WFH and homeschooling

8 ways to get through WFH & homeschooling – AGAIN

8 ways to get through WFH & homeschooling – AGAIN

It was the moment all parents (and their kids!) had been dreading – the closure of schools and the nightmare of juggling work with homeschooling. Here’s how to survive…

Throw aside your plans for Dry January – schools are shut, and we somehow have to add in teaching our kids on top of our work schedules. It’ll be fine – honest – we did it last time – okay, it was hell. So here’s what we learnt to make it better this time round….

Take all the help you can get

Got a grandparent that is good at maths? Rope ’em in via Zoom for a daily lesson.

Be kind to yourself – and the kids

Avoid all people on social media who are wafting around in silk kaftans in their immaculate homes, doing their best impression of Mary Poppins, while also landing that amazing new deal. It’s not real life – mute them. Have a screaming cushion (to yell into!) for when it all gets too much, take a breather, then come back into the room and hug your kids. Does it really matter if they won’t do their spellings right this minute? Agree you’ll come back to it another day.

Reward yourself

Gin before 9am – no, come on, you’re better than that. Have a whiteboard up in the kitchen with a reward chart for daily achievements – for parents too! Have short term end-of-week treats – movie night, takeaway and mega popcorn bucket if they’ve earned bonus points. Then all decide on what your dream days out will be when this merry hell is over as a further incentive.

Dress the part

Make sure the whole family gets up at the normal time for school and work – dress, shower and be ready to start at your desks/kitchen table.

You are not a teacher

Anything you can do above and beyond letting them play Minecraft all day is a bonus. And you don’t have to feel guilty if you can’t fit in six hours of schooling on top of an eight hour work day. Do what you can. Plus, Joe Wicks and the BBC have come to our rescue with virtual PE lessons and educational programmes. So screen time is no bad thing! Then take the small wins – 10 minutes reading at bedtime is so beneficial for kids, and provides a calm end to the day for all. If you’re worried about your child falling behind, there are tutors now working online via Zoom.

Manage expectations

Speak to your boss about your workload – many are facing exactly the same challenges as you are and should understand. You also need a time to switch off your phone and not be checking emails. Get a routine going rather than a rigid schedule for WFH and homeschooling. The family needs some structure to the day but also some flexibility.

Get some fresh air

Take the kids on a walk or a run – daily – you’d do it for your dog. Everyone needs exercise and fresh air. Get out in the daylight hours to to help manage your circadian rhythms.

Talk about it

The kids are readjusting to a new routine (again) and the prospect of being away from friends at school. They’re probably as stressed as you are. Check in with everyone in the household and acknowledge it’s okay to feel upset and even angry – look at what you can do to see the positives. Show the kids all the pics on your phone that highlight everything you still managed to do last year in spite of the pandemic. And make sure they have a way to communicate with friends and family.