Summer is coming to a close and while many schools aren’t going back in person, students will be learning remotely. If your child’s school supported virtual learning during the Spring, you probably felt the struggles of transitioning to a work-from-home model while trying to navigate the virtual learning with your kids.
While we had a very good experience with our daughter’s teacher. I heard many not so great stories from friends with kids of all ages.
So with this school year beginning how can you manage to work from home while being present for your kids and their virtual learning?
Work From Home Productively While Your Kids Learn Virtually
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Create a schedule
Schedules are important to no only keep you on track but to also create a routine for your children. Where possible, organize your day around the times your child will need you most or when family obligations are high.
My daughter is at an age where she can sit through the lesson without needing to sit with her. But needs help with assignments. I will plan my focused work during her class and the work that won’t take as much to complete during her downtime. This allows me to focus when she is focused and be able to help her with the lesson when I am not as focused.
I like to put the kids’ schedules up on a board, or somewhere where everyone can see it and for myself, I use my trusty planner. My favorite daily planner is the Day Designer because it provides an hourly schedule and a to-do list.
Set up rules or boundaries from day one. You still have to work and the kids still have classwork. Having something in place so everyone is on the same page and the kids don’t try to take advantage of their time home with you.
Your kids will want time with you. And albeit a stressful time, taking a few 10-minute breaks during the day to be with them will be good for everyone involved. Add these times into your schedule so the kiddos know when you will break from work specifically to be with them. Play a quick card game, read a book, or play their favorite activity. Whatever it is, let it not be school-related.
You also need to plan time for yourself. You are working extra hard now – so plan time for you to take a break and decompress. Remember you cannot pour from an empty cup. So take the time you need to recharge. That could be a 15-minute power nap, 15 minutes of reading a good book, or whatever fuels your soul.
Set An Alarm
Yall, I don’t know if you know this but a timer is like law for younger kids. If I tell my kids I will do something in 5 minutes they will ask me if 5 minutes have passed over and over until I finally just give in. If I set a timer – they wait until the timer goes off with no real fuss. It is like magic, I swear.
When you have meetings or moments where you have to push through work. Set a timer. Tell your kids once that timer goes off you will be done with your meeting and you will do something special with them. Come up with one thing they would find fun and do that with them, once the timer goes off!
It’s magic, trust me!
Set Snacks Aside Ahead Of Time
If your kids are not fully self-sufficient ie not in Middle or High School portion out snacks the night before or first thing in the morning. I never knew how much my kids can eat throughout the day. It is crazy! To avoid constantly making trips to the fridge yourself, portion out snacks that they can grab and go at any point during the day. Have you ever had a kid interrupt your meeting as you are speaking to tell you they want a snack? I have and while it was funny to my coworkers I was completely thrown off track and lost my focus.
At the end of the day, give yourself grace. This is a tough time we are all navigating through and no matter what you are doing you are doing your best.
Have additional work-from-home tips for maintaining your productivity drop them in the comments I would love to hear!