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A Day in the Life of a Family in Quarantine

5 min read
Family Life

As our children’s school shut down due to the Covid-19, and our work schedule changed to zoom meetings, we’re left with the reality of working from home while balancing homeschooling our three children for the remainder of the school year. As the world, and our family’s world, turned upside down, I knew I had to come up with some way to make this time in quarantine easier and even fun. 

As soon as we found out that we were going to be in quarantine I started making plans and wrote up a daily schedule to make our time spent at home, our life, feel a little more normal. I focused on what I can control, so the next few weeks {months?} will be fulfilling and organized.

Having a schedule to structure our work and homeschool days works best during these long days at home – and gives us a feeling of some sense of normalcy. We don’t follow this schedule perfectly but overall it gives our kids expectations for the day. By knowing what to expect, it actually lets them relax and not be anxious. For example, I start my morning around 6 am, before they wake up, so I can get some good work time in before school begins. My husband makes sure the kids do their morning routine and then, before school starts, we go for a family walk – all five us – around our neighborhood. {Yes with our facemasks in place, walking in a zigzag in order to keep a social distance from our neighbors, who are also enjoying some fresh air. Have you all noticed how nice your neighbors are now when we’re all quarantined?}

As school starts our 13-year old daughter has zoom classes with her teacher and peers which she very much looks forward to. Our school has chosen to only do zoom classes for the older grades, so we’re in charge of teaching our two boys 1st and 3rd-grade lessons. If my husband and I are both available, we divide the boys up and teach them separately. It’s a true challenge of patience to teach two young grades at the same time! However, this academic part has become our kids’ favorite part and it’s been an unexpected gift to see what they learn and enjoy.


To make the quarantine lessons a bit more enjoyable, we have asked the kids for input into their lessons; for example, with Spanish and French class, we learn about a country that speaks that language, and then we make a meal from that culture. So far, we have made Migas, Cuban sandwiches, and churros for Spanish class and we’re all looking forward to the French croissants! We love to travel and explore new cultures, so this is a way for us to still do this from a quarantined home. 

Throughout the day, we take lots of breaks for snacks, playing, or outside in our garden. We live in San Diego and are able to grow 80% of our own food in our small garden and it’s become a wonderful place for stress relief, a classroom for the kids, and an important way to feed ourselves. Every day the kids and I will spend time in the garden learning and harvesting our meals. Gardening is part of my children’s school curriculum so naturally the garden is part of our home-schooling. 

In the afternoons, we have quiet time on the schedule for our kids – so my husband and I can get some work done, take zoom meetings, etc. The kids will read a book, listen to music or an audiobook quietly. It also gives everyone a break and some much-needed alone time. When you spend all day together with five people some alone time is key to keeping everyone happy. 

The balance of work and homeschool is challenging but we have found that making a schedule that includes our work time while the kids are occupied with something with which they do not need our help with is key.

Afternoons and evenings are free and either we all go for another walk or we might play some games together.  Other times some of us do our own thing.  My husband and I try to support each other in self-care and one thing we both agree on is that we need personal workouts. So, we take turns taking care of the kids while the other works out.  It’s not easy for any of us but a little structure, some fun conversations and a bit of understanding go a long way.

Fredrika Syren and her family live on a self-described “urban homestead” just ten minutes off the freeway in the middle of San Diego. Together the family cares for a 400 square foot backyard garden, which provides the base for many of their meals. They can be found at https://zerowastefamily.com/




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