I know much of the country’s parents are working from home right now and doubling as the homeschool teacher. This can be tough! How do I know? I have been working from home for over 20 years with kids running around me most of it. I started Ears of Experience from my home when my girls were super little. As they grew, I grew Ears alongside them. I thought I would share some of my best practices.
1. Have toys and activities that they only see and have the opportunity to play with during “work time.”
2. Set a level of expectation regardless of age. If the kiddos are younger, let them know what the first two things are going to be for the day. Setting a level of expectation helps kids get through the times of the day they are less excited about. Examples are below.
- Quiet reading time and then breakfast
- Snuggle time and a puzzle, etc.
If they are older, give them a half-day or so of what is the plan. Examples are below.
- Quiet time
- Work time
- Fresh air
3. It is ok to let the kids know not to interrupt when you are working. If you are sitting at your desk on the phone, unless someone is bleeding or someone is seriously hurt, wait. When mine were little, they had a small plastic flower they would put on my desk when they needed me but knew not to interrupt. It could be any object, but my girls loved the flower.
4. Screen time is your friend and enemy. If you teach the kids to be engaged in things like coloring, puzzles, flashcards, sorting activities, etc. they tend to self-entertain much better than just screen time. This has been my personal experience, at least.
5. Teach the kiddos tasks around the house. My daughter loved swiffering the floors and wiping down baseboards at a very young age. Giving them ownership in duties improves attitudes when parents are working from home.
6. Make healthy snacks accessible, so you don’t have to be in the kitchen all the time. In the pantry, have a basket full of goodies that are appropriate options for snacks and teach the kids it is ok to grab from these baskets. Of course, with parameters. For example, “no, you cannot have three granola bars before lunch.”
7. Take breaks. Take time to give them attention. Eat lunch together, take a fresh air break, read a book.
We will all get through this. A little patience, creativity, and a lot of deep breaths will go a long way.