One of the first things we look for when we visit classrooms around the city is the daily schedule. It’s often posted on the wall near the door. In an elementary school classroom, it outlines how much time is given to math, reading, science, play and other subjects. In a middle or high school class, you’ll typically see the aim of the lesson for that day posted on a whiteboard.

Schedules can also be a stabilizing force in a time of anxiety and change. Pre-kindergartners especially crave routine, but schedules are found in all grades and—as we’re learning day-to-day, as our own schedules are upended—we adults crave routine too.

The Department of Education has sent out activity packets by grade level for every subject, plus occupational, speech and other therapy activities, and suggested daily schedules for students on each grade level. If you click on any activity, it shows how long a child in each grade should spend on math or reading or science (in kindergarten it tends to range between 30-60 minutes per activity).

Using these guidelines you can begin to put a rough schedule in place, just like in school, preferably posted on a wall where kids can see it. (Even better, invite your child to help create it.)

The schedule will most likely change, even day-to-day, as families adjust to this unprecedented time—and some of the richest learning may take place around what’s happening in real time (“Corona” is wreath or crown in Latin, for example).

We’ve heard some parents say kids are stepping up, taking charge of their own learning, while other parents can’t even imagine putting a schedule in place this week, as they deal with stocking food, making sure aging loved ones are okay, and more.

It’s okay. Each family will have different needs.

In our family of three, for example, we stop for elevenses, a late-morning snack; it’s one of the seven daily meals eaten by hobbits, following “second breakfast.”

It’s comforting to pause mid-morning. We recommend it.

Let us know in the COMMENTS. Have you set up a schedule for your family? What does it look like?