What to do if you suddenly find yourself working from home and your kids school now is virtual? Many parents are facing this right now. It’s not easy but doable. Here you will find helpful tips for working parents schooling at home.
With the global pandemic going on for the novel CoronaVirus, a lot of school districts around the U.S. have decided to close schools until further notice. Science seems to indicate that closing schools is a great idea as it considerably slows the spread of a contagious virus.
However, for working parents, this is a huge and sudden change. If both parents work, someone must either work remotely from home or have someone stay home with their child while they go to work. For single parents, finding someone trustworthy to watch the kids while at work is already a tough task. As we hear in the news, many daycares might close due to the Coronavirus.
” How can I balance the demands of work vs the demands of managing my children’s virtual learning? It seems like an impossible task! Talking to clients, answering emails, trying to concentrate to finish the projects, all the while, helping kids understand their assignments.”– Concerned parent.
Virtual Schooling Made Easier
How do you supervise and help your child with changes to their routines, plus having a new system of school via online meetings or email assignments? Aka virtual schooling. All these while working a full time job?
We have listed some great ideas to help you! This is will be new for both you and your child, so give each other lots of grace. It will be a new routine and a big change from being in school with their peers. Change can be stressful on everyone.
As we all know, establishing a new routine is not easy. However, it provides you and your child with a new ‘normal’ and that helps! If children know what to expect and when, it helps them adjust better to new circumstances.
WORKING PARENTS SCHOOLING AT HOME
Before you start, set up your work from home area and set an area designated for your child’s school books and school work.
If they have their own desk it would be ideal! However, if that’s not possible consider using the kitchen table as their desk and make sure they clean up everyday before meal times. You can always use these tools to keep everything organized:
- Desk organizers like these:
- Project organizers (ideal to keep all assignments for one subject together):
- Sticky notes and divider stickys.
- Hanging File Organizer: love this one is so easy to keep things organized without losing space.
- File Tray
Also, make sure you have planner for yourself and one for your child’s schooling. The planners we like are:
- Daily Homework Planner for elementary students:
- A daily to do list for your child:
Use the planner to:
- Check off assignments completed.
- Write reminders for assignments that need review.
- Write notes to ask the teacher if necessary.
- Write encouraging notes to your child. Applaud and give stickers for a job well done. Teachers have used them for decades…because it works!
Some fun stickers and other helpful organizational ideas:
HOW TO ESTABLISH A NEW WORK / VIRTUAL SCHOOL DAILY ROUTINE
- Take a look at your meetings vs meetings for your students.
With the new virtual schooling requirements, your students might need to have ‘virtual meetings’ via audio or video with their teachers. Have a look at times set up for these and see if they conflict with your meetings.
- Set up your student’s schedule around meetings.
Block out meeting times in your schedule first. Since these are probably are set by your management or workplace. Or leave a specific time during work hours for meetings that you can schedule with coworkers or clients.
Also block out times for live virtual school meetings that your student may be required to attend.
- Quiet while on the phone
If you need to make phone calls for work, it might be best to have kids play in the backyard or do a quiet activity. I know in our household, as soon as we need to make a call, our kids and the dog, seem to make as much noise as possible lol.
- Set up time for breaks and meals.
Since both you and your student, had break times and lunch times set during school/work hours, keeping these same routine will help you both.
Children will need snacks and break from school work. While they would normally play with other kids, now at home, have board games they can play. Or tell them, just as in school, they can play in the backyard for recess.
- Schedule a tutoring time throughout the day
In order to get your work done, you will need times to focus on work. If your student/s keep asking for help every 5 minutes, it’s hard to get anything done.
Tell your child, you will gladly help them every hour. Have them do what they can and if possible skip what they don’t understand until you are able to help them.
- Keep work/school papers organized
Working and schooling from home can get messy! (Ask me how I know, lol!) So the first thing to do is to set up an area for work papers, computer, etc.
Set up your student area in a separate area of the house but not too far from you. Preferably, you must be able to still watch them but not be right by their side. Supervise from a distance.
If you have a bin, use it to capture all loose papers and assignments for your child – just as you normally do for their homework. All these virtual schooling assignments, will probably be collected when school resumes.
- Tag Team
If you have your spouse working from home with you, it is an excellent idea to tag team virtual schooling for your child. Set up an alternating schedule between both of you, so that one of you gets work done while the other one helps your children.
If you are a single parent or your spouse is still commuting to work, maybe enlist the help of your child’s grandparent or relatives (unless quarantined.)
OTHER TIPS FOR WORKING PARENTS SCHOOLING AT HOME
ESTABLISH A DAILY SCHOOLING SCHEDULE
Routine is key for success. While schooling from home, a virtual school schedule is a must. Choosing what times to have your child complete specific assignments might also depend on your requirements for work.
A virtual schooling routine will be something you both have to get used to and find out what works best.
Here is a very useful list for establishing a schedule for schooling from home for all of us working parents. Making a schedule for school hours will give you and your child a fool proof way to make sure they get their assignments done everyday.
Ideas for Virtual Schooling Schedule
- Block out times for meetings with the teacher first. Some schools require students to check in or be present at webinars, or live virtual classes.
- Schedule your child’s subjects for the day. Include a nice mix of active and quiet activities. Quiet play or assignments they can do on their own is great when on the phone or in a meeting.
- Add time for breaks and meals. Don’t forget kids will need many breaks throughout the day. Plan for it!
- Tag team with older kids. Older siblings can help younger ones. And yes, sometimes they are so much better than us at explaining things to their younger siblings.