Working from home and homeschooling kids
We are all living in an unprecedented moment and I’ll be the first to admit that it has not been easy, and more precarious as parents and children kick-start schooling at home. With more than 64,000 schools closed and doing remote learning, parents are spread pretty thin these days. Finding a balance between work and homeschooling can be the key to reducing stress and coping better in this pandemic. And hopefully, we can return to normal soon. Here are some tips and tricks to help manage working from home and homeschooling kids.
Give yourself time
It took me a lot of trying things to figure out what works and what does not work. Kids are dealing with the stress of having their routine turned upside down.
Reserve more high-stake assignments for when you are distraction-free and save less critical tasks for when distraction is likely. When possible, organize your work around your family’s needs and child care.
Embrace a relaxed homeschooling style
Roll with whatever each day may bring. If things don’t go the way you planned, make the most of what you are able to accomplish and pick up any dropped threads the following day. There are so many schedules floating around online meant to help parents adjust to the world of homeschooling. Here’s the thing: I’m not really a proponent of schedules. A schedule is rigid, but a routine orders your days with flexibility.
Make time for yourself
Take care of yourself by staying hydrated, getting enough sleep whenever possible, and eating right. Go for an early walk, read a book or bake, do something just for you. Ask for and accept help from others. This article from Lipglossandcurves has great tips on food that help improve mental health.
Work smart and set them up for success
Do your very best to be organized and efficient. Set sometime aside each week to plan. Set up a learning space for them, whether it’s a desk in their bedroom or the kitchen table. They can organize a folder and school supplies, and help setting up a designated spot for grab-and-go snacks, and add little flourishes of their own to make their learning spot comfortable.
Focus on the Little Things
Life is hard, and now, it’s even more challenging. Focus on the little blessing and moments of gratitude through the chaos of what is happening outside of your home. Now, you get to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner with your kids, and you have extra quality time that you may have never had before.
Divide household responsibilities
Everyone can be responsible for something important in a way that balances their capabilities with the needs of the family. With routines and little reminders, everyone gets their job done. If something is falling through the cracks, have a family meeting to sort it out and find a solution.
Help children learn how to help themselves
As soon as they have developed the ability to prepare food for themselves as needed, give them access to easy-to-manage breakfast, lunch, and snack food. No-cook options and healthy pre-prepped food are ideal; make them in advance with everyone’s help if possible. Set up routines and systems so your child can independently handle situations like replacing the toilet paper, sharpening a pencil, or feeding the family pet. Encourage siblings to help each other first before calling for your help. Responsive helping skills can take some time to develop, so start now.
We are all doing what we can every day to get by, so be patient with yourselves and most importantly, show yourselves some empathy. you are doing a great job at being a parent and a teacher. Do what works for you, your homeschool routine.
What did you learn about yourself and your kids during the pandemic? What do you guys do for fun?