With the current Coronavirus Pandemic, also known as COVID-19, as parents we are adjusting to a “New Normal” as it relates to life as we once knew. Some of us were stay at home moms or maybe working parents who struggled to find a healthy balance between home, work, school, extracurricular activities and then some. In a matter of weeks, it seems as if our lives have been completely flipped upside down. We are now under mandatory social distancing constraints and for some parents, our “New Normal” now includes balancing working from home while our children attend virtual school. It is no easy feat, especially when both parents are working from home. In light of the recent twists and turns we have begun to experience; I want to share 10 tips that may benefit you and your family as you embark on your new journey.
Breathe and take the gravity of the situation all in and know that you are not alone. There are many parents, grandparents and caregivers who are in the same position that you are in.
Set an alarm to get up prior to the start of your workday and your children’s school day to get a head start on the work-related tasks that you, as a parent, have to complete. Getting up even just an hour earlier may allow you to get a nice jumpstart to your workday.
Plan ahead by reviewing each subject and try to gather materials ahead of time, if possible. The night before or early that same morning may not be a good time.
Find a workspace that will work for both you and your children. Having your workspace in close proximity to your children’s workspace may allow you to monitor and give help more efficiently if needed.
Utilize the different communication methods that are provided by your children’s teachers, such as video chats, online messaging and more. This can help take the guess work out of things if you are unclear about what an assignment entails.
If possible, share in the responsibility of administering school assignments maybe with a spouse, an older sibling or a trusted friend. Some assignments may take longer than others and can be done independently. During these assignments, parents can incorporate some of their work tasks while the child is engrossed in their assignment.
Be creative to ensure that your children are learning and having fun and that you are able to get your work done.
If you feel yourself or your children getting overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to take brain breaks that may include breathing exercises. If a more extensive break is needed, Go Noodle for kids may be a good way to break up the day.
Include recess time that includes outdoor play. If you have a work laptop, it can be taken outside so that you can get work done and monitor outdoor activities at the same time.
Pat yourself on the back, because you’re doing great! You’ve got this!