How This One Daily Practice Increases Holiday Fun: Balancing the Holiday Break + Your Work

The excitement of winter break can be felt everywhere. There’s a lot to look forward to: the gifts that will be opened, the food that will be eaten, and the friends and family visits that will be made!

Let's not forget there's also the time that small beings will be away from school.

Whether you're traveling or staying home, the routine has changed.

Many big beings – that means you – are stressed out about this. Although you’re looking forward to more time with you small beings, you’re not sure how to balance work meetings and other obligations with the holiday onslaught.

Here’s my advice, which I actually follow myself every day and especially during breaks: make a plan.

Each day, write out what will happen for you and your family. It should be understood that this plan is flexible and that it will include downtime.

Here’s what that might look like:

  • 12 a.m. – 7 a.m.: sleep
  • 7 a.m.: big beings wake up; any small being awake should read books or play quietly with LEGOs 
  • 7 a.m. – 9 a.m.: hang out at home in pajamas
  • 9 a.m.: breakfast all together
  • 9:30 a.m. – 12 a.m.: Mom works
  • 9:30 a.m.: Dad and small beings get ready for the day (get dressed, brush teeth, brush hair)
  • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.: PLAY
  • 12 p.m.: lunch with everyone
  • 1 p.m.: prep to go to cousin’s house
  • 1:15 p.m. – 2 p.m.: drive to cousin’s house
  • 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.: spend time with cousins
  • 5 p.m.:  drive home
  • 6 p.m.: dinner at home all together
  • 7 – 7:30 p.m. clean up from dinner and clean up the house from the day
  • 7:30 p.m.: get ready for bed and quiet play
  • 8 p.m.: bedtime for small beings

Again, your small beings might not do everything on this list exactly as you expected it to occur. If you go through the process of setting up the schedule and then talking to your small beings every day, there's a chance that they will start to follow it.

The alternative is to not have a schedule, then feel like time is flying by and nothing is getting done. Your small beings then will seem adrift and chaos will ensue. With a plan in place you’re giving your small beings an option to succeed. (Tweet)

In a perfect world, you create a schedule each night with your small beings during their bedtime. You can write it on a whiteboard, chalkboard, piece of paper, and crayon -- use what you have. I do not recommend putting this schedule on your phone, as it should be kept in a place that your small beings can always see and check. Place it in the same location in the house each day. It might become your small being’s version of a planner.

Let me know how it goes!

Insight Into Action!

Parents:  How do your small being(s) react to a structured day?

Professionals: Have you ever created a schedule in your classroom? If so, how did it go?


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