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The Daily Schedule Going Viral As Parents Choose To Keep Kids At Home

While Australian schools are yet to be closed due to coronavirus, many parents are still choosing to take precautionary measures if they're able to.

A large number of countries including Ireland, Italy, Greece, China, Spain, Denmark, Lebanon, Iran, Israel, Japan, South Korea and six states in the US have enforced closures of all government schools in order to slow down the spread of coronavirus.

However for Australian students, this is yet to be the case. On Sunday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced schools across Australia would remain open, stating that mass closures would cause more harm than good.

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“Widescale closure of schools, it may be anti-intuitive, but the advice is this could be a very negative thing in terms of impacting on how these curves operate,” he said in a media briefing.

“The two reasons. When you take children out of school and put them back in the broader community, the ability for them to potentially engage with others increases that risk."

The other is the disruption impact that could put at great risk the availability of critical workers such as nurses, doctors and others who are essential in the community because they would have to remain home and look after their children.

“So while it may seem anti-intuitive, there is very good reasons why you would not be moving to broadscale closures of schools. That could make the situation worse, not better," Morrison continued.

“The states and territories are not moving in that direction.”

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However many Australian parents are still opting to keep their children at home and taking precautionary measures to self isolate themselves, despite schools remaining open.

On Monday, the hashtag 'lock down Australia' was trending as well as 'close the schools', with a number of teachers, parents and students voicing their concerns for their own health and safety.

As such, a schedule for how to structure a child's day has been gaining traction on social media and is being shared widely online.

"Made this schedule to keep myself and my family sane through the unprecedented weeks ahead. Funny how everything works -- it’s gotten picked up by behavior groups, doctors, teachers, and has been shared more than 10,000 times that I know of. I feel like I just got an official mum trophy," Jessica McHale wrote, a parent and photographer from the US.

"I made it based off my kids ages and our family, use as-is or as a jumping off point for your own. Whatever we can do to help each other through whatever is coming!"  

The schedule breaks down the day into hours for children, sharing their time between academic time, creative time, chore time, quiet time and free time. It further incorporates a morning walk and afternoon fresh air to ensure they are still keeping active.

According to Dr. Sophie Bellenis is a Licensed Occupational Therapist in the US, creating positive and productive environments in the home is key to ensuring children are thriving while there is a disruption to their regular routine.

This applies regardless of whether you're keeping them home by choice or as a result of enforced closures. Dr Bellenis further recommends the following if you are keeping children at home:

  • Ensure you are creating a structured day as children thrive on routine.
  • Request work from classroom teachers for children to complete at home if possible.
  • Schedule in recess, lunch and time to play to ensure they have time to relax and have fun.
  • Use screens wisely and ensure they are using them for educational activities as well as entertainment.
  • Make sure your children are still moving by incorporating indoor exercise or allowing them to play in the backyard.
  • Use the opportunity to teach life skills around the home such as washing, cooking and cleaning.

Image: Getty/Facebook

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