Balancing working from home and teaching kids from home during COVID19
Balancing Working and Teaching from Home
Good afternoon friends! I’m sure many of you reading this are deeply affected by the current state of the world. The Coronavirus Pandemic is currently sweeping through all countries, impacting the lives and businesses of all humans on this earth. I am located in Canada. The Pandemic became a concern here in the middle of March, just as my kids were supposed to be leaving on March break with their father to Cuba. It was a very confusing time as the Government advised us that schools would be closed after March break, and started issuing travel advisories. At the very last minute my ex decided to cancel (reschedule) their trip – and I could not have been more relieved.
School Closers were extended and online learning introduced!
My business is unique in that it can be completed from anywhere – online. Because of the lack of high speed internet where I live I have maintained a small office in my local hometown of Orangeville. Once COVID19 restrictions and social distancing orders started to be announced, I made sure nobody else would be using my in town office other than myself and my brother (who also lives with me).
When the school closer was extended and online learning introduced, I was grateful to have the office space with high – speed so that my children would have a place they too could work out of if needed.
For me working from home, and balancing work, with household responsibilities is not new, but added into it the requirement to assist my children with their schoolwork has been challenging to say the least.
So how are you coping? What is happening in your area? Whatever your situation I hope that the following helps – I have compiled a list of tips on balancing Working From Home with Schooling the Kids at Home.
TIP#1 Maintain A Routine and have a daily Schedule
Kids AND adults thrive from routine. Having a similar schedule every single day will benefit the entire household. It will reduce stress, and set expectations clearly. Post your schedule for the family in a public area.
Here is a free template you might like to use for your family:
TIP#2 Keep Healthy Hygiene Habits
Make sure the family is maintaining health hygiene habits such as regular showers, brushing their teeth, and getting dressed each day. This will help improve mood, self esteem, and “getting ready for school” will feel a little more normal.
TIP#3 Eat Healthy and Drink Lots of Water
First of all – make sure YOU are taking care of yourself. When this all began I was really not taking care of myself, drinking way too much coffee, and not drinking enough water. I kept getting headaches from all of the Zoom meetings. I’ve now recognized this and am working harder on taking care of myself and thus recognizing the children also need to take care of themselves with healthy food and drinking lots of water. Limit the amount of junk food and offer them lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and protein. One of my little tricks is to just cut up some fresh apples with cheese and crackers and put it in front of them when the kids are working on their schooling and before you know it – they’ve eaten it all!
TIP#4 Get Exercise and go Outside
There is a reason all of the schools offer young children recess. To get outside, burn off some of that energy, and get fresh air and exercise! This is beneficial for the children AND the adults in the household especially if you can during this extra stressful time. Go for a walk, play some games, play ball, or have a scavenger hunt.
TIP#5 It’s Okay to Take a Break
On the first day of the official at home learning my 11 year old daughter became completely overwhelmed with the sheer volume of emails that she received. There were probably 40 of them from various teachers. I sat with her and calmly helped her organize the emails and come up with a task list for the week. And then we took a break. It is OK to take a break. For both yourself and your child.
I also implement this in my work. Balancing working from home / or my small office during COVID19 is more emotionally draining than in times when the world was not in a crisis. Each task takes more focus and more mental toll. At least this is my experience. So I remember it is okay to reduce the expectations that I have on myself and that it is okay for me to step away from my computer and take a break if I need to.
TIP#6 Have a Dedicated Space for Working
I’ve tried working at the kitchen table. It just doesn’t work. I’m constantly distracted. And it’s not fair to my family. So when I am working from home I have a dedicated small area and desk to work from on my computer. If the weather would ever cooperate I also have a small work space on my front porch outside.
I helped the children clean up a little area / desk for each of them to work at too. Though I am more flexible with where they choose to work on their schooling.
TIP#7 Be Gentle on Yourself
You and your family are juggling a LOT right now. Please be gentle on yourself. It is okay to not be okay. It is okay to be feeling whatever you are feeling. Please practice self care as your number one priority and remember to be gentle on yourself, and encourage this attitude in your family also.