5 Ways to Balance Work and Homeschool with Less Stress
With this ever-changing 2020 environment, a SIGNIFICANT shift has taken place amongst work, home, and school lives. From working remotely to homeschooling, parents are finding that they need to adjust the life they previously knew to make sure that family needs are met in a healthy, balanced way.
So how do they do this? In what ways can parents work remotely and manage the education of their children while navigating this new normal? The answer is not clear cut, and is completely dependent on the family structure, but these tips can help to guide parents towards balance, based on new circumstances.
Schedule, schedule, and schedule some more…
If you are going to rely on any one strategy to make things run a little smoother, it’s this one. Creating a schedule to stick to throughout the week will give everyone a clear sense of direction. Kiddos are routine-driven, meaning the more structure the better.
And the more visual, the better! Using a visual calendar or schedule will let all family members know what to expect for the day. Do you have little ones who are not yet reading? Use picture cards to create an easily-understood routine. Jessica over at The Primary Parade has a great, free printable schedule to use for younger children.
Homeschool in blocks
This goes hand-in-hand with scheduling, but let’s dive a little deeper into the homeschool piece.Creating the schedule with two or three 30 minute to one hour blocks for dedicated academics is key to avoiding learning burnout.Children do not need to follow an 8-hour- a-day curriculum of involved work to be successful.
In a school day where children receive education outside of the home, they have specials, snacks, lunch, and recess all built into their routines. Think of homeschooling in that way. Plugging educational playtime (kids learn best through play, afterall) and outside/movement activities into their day keeps kids going during the time that they are not involved in direct teaching. This means, you have the capacity to do some of your work while your kids are busy exploring and learning independently. It’s a win-win.
Set realistic expectations
Every so often, the schedule gets skewed and you find yourself veering off the path of structure and productivity. It happens and when it does, it’s okay! By setting realistic expectations for your day, you’ll be prepared to hit the bumps that come along with being a homeschooling, working parent.
While a schedule is important in flowing productively through the day, it’s also important to keep in mind that work is not going to get done amidst the chaos that sometimes accompanies parenthood. If things begin to feel unsettled, take a break by going for a walk or taking a quick trip to the library. It’s better to go off-track happily than to stress out over work that’s not getting completed.
Don’t stress it
I know that this is SO much easier said than done, but it’s the truth. If you are on a call with work and you have a loudly playing child in the background, you cannot stress it. Chances are, several of your co-workers are in the same boat at the exact same time. Maybe the entire call is filled with chaos! Nobody cares that your beautiful babe is belting out tunes from his or her favorite show, and if they do- it’s probably only because the singing is making their day a bit brighter. It’s insanity, yes! But it’s the new normal of remote work culture.
Make sure you leave room for “me” time in that handy schedule you’ve been using. While yes ii can seem like an impossible task, it’s also a priority. Managing this new style of school and life within the walls of your home without taking time to tend to your needs will lead you to fizzle out.
Are you finding that time is limited, as most of us are? Work in shorter bursts of “me-time” throughout the day. Plan for a 30 minute walk upon waking or a 10 minute journal session after lunch. Can’t manage it when your little ones are awake? Enjoy a glass of wine and a Netflix show after bedtime. Whatever it is, be sure to do it!
I don’t need to say this because it’s so known, but 2020 life is crazy right now. What’s important is that you are prepared to handle what’s thrown your way on a day-to-day basis. You may have a rough day here or there, and that’s okay! Just know that you are doing your very best, you’re not alone, and you can handle anything that’s thrown your way.
What are you doing to balance homeschooling and remote work? Leave a comment below.