Make sure the alarm is set
As much as a lie-in is tempting, sticking to a daily routine will help to get your kids to sleep on an evening. Get up at a reasonable time just like you would on a normal school day, make sure your kids have their breakfast, brush their teeth and get out of their favourite pyjamas before the day continues. This is really important if your kids are lucky enough to have a high sleeper bed with a desk underneath to stop them from sneaking back to bed when you aren’t looking. A homeschooling mid-day nap is a big no-no for an effective bedtime routine.
It might not seem like a lot, but creating a structure to their day is really important and helps them drift off a lot easier on an evening.
Plan in quiet time
Make sure you give them time to enjoy playing on their own or watching a film in peace. Half an hour of peace and quiet as a parent is bliss, but a bit of quiet time especially before bed is really beneficial for your kids too. Make sure they have a place they can go to relax and enjoy spending time on their own early in the evening. Whether this is an under bed play area, a corner of the living room or in their bedroom, every child wants a space they can enjoy spending some me-time, plus it also helps them wind down and start their bedtime routine.
Encourage daily exercise
Our kids are used to running around playgrounds, PE lessons, walking to the local shops and so much more daily activity than they may be getting during the lockdown. Even if regular exercise isn’t part of your normal home life it is important to get them active where possible. It might be a trip to the local park, walking to post a card to Grandparents, a Joe Wicks workout on Youtube or playing in the garden, wherever possible try to match your child’s typical activity level during lockdown to minimise disruption to their sleeping patterns.
Create a sleepy environment
Get the curtains pulled, turn the big light off, get out the bedtime stories and your child will begin to recognise that it is bedtime. Make sure you create an atmosphere that is calming and relaxing for your child. It might even be worth considering investing in a new mattress that fully supports their body as an uncomfy mattress is something that keeps kids up all night. Just think if you sleep on a lumpy mattress you can’t drift off either.
Embrace the change
It’s important to remember that nothing like this has ever happened before. We never thought we would be at home with our kids 24/7, playing the role of both teacher and parent whilst trying to keep the kids entertained is by no means easy. Embrace homeschooling in whatever means works for your family, spend time with your kids, exploring the outdoors or cosy up on the sofa, whatever combination works for your family and your sanity!
Keeping to a routine where possible helps to create a structure for our kids, so you might not have the same routine as when they go to school, but it’s probably worth having some sort of bedtime routine to get them settled on an evening and give you a little bit of peace and quiet before another manic day commences.
Just remember, you’re doing an amazing job and we’re all in this together!