The COVID-19 pandemic remains a huge health risk, as the number of cases continues to rise in certain countries. Another concern is the lack of safe and effective vaccines that can help protect people from getting infected with the virus.
Given these challenges, the best thing that you can do is to stay at home with your family while you work to avoid exposure from COVID19. As for your kids, they can still experience the traditional classroom style of instruction through the power of eLearning or homeschooling.
Since your children may not be used to the homeschool set-up, they’ll need your help and guidance, especially if your kids are still in their preschool or early education years. Meanwhile, your older children may have the computer know-how, but remember that the technical aspect of online learning is just one piece of the puzzle.
Tips on Managing Your Homeschool Kids While You Work from Home
These tips can help you stay organized as you juggle the role of a remote worker and a homeschooling parent at the same time.
Get your spouse involved
You and your spouse can take turns in helping your kids adjust to the study-from-home set-up. A simple way of sharing the responsibility with your partner is to have one of you monitor your homeschooling kids on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while the other takes charge on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
This way, you can better plan your schedule for the week. If you’re assigned to help the kids on M-W-F, then try to work on less critical office tasks that you can do even when there are distractions from your responsibilities as a homeschooling parent.
Then again, you should be as flexible as possible with this arrangement since there may be days when one of you has to swap schedules with the other.
Be proactive in managing distractions
Whether you like it or not, distractions will be present around your home more often—whether it’s your internet connection having longer-than-usual lags or your preschooler not wanting to finish his/her class.
As everyone gets used to the new normal or new set-up at home, you’ll become better at managing them. But, until that time comes, you need to be ready with a possible fix beforehand to minimize or address unwanted interruptions.
These ideas may help.
- Have a pocket Wi-Fi ready for when your usual modem connection stops working in the middle of a video conference with your colleagues or your child’s online class.
- Train your kids to hold off any questions or requests that they may have if they aren’t urgent. Perhaps they can leave a note on your work table and let you continue working on what you’ve already started.
- Suppose an email comes in from your child’s teacher. Use the suggested replies feature to send an acknowledgment to the sender quickly. Then once you’re free, you can review the contents and, if needed, write another email with a more specific response.
Promote independent learning
The level of independent learning you can instill among your children will depend on their age. For the older children in your family, encourage them to try doing their assignments on their own. If they’re not sure about something, perhaps they can indicate their tentative answers first and then sit down with you later to finalize them.
You can also model a self-help mindset for your little ones. You can start by preparing ready-to-eat meals or snacks and putting these within their reach so they can easily grab them in between break times at their online school.
Not only will this lessen the distractions for you, but it can also help prevent your youngsters from throwing tantrums when they go hungry. And since the mode of instruction will be through online channels, try to have a mock session with your younger children. If they haven’t explored it already, show them how to mute or unmute the microphone, use the computer mouse, and so on.
Talk to your children’s teachers
Your children’s teachers are probably in the same situation as you are in the sense that they’re trying to learn the ropes of managing an online classroom.
Help one another by discussing what the expectations are from both sides. Do you wish the teachers to contact you only during lunch breaks, or are you giving them unlimited access to your phone line to talk about any concerns regarding your children, and vice versa?
You can also ask their teachers if there’s any part in the curriculum, tools, or processes that you don’t fully understand to be able to help your children with homeschooling more effectively.
All parents want to be a super dad or mom to their children, especially when it comes to important stuff like education. The concepts of homeschooling and working from home are, for the most part, new and unfamiliar for many, so expect that there will be a lot of adjustments along the way.
Practice proper time management, parenting techniques, and effective communication to keep things more manageable for yourself and everyone else.