What to Do While Schools are Closed During the Coronavirus Crisis?

As schools across the nation close their doors to protect our children, teachers, faculty and families from the spread of COVID-19, parents are feeling the ripple effect to transition their children into a new stay-at-home and learn-from-home way of life. Here are a few things that can help your children learn from home.


Schools follow a schedule and your new way of life (however long that may be) should follow suit. By mapping out your day, you not only create a routine for your child, but also build in time to get your work done. Build a framework around what your child was doing at school, for example:

  • When would they usually eat breakfast, snack and lunch?
  • When are they used to taking breaks, going outside or having recess?
  • When do they focus best, morning or afternoon?
  • Break the day into small chunks, how many subjects or areas are you covering?

Play Time

Once you know what has to be covered and you’ve created your framework, add in some time to imagine, create and build. These can be 15- to 30-minute blocks depending on your child’s age and attention span. Don’t feel like you have to play with them the entire time — let them play independently and use their imagination as well. The more they play the more they learn to play. For older children include screen time, facetime or texting with friends— we may be distancing ourselves physically, but they still need social interaction with their classmates, and we live in a digital world where that is at our fingertips.

Make it Fun

During times of crisis, children feel the effects of major changes taking place. One way to help ease the tension is by keeping learning fun. A few ideas you can try are:

  • Set a timer for each section of learning
  • Take music and dance breaks
  • Have 'Simon Says’ stretch breaks
  • Enjoy recreational reading time
  • Go outside and get some fresh air
  • Location change; try doing some lessons at the kitchen table, others on the couch or even outside if it’s a pretty day

When creating the schedule, include your child in the process. If they play a part in the schedule-making process they’re more likely to follow it themselves. Let them write it out, use colors, markers, paint, paper and stickers to break up the day and make it their own.

As always, if you have any questions Children’s Medical Center is here to help in any way we can. We are open and here to assist you during these unprecedented times. Call us and schedule an appointment to discuss any issues your child may be having as they adjust to this new way of home learning.