In the current COVID-19 climate of “stay-at-home” orders with many working at home as schools are closed, there is a lot of stress on parents who are suddenly tasked with juggling work with homeschooling.
Whether or not you are an experienced remote worker, you’ll quickly find that the mindset when you work from home is that you feel like you are always “on duty.” Add to that the additional layer of monitoring virtual school for your children and other household tasks that must be done – it’s a recipe for chaos.
Here are some tips to help you find the balance between work-at-home and homeschool that will help keep the whole family sane and productive.
Create a Schedule
It can be so tempting to just do things “when you feel like it” when you’re working from home. In fact, slipping out of routine is temptingly easy when everyone stays at home.
But when you’ve got kids and their education added to the picture, that can quickly snowball into procrastination and missed deadlines. Set up a specific schedule and stick to it! You’ll be glad that you did.
Better yet, make the daily schedule and print it to pass out to the whole family and/or write it on a large whiteboard, chalkboard or poster board to hang up in a central location.
Stick to Specific Work and School Hours
When you are creating your schedule, make sure that you have designated hours for work and school.
These sometimes may be dictated by your employer or the virtual school schedule, but when possible, try to avoid overlap so that you can help out your students without being distracted from your own work. And then you are done for the day, “clock out” if you can.
If that isn't possible, look for a way to use your work breaks to assist your children with schoolwork. You may find you get interrupted less throughout your work hours if your children know at noon, for example, they have an hour they can come to freely see you without you being distracted to get help.
Remind the Family that Everyone is in this Together
Be sure to have a chat with the family about how things are a bit different now and you all have to work together to get handle all responsibilities.
If there is another adult in the house, coordinate your schedules so that everyone is helping out with the kids' schoolwork equally. If possible, work out the schedule to play to each of your educational strengths.
Make Time for Self Care
While you may not be able to escape the house, set aside some quiet time each day for a soak in the tub, a walk around the block alone, or some other relaxing activity that will help you to destress and get ready for the next day.
Even 10 minutes with a book after the kids are in bed can do a world of good to helping you find that work-at-home and homeschool balance that you need.
It can be so easy to neglect this part, especially when overwhelmed by the demands of work and homeschooling. Don't let that happen.
Put the oxygen mask on yourself first.