There's a lot on your plate. Not only do you have to wake up early, attend Zoom meetings, and handle tasks using online project management tools. But you also have to manage your children's schooling at the same time. Over 64,000 schools are closed, leaving a whopping 29.5 million public school students being homeschooled.
This sudden (and unexpected) transition is enough to make anyone pull their hair out (especially during isolation). But not you -- you've got everything under control. Or at least you will once you read this article. So let's take a look at how others are adapting to working and homeschooling remotely (while maintaining their sanity).
Building a strong foundation for your household is vital, and it all begins with getting everyone on the same page. This means explaining to your children what's going on and why. Then go over the new rules of the home and the order you expect things to go in.
This includes establishing times for sleeping and waking up, breakfast/lunch, schoolwork, breaks, and naps (if applicable).The goal is to make everyone understand what's expected of them, so life is more predictable (in the home at least).
Having a go-to schedule is what makes the world an organized place. It keeps schools from becoming chaotic and businesses from being unproductive. So why can't it do the same for the new norm in your household?
To take full advantage of scheduling your day, you'll need to take into account the age of your children. Obviously, you'll need to schedule more frequent breaks for the younger ones and have activities for them to do. You can use an app or a pin-on-the-wall schedule to plan out your days, Mon-Fri. Include everything -- school time, chores, nap time, playtime, activity time, etc.
This way, everyone can see what needs to be done and when. Each week may be different due to sporadic Zoom calls and tasks that may pop up, so maintain flexibility. Try to schedule your kids to do something that's quiet and engaging at this time, so you don't end up with embarrassing moments on webcam.
It'd be great if everyone could continue their 9-to-5 work hours at home. But that's utterly impossible for some who also have to homeschool children during the same hours. So your best bet -- if possible -- is to schedule your work hours for early morning and/or late night.
Your meetings are best during school hours when the children are busy working. But if you can complete tasks at times when they're busy playing or sleeping, you'll find it easier to get through projects stress-free.
You may find it helpful to hire a virtual assistant to take tasks off your plate and keep things flowing along. Or if you need to organize your projects, there are people who can help.
One thing you'll notice while homeschooling is that the day isn't nearly as long as a normal school day. So, on occasion, they may end up finishing their schoolwork by lunchtime on certain days. But no matter when your children finish, you want to make sure you have things planned for them to do afterward. Otherwise, you'll have a litter of kiddies bothering you while you're still trying to work.
Try to find a variety of educational shows, entertaining movies, and fun (but quiet) activities they can do on their own. For example, puzzles, board games, video games, coloring, or playing an educational app on the tablet. It's also wise to put aside pre-made snacks (to be consumed at a specific time), so they don't bug you about their grumbling tummies.
Working from home is a major change for everyone in your household. And by working together, you can get through most days without a hiccup. But to ensure this, you should have plan Bs (Cs and Ds) just in case. Technology is one option for maintaining productive workdays and engaging kids' activities. For example, kids learning apps can work wonders for pre-occupying pre-schoolers and elementary school children.
There are also online craft lessons they can take while you're busy. You'll also find family fitness sessions can help ease tension and calm hyperactivity. Then when you're steadfast working, you can use productivity tools to give you a mental boost throughout the day.
Pomodoro timers are excellent for getting things done without bursting your brain cells. But when push comes to shove, you can always resort to a Fiverr freelancer who can take matters off your hands efficiently.
Things are hectic for much of the world right now. But people are making strides in learning how to adapt to these challenging times. Throw children into the mix, and you may see this progress delayed.
But with the right mindset, schedule, and activities, you'll find homeschooling while working isn't all that difficult. Just find ways for everyone to blow off steam when needed, so no one loses their mind while isolating together.