8 tips for balancing work from home and home schooling
Yesterday, I hosted the first meeting of our Female Entrepreneur Support Group. Women joined from the UK and USA. It was great to share the challenges we are facing during these difficult times and to brainstorm ideas about how to move forward in a constructive way. I left the session feeling full of positive energy!
One of the topics we discussed is combining work from home and home schooling. We all found that, despite great support of the school, it is a tough job!
Here are the tips we exchanged around home-schooling:
1. Team up with your partner
Research shows that, for example in the Netherlands, women look after their children more than men. Although men’s contribution to the household has increased in recent years, women still do more. These stats could rise even further now that home schooling has been added to the mix.
So, don’t forget, you are in this together!
Who works when? Which school subject suits you best? When are you having your me-time? Etc.
2. Shared family time
With parents working from home and children being home-schooled, it can be difficult to understand what everyone’s availability is. Sharing space in this way for long periods can also build up the stress levels in the house.
To help, dedicate specific moments during the day and week to shared focused time together as a family – quality time without distractions from work or school. For example, we have dinner together each day, and every Saturday morning, we exercise together.
3. A separate workplace for everyone
Create a separate workplace for everyone in the house and rotate when necessary. This physical distance makes it easier for everyone to concentrate on their own tasks.
4. Set priorities
You can’t do everything perfectly, so make conscious choices about what you really want to complete properly today or this week. Anything extra that you do is a bonus! This approach leaves you feeling much better than trying to do everything on your list and finding you are not doing anything really well.
5. Align with others
With your priorities set, share them with others like colleagues and teachers, so that they also know what to expect. And if they have other ideas about the priorities, you can discuss them together and make choices that are supported by both of you.
6. Create a weekly schedule together
A schedule brings structure and routine. Children know what is going to happen and who is going to be there to help. It allows them to feel and think more independently. They also feel more safe and secure.
Create it together over the weekend, use the timetable that the school provides and make it as fun as possible.
What fun things would the children like to add and what fun things can you think of?
7. Question time
Allocate specific time in your schedule for your children’s questions, so that you aren’t constantly disturbed. And try to be creative with how they get answers to their questions. Could they chat with the teacher about it or call a friend?
Do you, just like me, still find it challenging to focus on your work? Give the Pomodoro Technique a try. See the blog I wrote earlier about this time management technique.
8. How do you want your children to remember these times?
We are doing the best we can, but we all have our difficult moments when home-schooling our children. What helps me is thinking about how I want my children to remember this COVID-19 period. The most important thing is that I want them to feel safe, loved and connected. That takes away so much pressure.
And of course, I don’t want them to fall behind, but I keep reminding myself that playing is one of the main ways in which children learn and grow. They develop their emotional, creative and social skills. They use their imagination, and it gives them a sense of adventure during the lockdown.
I hope you can benefit from these tips as well.
And please let me know any of your creative ideas in a comment below, so that we can support each other!