Let's Be Real | Guest Blog by Carla Newton

by Carla Newton

I’m going to be real with all of you. April is a time of fresh starts for my family. We have Easter, a regional band concert, yearbook articles are due so they can be sent to print and my oldest son and my niece celebrate birthdays. Throw in your typical spring cleaning and yard sprucing... and you get a very busy month. For us, we’re used to it. But then, COVID-19, social distancing and quarantine happened. The irony behind this is that my schedule became even busier. I’ve been using my KITLIFE weekly to keep my day- to-day organized.

With this month taking such a drastic shift from "normal", the Newton household is more focused on how to juggle multiple changes. Homeschool for two middle schoolers, my husband (who is now fully working from home), and the dogs who can no longer go to the dog park. I’m using my planner to Keep It Together and keep me from losing my mind! This year I switched from the Daily Planner to the Weekly since I’m no longer working. In hopes of condensing my schedule and planning more efficiently. 

If only I had known what changes were to take place I would have stayed in a daily!

All in all, we’ve been handling the changes well. I’ve adjusted to a new daily routine...

I sit down with both boys in the morning to go over new assignments. I let the kids do the work on their own but unfortunately, we don’t have a streamlined check in process in our district. We still do attendance daily for a total of fourteen classes, individually. I want to make sure they aren’t missing anything. Once I know what they have going on each day I let them do their own work. If they need help, I’m here but usually they’re good on their own. This works efficiently for us because I can stay on top of assignments and attendance while they feel like they’re in charge of their work.

My oldest son turned 14 this month. He has two things he likes to do every year. A nice dinner out and then he likes to go to a concert. With social distancing neither of those options are possible right now so we compromised. I offered to take him out to dinner when this is over and let him pick a birthday dinner and cake. He then got to spend concert money on other stuff. Understanding that we will make this up to him once this has all passed. Both concerts he wanted to attend are currently postponed. Having my planner during this has assisted him in understanding the changes. He sees everything I change due to what’s going on. I think he might be next up for a planner in this family!

Easter is a huge celebration for us. My church hosts a Sonrise service. They have services outside, and we celebrate as the sun rises to remember Christ rising from the tomb. This also did not happen this year. Instead we planned out activities and worked on celebrating the best we could from the comfort of home. We still woke up early, got dressed in our Easter best, made a huge meal. The boys helped me plan the dinner menu with their favorite foods for Easter! The extra pages at the end of each month really allows the space for event planning. Even if it’s a smaller event.

The biggest change for us is having my husband home so much. He has an office - but he gets easily excited - so we can often hear his calls throughout the house. He does work from home enough that I’m used to it. However, the kids haven’t done school from home while their dad is on the phone, so it’s been a struggle for them. Ultimately, due to planning our days out, knowing what we have on our schedule by around 9 am has helped us fall into a peaceful routine.

We lost out on a lot of fun activities, as I’m sure many of you did as well. There isn’t a band concert. The yearbook was submitted early because there was no way to finish it with spring activities being cancelled. There is no longer an 8th grade formal. Honestly, I think it was a good for us to refresh

as a family though. I hope you and your family are falling into a routine that works for you too. Writing it all out will help Keep It Together!