We get it. Trying to juggle your work time with teaching your kids is difficult. Teachers are doing what they can to still be present in your kids’ learning experience, but with the recent pandemic placing everyone at home, they’re limited in the amount of attention they can give your kids, putting the pressure on you as a parent to perform a job that isn’t your skill set (unless you are a teacher yourself), on top of performing your own job.
The amount of stress that is being placed on parents to play both roles at the same time is overwhelming. However, it is possible to teach your kids while finishing your own job with a bit of time management and a lot of communication.
It’s easy to tell you how to manage homeschooling with a job, but the “why” can get lost in the panic of having to take on multiple jobs at once. However, it’s important to remember why we are all doing this: for our health and safety.
If we return to school too soon, we are going to rush the process of ensuring everyone’s health and safety. Schools need time to come up with procedures and protocols that are going to make sure that your child(ren) is/are safe in the classroom and the hallways.
It’s unrealistic to think that one Kindergarten teacher can manage to keep a class full of five year olds from pulling at their masks, sticking their thumbs in their mouths, keeping their fingers out of their noses and overall just spreading germs. It’s equally unrealistic to think that Middle school and High school students are going to want to wear masks for eight hours a day, or are going to keep their distance from friends in the hallways to make sure that they’re not getting sick.
We want the best for our children, and one of the options is to stay home , of course, can be extremely inconvenient, but we believe a little inconvenience is worth the well-being of our children.
Despite knowing why we need to stay home with our children and help them with their school work, it’s still difficult to know how to manage the daunting task at hand. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with NINE solid tips on how to manage homeschooling your child(ren) and getting your own job done at the same time.
How to Manage
Prioritize your time:
The only way that you’re going to manage to get everything done is if you prioritize your time. Sure, everything that you’re trying to get done is important, but helping your child study for a quiz tomorrow is going to be more pressing than a work presentation next week. When it comes to creating a schedule, it’s going to be important to prioritize your time so that everything gets the time it needs, when it needs it to get done.
Create a schedule:
The only way that you’re going to be able to manage two different schedules is by creating two sets of schedules. We recommend having a calendar where you plan out your work schedule and a separate calendar where you plan out your child(ren)’s school schedule. Make sure that you don’t overbook yourself by planning to work with your children on something while you’re supposed to be working. Schedule your work time while they’re in a Zoom lecture with their teachers or during their break time while they’re preoccupied with playing.
Have a routine:
It will be easiest to manage your schedule if your schedule looks similar to every other day. Of course, special circumstances may change your days every once in a while, but for the most part if you can stick to a typical routine, your child(ren) will have an easier time knowing exactly what’s going on every day and will, therefore, have an easier time leaving you to work when it’s time for you to focus on your work.
Focus your full attention on the task at hand:
While it may be tempting to multitask during this time, the only way that you’re going to make sure that everything is getting done right is to focus your full attention on the task at hand. Your job and your child(ren)’s education deserve your full attention, so when you’re working on work, make sure it’s the only thing that you’re working on, and visa-versa.
Communicate with everyone:
It’s important to talk to, not only your boss, but to everyone in your family as well about what the day-to-day looks like. Let your boss know that your kids are at home and will require your time with schoolwork. Likewise, keep your partner in the loop with how your days are going and what everything looks like, and let your child(ren) know when you need to work and how much time you can dedicate to helping them with work. By keeping everyone in the loop, you’ll ensure that nothing falls through the cracks with your new busy schedule.
You and your child(ren) need breaks throughout the day to recoup. Breaks for your child(ren) will help give you a chance to catch up on work, while breaks for you will help you revitalize yourself and prepare for more work. Don’t underestimate the power of breaks! You’re more likely to get through your day with them included.
This is particularly important when you have young children because they need a little more guidance in what to do to stay entertained. Have some coloring sheets printed, some stem activities planned, some books or audiobooks picked out, anything that can keep your little one safely entertained while you’re working. Make sure that the activity is long enough to allow you some real time to work and make sure that it’s something that your child(ren) will enjoy. It’s pointless to print off coloring pages if your child(ren) will only scribble on one in five minutes then complain that they’re bored. If you need ideas, look to the resources listed below for ideas on things to do with your kids.
Schedule outside time:
Despite it being a pandemic and social distancing being a major component of that, it’s still important to get outside time, not only for vitamin D, but for serotonin and a feeling of normalcy. Schedule at least one break where you and your family go for a walk outside or where the kids go play in the backyard, if you have one. It can be a short, 30 minute break, but make sure that you’re still getting time outside for you and your family’s health.
Your time and energy are not infinite. The only way that you’re really going to get through this difficult time is going to be by being realistic about how much time and energy you actually have to dedicate to everything that you need to get done. You want to make sure that you also have self-care time and have time to still run your household the way it needs to be run, so don’t be upset if you don’t get everything done in a day—you’re one person and can only do so much! If you feel like you’re really behind or having a hard time keeping up, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Khan Academy: This online platform is a hub of information, with thousands of lessons on hundreds of subjects, free to the public. This nonprofit is dedicated to the mission of providing free education to the world, so take advantage of this resource when you get stuck on a subject and need a little extra help.
Common Lit: This nonprofit is dedicated to providing kids with free reading materials from third to twelfth grade. This is a great resource for young readers (or older readers) who are trying to hone their literacy and problem-solving skills by providing articles, poems and other reading materials.
PBS Kids: This well-known television station has a website that provides kids a ton of educational games and videos with all of their favorite characters from PBS. This is a great break tool for your kids because they can continue to learn while having fun, and the site is sure to keep their attention while you get some much needed work done.
Education.com: This teachers aid website has hundreds of printable worksheets for your Preschool thru fifth grader to complete. From math to writing to science to social studies, this website has a worksheet that is perfect for your little one to complete and keep working on their skills.
30+ Screen-Free Activities Your Kids Can Do ALONE While You Work at Home: Help We’ve Got Kids has created a great list of 30 screen free activities that your kids can do by themselves while you’re working. This list is perfect for when your kids are taking a break and you’re trying to get some work done. It’ll help keep your kids from getting bored (and bugging you while you’re working) with a list of activities that you can rotate through throughout the week.
Good luck, moms! You are amazing and are the superheroes we all need in this trying times. Comment below your tips for staying motivated and organized!
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