When I was little and even when I worked a regular 9 – 5 job, I used to love hearing them announce the close of school and offices for inclement weather. A day off. How exciting? But now as someone an entrepreneur and mother of 3, school cancellations do not get welcomed with the same excitement. As I hear news that schools will be closed, the first thing I think about is “How am I going to get my work done?” and the second is “How am I going to entertain the kids while they are stuck in the house all day?”
As someone who works for myself, even with a regular 40-hour work week, there is usually not enough time to get everything done that needs to be completed. So you can imagine that with kids home, productivity decreases and the need to make sure that the kids are “entertained” increases.
Here are a few tips to help you manage your day during inclement weather breaks from school:
- Treat it like a normal workday for you, while allowing the kids to have a sleep in vacation
On normal school days I am sure you are like me, it is like pulling teeth trying to get the little ones up for school. Typically we are waking up at 5:45 AM and 6:45 AM for 7:30 AM and 8:30 AM school starts. On a day that school is closed, you can let the little ones sleep in but by keeping my normal workday wake up time, I can get a good 3 hours of uninterrupted time. I use this time to get my work done. It is amazing how productive you can be with some uninterrupted focused work time. 3 hours can be plenty of time to do a day’s worth of work.
- Make sure homework is done
A day out of school does not mean a day full of watching tv. Before play time and tv, homework must be completed and if homework was completed the night before or they don’t have any, this also a great time to take out a good book and spend some time reading. Children should read at least 30 minutes a day. This family reading time will also give you a little more time to get some work done.
- Plan some fun activities that can serve a dual purpose
When trying to fill the day with things to do that the kids will find fun can be challenging. When you are home for inclement weather, you are usually stuck in the house and depending on the age of your kids, they could be bouncing off the walls after 20 minutes. Having a plan for what activities you can do can help keep them entertained and can also help you reinforce positive things during this out of school time. Here are a few favorites for my family:
- Karoke – A karoke sing off can be a lot of fun, while practicing reading skills.
- Dance Party – A dance party gets you up and moving and helps burn few calories
- Cooking – Choosing a fun family friendly recipe can satisfy those inclement weather day taste buds while teaching about math and science.
As hurricane season continues and then winter “snow days” approach, keep these tips in mind for your fun and productive day off.