3 Steps to successfully work at home with kids around

Like me, you’re hearing of school closures, grocery stores with limited supplies, and anticipating changes to work and kid schedules. So let’s make a plan together for having our kids at home while we work at home so that the kids keep up on their studies and we don’t lose all of our productive time.

Step 1: Schedule the day

This morning I sat down with my oldest three kids in our hallway with a notebook. Because I wanted their routine to not change too drastically, and I wanted them to be fully occupied as I worked from home, we went over what they did at school and at what time. Then we coordinated who would be on the computer for school work and for how long. Each time block is an hour. One schedule looks like this:

  • 9 – Math (computer)
  • 10 – Literacy (computer)
  • 11 – Art
  • 12 – lunch
  • 1 – STEM
  • 2 – hour of curiosity (learning about anything they want)
  • 3 – reading (my older children help the younger children)
  • 4 – Jobs (we’re doing extra sanitation around the house)

Step 2: Be flexible

I work at home and have a certain number hours I need to fill every week, which means I don’t really have time to watch and monitor every minute. So for art, they read our art history book (don’t worry – it’s one for youth) and then create an art project based on what they studied. We do this for science and parts of math as well. I’m a big believer in self-led learning. The more control my kids have over what they’re learning, the better they learn it.
We’re finding that the last 15 minutes of every hour is wiggle time. We declared it RECESS! and they do wild and crazy running around the house. I also know that they will tire of their schedule and we’ll have to sit down every couple of days and reassess what is working and what is not.

Step 3: Try to enjoy the interruptions

Yes, they’re definitely going to knock on the door in the middle of a call and yes it’s because they want to see you throughout the day. If you can, try to follow the pattern of when typical interruptions occur and see if you can’t schedule your calls to end before them. Then you can greet them and enjoy the minute or two they require your assistance. This is also a good time to remind them to check the schedule if they don’t know what they are expected to be working on.

These tips are merely suggestions, but I wanted to share with you a possible plan for your family as you work at home. Tech and the internet is a big part of how my kids are learning, but it’s combined with fine and gross motor development. Here are some free online resources.

Contact me (tay@respons-ability.net) if you have any more suggestions you would like to add! I’d love to hear from you. We’re all in this together and utilizing our village is how we’re going to keep our communities functioning.

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