Thank you very much to Han-Son at Daddilife for this guest post about working and schooling from home. If you’ve had difficulty fitting the kids school work and your work around family life then have a read of this. It’s completely different to our own home education, which is why I am referring to it as school at home throughout this post instead.
How To Work From Home and School At Home Effectively
Have you ever tried working from home whilst schooling your children at home? Before the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, the chances of having to do both were probably quite small. However, recent events have ensured that millions of parents across the world have been thrust into playing the role of teacher as well as parent.
There’s not only the children’s education to consider. Businesses from all sorts of industries are inevitably suffering as a result of the global pandemic which means that jobs will most certainly be lost. Mental health will likely be affected as resources and any sense of normality is stripped away, along with the pressures of keeping a home ticking over – preparing meals, cleaning and attempting to keep some sort of routine and structure is bound to pile the pressure on even the calmest of parent.
If you’re finding school at home and working from home challenging, here are some tips that may be able to help you that a few of the dads in the DaddiLife community have been sharing
Use revision resources and online learning
There may be certain times where you need quiet to take a conference call or to work on a specific aspect of a project. This is a good time to present learning resources – these could be worksheets that have been provided by your child’s school or alternatively, there are a number of online platforms that offer suitable activities for learning, particularly when schooling at home.
An activity book can also be a great tool for learning – there are a range available to purchase for a range of ages and abilities. You could also let your child know that you’re about to take an important call where they will need to be quieter and that you should not be disturbed. It may also be a good time to relax screen-time – the television and iPads include some great learning apps for toddlers through to teens, and may also provide some quiet time for you!
Your office hours will change
It’s completely unrealistic when working from home and schooling the children at home to expect that you’ll be sat at the computer from 9-5pm. Entertaining, teaching, and just generally keeping an eye on your children will take up a large part of your day, so you should communicate with your organization the hours you will be working.
It may be that you’ll need to start earlier. Or break up your days differently, to complete your projects. Rather than focusing on the number of hours you need to work, it may be more productive to write a daily list of everything you’d like to complete to better manage your workload. If you live with a partner or family member, think about creating a rota so that you each have a dedicated time of the day to work.
From my own experience, you will inevitably feel a sense of guilt at not being able to give your attention solely to either the children’s needs, your partner or your work. One will inevitably suffer more than the other on certain days but it’s important not to dwell and compare. It’s important to remember and to remind yourself that are not normal circumstances. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, tired and frustrated, you really are not alone.
If you have a partner or if you live with family, why not take it in turns to lead the school at home schedule while you send a few emails or take a break? Talk to your family or a friend about how difficult you’re finding things, and the chances are they’ll reveal that they also feel a similar way. Apps like Houseparty and Zoom even offer you the chance of connecting with them after the kids have gone to bed.
Life skills are a great way of learning
Spending more time at home means that between working from home and schooling from home, you can start thinking a bit more creatively about the other daily tasks. For instance, instead of hitting the gym, could you work out in the garden and catch up with the washing you’ve been meaning to do. The good news is that children can get involved and it’s likely they’ll enjoy helping you. Implementing maths and science when baking for instance, is a great way to encourage them to use the calculations needed and to follow directions, whilst learning a basic life skill. Taking a walk can also be a great way for children to learn about the world around them, all whilst exercising and is also a great way for you to get some fresh air and to enjoy a change of scenery.
We like to arrange scavenger hunts for our son whilst on our walks by encouraging him to find certain objects such as a stick, leaf and his favourite dinosaur toys. It encourages him to concentrate, use his senses and encourages conversation about nature and the world around us.
Remember, every day is a new day so staying optimistic and setting realistic goals will likely have a positive impact on how you’re feeling. These really are unprecedented times and every day sees us getting closer to normality.
If you are considering home education instead of sending your child back to school, then have a read of these links on my blog. Our monthly diary will give you an idea of what home education outside a pandemic is really like You might also be interested in 5 secrets home educators won’t tell you!