With COVID-19 causing people to work from home, and now schools closing, I wanted to share some tips on making it work well. My wife and I homeschool our kids. And I have worked from home regularly for the past 3 years.
This is more of a “brain dump” so please overlook the lack of literary greatness.
Things that are really important and hard to remember:
- Let them sleep! There’s typically not a need to wake them up just to have them awake. The temptation will be to think “I need to keep them on their schedule.” Remember… they’re already not in their normal routine. Everything is different. Stress is high for everyone. Let them sleep.
- At home you have the gift of flexibility. Let them take more breaks. Yes, the school work needs to get done. But help them find a flow that works for them. Again, the stress level is high for everyone. Grace, love and more grace. And some more love.
- Here’s where the intersting blending comes in: it is good to find some kind of routine. And it should be catered to your children’s personalities. If they thrive in rigid routines, help them form something they can follow to the letter. If they prefer guidelines with wiggle-room, give them the freedom they need to succeed.
- Minimize distractions. Turn off the T.V. Heck, put it in the closet and lock it away for awhile.
- If they’re sick, let them be sick. Meaning don’t push them to do the schoolwork and stuff just because they’re home. Let them rest so they can recover faster.
- You are home. They will be in your space sometimes when you’re working. They’re your kids and they love you!
- When you are at your wits end and think “I can’t do this anymore!”, that’s a great time to do something fun that isn’t school and isn’t work. Together. Make ice cream. Make cookies. Play a game in the back yard. Build a fort in the living room. Do something to break up the monotony.
More Tips for Success and Sanity
- If you have multiple children, have them pair up for reading time so they can read to each other.
- Resist overdoing “screentime.” Try to keep it productive, with the screen-playtime at a minimum.
- Humor break: look up Tim Hawkins homeschool on YouTube. Safe for work. Safe for kids. Funny for all.
- Let your child find a spot where they can focus.
- Let them free-write, or do a free-form art project. Or free-form lego building. It’s amazing how focused they can be when they get to use their imagination.
Internet Resources (online learning)
For younger children (pre-K – 3rd grade) https://www.starfall.com/ is a fantastic site. They do have some free stuff so you can see how it works. Otherwise you can join for $35 for full access. I’ve seen it in schools. All my kids loved it.
Khan Academy (https://www.khanacademy.org/) has a very large selection of courses for all ages. And they’re free. I think the quality could be improved some, but it is still a great resource.