traveling anymore. He likes to eat something and work-out when he gets home. And he usually wants to watch a movie at night. Last night, we walked together on the bike trail, which was very nice.
I want to create some healthy routines for myself in those open time slots. I’m trying to include a daily walk or other exercise, either after school or after dinner, depending on what else is planned for the day. On some days I clean, go food shopping, attend Zoom meetings, or Facetime or call family members or friends.
I also want to commit to reading more at night before bed. I hope to post here some of my thoughts about what I’m reading to help me with consistency and focus. I often grab one of the many non-fiction books I own and read some of it, then put it down. I am interested in reading the books I own one at a time, from start to finish. If I can stick to the one book at a time, and a little bit each night, I’ll be sure to finish some books this year. And if this becomes a habit for me, then maybe I can work on another one.
Whenever I set up a new schedule, I’m really just tweaking the one that I’ve had for years. I find it helpful to see it in writing though. I’m really telling myself that these are the things that are important to me. I know that things will come up to interrupt it. People will call or need help with something. That’s fine. But notice that I haven’t scheduled excessively scrolling on Facebook, or reading news articles. Activities that waste my time or cause me anxiety are not my priority and are sometimes harmful, so when I find myself doing those, I’ll need to ask why.