From homeschooling to working from home: Do not panic
While the world is fast-moving, bombarding us with all sort of news, resources, information and testimonials, we are all trying to cope with the direct implications of COVID-19 in our lives.
If you are a full time working parent, thinking of what a self-isolating period might look like while taking care of your children, making sure they are still learning and enjoying their childhood, can be stressful, but stress not. Homeschooling and working from home are concepts that have been out there for a while now.
During this period, you will have the sole and only responsibility of helping your children balance screen time with physical activity, creative play, reading, socialising and sleep.
Here are some ideas on how to cope with a reality that won’t last forever:
- Firstly, make sure your co-workers know that even though you are working full time, your timings and pace might be slightly different.
- Organise yourself. Think of meal provisions. Having frozen meals and cooking new meals while you all eat together is an excellent way of optimising your time afterwards.
- Stay away from home duties during the day. It’s one of the main challenges, but try to keep it as you have done until now. If you just feel that everything is falling apart, engage your children, you will be surprised by how much they might enjoy these things with you.
- Don’t try to do everything at the same time. You can’t look after your children, play with them, work and have your house clean all at the same time.
- Create a Schedule, nothing too strict, but a guide for you and your children to know what to expect from your days. You can include, all meals, learning activities, free play, rest time, games, screen time, etc.
If you and your partner and both working from home, split your time with your children and chores, this will make it much easier for both of you to find some good working hours during the day.
Depending on your children’s ages, they will have different challenges and learning needs. Schools might also provide all the resources you need to keep them up to date. But ultimately, they will need you and ask you to share as much time as possible with them. Remember that for them, this is an adventure, and they might not be entirely aware of what is happening in the world.
Here are some resources to create all sorts of activities:
- 50 plus easy indoor activities for kids
- The 7 Best Musical Instruments to Learn On Your Own
- A Step-by-Step Guide to Helping Your Child Write a Story
- Painting with your hands and toes
- How To Grow Vegetables From Kitchen Scraps
This might also be a good time for your children to connect or reconnect with different languages. Play music to them, look for videos, resources and activities in another language and challenge them to learn new songs.
Now, you will need to find a time and a place to work.
Usually, the best time to work is while your children are resting or asleep. If they are still having naps, make the most out of this time. You might also think of waking up a bit earlier than usual, just to make sure you read your emails and organise what you have to do for the rest of the day.
There is no shame in letting your children have some screen time. The time your child spends watching TV and using computers, gaming consoles, tablets and smartphones can be part of a healthy lifestyle. Just curate content beforehand and set a time limit. It is also important you make sure they have a correct posture and distance from the screen. To find out the more about how much time, and other tips, visit The Australian Parenting Website.
Don’t forget about yourself. Find a comfortable place to work, drink a lot of water and try to keep focus as this self-isolation period will only last for some weeks. Enjoy the time you have been given to share more with your children.
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