Balancing Working from Home and At-Home Learning
by Jennifer Reid
Early School Director/In-School Therapeutic Services Coordinator
Lucy Daniels Center
Many parents are currently juggling caring for their children with their professional responsibilities, a task that is not only challenging, but depending on the age of the child(ren), nearly impossible to do without sacrificing parts of both. Here, we will outline some suggestions for setting up a home routine during the current health crisis.
Tag-team your schedules
If there is a second parent, another adult, or an older child in the home, try to coordinate your schedules so that you are not all working the same hours. Some parents have tried to spread their work out over seven days rather than five, and others are starting, ending, and taking breaks at different times.
Create a schedule that encourages and builds independence
Even as young as preschool, teachers build in parts of the day when children are expected to work or play independently. If you have meetings or conference calls at a certain time, schedule an activity for your child that you know will keep his or her attention. Some examples include a video or other screen time, independent play if your child is able to do so, or rest or nap time.
Use this time to for your child to review
No school expects parents to roll out the curriculum as if they were the teachers. Focus on reviewing math facts and drills and reading and writing skills. There are many apps and games available that help children reinforce these skills. Remember that your situation is not unique and that the entire school system will be responsible for catching our students up when they return to school.
Connect with relatives on a schedule
Does your child have an aunt, uncle, or grandparent who would FaceTime with him/her on a regular basis? Build this into your routine so you can have that block of time to take care of other responsibilities.
Post the schedule and refer to it throughout the day
Post the schedule at the start of the day and let your child know what to expect. The more prepared a child is for the times of day when he or she has to be independent, the higher the chance for success. Build in some back-up plans as well (what can he or she do if the activity is completed before you are ready to move on?).