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CASSANDRA JENKINS — Sticking to schedule is imperative during homebound learning

Monday marked the first day for all Mid- and South County school districts homebound learning programs, and many parents are finding themselves in unchartered waters, floundering to adapt to a new schedule after spending years perfecting the previous one.

Gone are the brief moments of quiet coffee breaks after the kids leave for school. Gone is the time to get ready for work alone. Gone is the ease of getting the children out of bed at the same time every day.

After all, why get up at 6 a.m. if you have all day to complete online assignments?

Why study if you don’t have to take a test? Why eat healthy if there are no sports to compete in?

More often than not, many parents will hear these arguments in the days to come, but it’s imperative to stick to your guns — and a schedule.

Donna Greer, a counselor in the Port Neches-Groves Independent School District, said the No. 1 way to maintain success is through discipline.

“Students need and want a routine and schedule, although they will never request that from parents,” she said. “It gives them their own sense of security to get organized and help with their learning. Learning from home is going to be different but these kids definitely need that routine.”

At the beginning of each new school year, students are given a class schedule dictating what time they will study each subject, when they will eat lunch, break for recess, return to class and wait for the last bell to ring.

Continue this at home. Make your own schedule or mimic the old one.

“It may not take that seven hours on Google Classroom, but it will help organize play and work,” Greer said. “Parents who work, their schedules are going to look different, too. It will be less stress when you establish a routine, whether it’s an evening or afternoon routine, whatever works best for them.”

Staying on schedule will kick bad habits and make the eventual return to campus an easy one.

Ultimately, it isn’t summer break just yet. Straying for two or three weeks can be ruinous, especially if you’re a senior and already beginning to feel the effects of the encroaching senioritis.

Greer said this time at home is a test for seniors who will shortly be navigating the world alone.

“We stress having character and being responsible, so for these seniors it’s definitely going to be a test for them,” she said. “It’s a test to be on your own, like in college, or in the working world, where they will maintain their own time and schedule. Overall, the best thing to do is find what works for you and set a routine to it.”

Cassandra Jenkins is a news reporter at The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at cassie.jenkins@panews.com.