Families are being asked to do what feels impossible right now: lead children through eLearning, work from home and much more. With the right structure and ample amounts of grace, we can thrive in this hard time. Here’s how you can use a planner to create a new rhythm for your family:


Create a short checklist of activities you’d like to accomplish each day

Schedule learning time, outside time, reading time, rest time and creative time. In our house — with twin 5-year-olds and a 9-year-old — we are waking up at 7 am, doing eLearning before lunch, lunch at noon, followed by 90 minutes of quiet time and dinner at 6. What happens in between those times is fluid, but the general structure provides a cadence to our weekdays.


Set office hours that work for your situation

Maybe that’s 9 am–5 pm. Maybe it’s pre-kiddo-wake time, during nap time and after bedtime. Maybe it’s something that changes every day. Whatever it is, outline it and communicate it to those it affects.


Be sure to include some variety, for you and the kids

In my planner, I’m writing one creative activity for our family to do each day, one outside activity (nothing fancy, maybe even just a walk around the block) and what’s for dinner. Having everything in one place helps me make sure we use our time wisely and gives me some guidelines while we navigate a tricky time.


Give yourself a break

Most importantly, have a ton of grace with yourself and your kids. If things get too hard, walk away. Get outside. Let the mess lie. Take care of the little hearts that are struggling like we are. The rest can wait.


Check out the Staples® Learn from Home Resource Roundup for great activities to help keep your kids learning, entertained and connected.