As a a parent, you are probably facing the start of a school year in which you have to balance virtual schooling for your children and working from home. While we want our children to have an excellent education, we want also them to be safe, and that is despite our career that we have to attend to. This article will give some tips for parents of young children working from home.
1.0 Be an early riser
Start waking up a couple of hours before your kids need to wake up and use that time to get some deep work done before the day even starts. This is especially if you have chosen virtual schooling for your children. This routine will take some adjustment for many people. For this to work, you have to start going to bed earlier. However, this simple step will keep you on top of your job while the children do their schooling.
2.0 Have clear schedule
It is incredibly useful for you and your children to know each other other’s daily schedule. This minimizes interruptions at inconvenient times. If you have older children, you can create a set of Google Calendars, one for each parent working at home and one for each child. You can then share them among everyone so that everyone see everyone else’s calendars at a glance. In addition, everyone can add things like test dates and other key events to the calendar, too.
Another option, particularly with younger children, is to simply use a big whiteboard to do the same thing. Every morning, write down everyone’s schedules on the board and make it explicitly clear when the parent is free to be interrupted. Work with the child so that they know to look at that schedule board.
3.0 Have clear work spaces for everyone
For most people, the lines between work or school and life, at home, are blurred, and people tend to adopt a mindset of relaxing at home or doing personal chores. The most effective way around this is to define work spaces for everyone at home. You can have a distinct place for schoolwork or professional work. If your home doesn’t have enough space for everyone to have their own designated workspace, you will have to get creative.
4.0 Show your children how to be focused
While there will definitely be times that you need to act as a parent to get your children to do particular school tasks, you can use this opportunity to help them master some tactics for focusing and for getting things done. This is particularly important for older children. Instead of telling your children to stay focused, show them. Rather than telling them to use a planner, you might show them how you use a planner to organize your tasks. One other thing you can do is put your phone away while you are working so it is not a distraction.
5.0 Praise and reward children for effort
Rather than focusing heavily on results during this time, chose to focus on the process. You need to understand the things your children need to succeed this academic year. Watch out for those things daily in your home. Instead of worrying about the exact grades they are getting, focus on praising and even rewarding signs of focus, concentration, and effort.
Praise your children not for getting an “A” on an online test, but on the fact that they spent an hour engaged with their math class and really focused on the homework. If they do the basic things right, good academic results will inevitably come. In the process, they will learn skills that will help them self-learn for the rest of their lives.
As you have seen, the challenge of balancing remote work and virtual schooling seems daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Taking simple steps like having clear work spaces for everyone, minimizing distractions, and really focusing and rewarding the process of learning rather than the results will make this challenging period go much more smoothly.
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