Guide To Homeschooling During The Pandemic
While the world is being rapidly seized by the spread of COVID-19, preventative measures are being taken, businesses are shutting down and schools are opting for virtual formats.
This means for many parents suddenly having to find a new balance in staying productive and extra childcare.
This can feel like an overwhelming transition and some may be seeking tips on how to manage during these rocky times.
We’ve done our best in providing you with helpful pointers to navigate a drastically changing world starting at home. It’s important to maintain a healthy balance between work and childcare, more now than ever as things seem unstable.
The health of your family and you during these trying times should be an important priority. Letting your workplace know possible new adjustments and keeping communications clear are key in keeping things in line.
1. Set Clear Expectations
As everyday life changes for the lives of many, maintaining set goals and expectations with your employer can be a vital piece in keeping order.
Employers often understand the difficulty of COVID-19’s effects and are likely to be supportive of needed changes. A weekly-or biweekly check in via video-chat or phone call with your manager or stakeholders could benefit the process of adjusting. Consistent updating and frequent communication can help ensure your employer understands your newly presented limitations and reassurance them of your hard work.
Retaining a healthy amount of communication can also further benefit their awareness of your new position, having to juggle both childcare and work from home. Expectations should also be expressed when tackling your altered lifestyle. Letting your management know of any possible hiccups that may occur when using video calls or phone calls can put them at ease knowing you will handle them professionally and quickly.
2. Organize Your Time
Following communication, time management is crucial to ensuring your comfort while adapting to these new changes.
It is not unreasonable to preserve certain times of day for when you need to put all your attention towards childcare. If possible, asking another person in the household to split childcare duties could offer some relief when adjusting to your new schedule. Laying down a simple and flexible timeline to follow throughout each day will provide a foundation to work from.
Often schools are set up for online courses in wake of current news, it may work best to align school time with your work time, it offers a set time of day to not have to worry about childcare as well as your own personal work.
3. Set Respectful Boundaries For Yourself
Putting in place boundaries for you, your family, or coworkers will provide clarification that effectively helps everyone.
- Communicating to coworkers what times of the day you’re most available and when you finish your work for the day will help establish a baseline for smooth functioning.
- If possible, when you become overwhelmed it may be best to hand off some work to maintain what is achievable for you, be sure to contact your supervisor for their better understanding of the situation.
- There’s always a chance something may go wrong while you take a break from your job, provide an emergency contact number in the case your work urgently needs to contact you. Be sure to be specific about what kind of emergencies it may be used for.
- It is important that both your job and family are clear on what times during which days you will be unavailable to them, this can prevent any unwelcome disturbances to the time you have put aside for other things.
- Choose an area you know you can occasionally use as a physical boundary between you and your children to allow you to have a place to breathe and relax without worry.
- It helps to have a system that lets your kids know when it’s okay or not to enter your destressing area, be sure to communicate to them why you may need to step away on occasion.
4. Leverage Online Resources
Many online educational and child-focused resources are already available online to help you make the most of your time, and harness tried and tested curriculums for kids. Feel free to look into your own specific sites, but here is a quick list of some popular ones:
- Outschool.com: 10k+ small group video chat classes and free to join
- Teachers Pay Teachers: 3M+ resources tailored to level and interest
- BrainPop: Offering free access to those affected by school shutdowns with 1,000 short animated movies for students in grades K-12 (ages 6 to 17)
- Khan Academy: Free learning center in 40 languages with content for parents, teachers and learners (starting ages 2+ with Khan Academy Kids)
- Modulo: Tools and access to learning specialists, free for parents affected by school closures
- Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions: 1000+ resources compiled by international educators for school closures
- Mystery Science: Offering its most popular content for free due to school closings (K-5)
- Twinkl: Free membership for parents and caregivers due to school closings in Ireland (suitable for parents and caregivers of children in primary schools ages 4-13 in Irish and English)
- Exploratorium Learning Toolbox: COVID-19 science and learning activities and more
- Nasa Kids Club: Resources for parents, teachers and caregivers
- Deep Space Sparkle: Hundreds of activity ideas and free projects
- KinderArt: Art projects for all ages
- GoNoodle: Dance and movement activities for kids
5. Give Yourself Breaks
It’s important to remember that you deserve breaks, work can be difficult as is and if you’re needing to adjust to a new lifestyle of both work and kids at home. It’s crucial that you give yourself the time to decompress.
Reducing burnout while maintaining a highly productive lifestyle is key to success, try a few different methods that could help you if the first one doesn’t seem to fit. One method you could try requires that you only focus on the task at hand for approximately 25 minutes then taking a break for five.
Take time to reach out to those who may be in similar positions, talking with those who understand what you might be dealing can also offer support if you’re feeling alone in this. You’re not alone!