• Making it All Work


    Survive working from home and homeschooling too!

    I get it. You were sitting in your office, drinking coffee, working, chatting with coworkers... kids are in public school, learning, hanging with friends, all cruising along perfectly fine. You had a schedule; you had a plan and then COVID-19 came along and ruined that. Feel free to scream into a pillow. Trust me, it helps!

    Suddenly you are working from home, thankful you still have a job BUT these kids! They are home too, plus your spouse or partner is working from home, the dog wants out 100x a day, the cat just threw up on the couch and your toddler needs to take a potty break while you are in an online meeting. How to make it all work? How not to lose your mind? How to get the kids focused and DO the work teachers have assigned? How to make it through this shelter-in-place order? Again, feel free to scream into a pillow at this point. You know what, just keep it nearby. You might need it a few times before we get this worked out. I am here for you because you see…. I am a work-from-home Mom who has homeschooled since 2008.

    Suddenly you’re a homeschooler!

    While COVID-19 didn’t turn me into a homeschooling Mom, I became a homeschooling Mom overnight. My son was bullied at a public school that we already had issues with. The last straw was him being suspended while his attackers were not. Why? Because he tried to stick up for himself and defend himself. He was punished, they were not. I was done and suddenly at 4:30 pm on a Thursday, we went from being public schoolers to homeschoolers. On the plus side, I already worked from home. I run a childcare. I went to college to do so, long before we had children and decided I wanted to work with kids, whether in a preschool setting or a home childcare setting. When my boys came along, I needed to contribute to the household so I opened my childcare. 24 years later, here we are.

    Flash forward to the day we pulled my son from public school: I needed to figure out how to work from home and homeschool my child simultaneously. Guess what? I don’t like change. I am a planner. I like to know what our income is, where it is going, what is extra, who is doing what, where, when, and how. I make lists and have a family calendar, a childcare calendar. My childcare space was set up, and now I have to make room for a homeschool space. HOW? We live in a not-even-800-square-feet home. I was happy to be helping my child(ren) but I had no clue how to homeschool. How to squeeze more workable space? How to juggle a houseful of toddlers, an elementary school child, and now a homeschooled middle schooler? Curriculum? No clue. Extracurriculars? No idea. It felt like I was tossed in the pool and told to swim. YIKES! I imagine that is how it feels for many of you. Your whole life has suddenly changed. Trust me, you will get through this. Use that pillow if you need it!

    What to do? HELP!

    Many states have moved to complete school closures for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. What does this mean? It means that your child will not be returning to a brick-and-mortar school until the Fall of 2020. When they do, they will be in a different grade, different classroom, different teacher. In the meantime, they are to be schooled at home. Is this the same as homeschooling? In a sense, yes. Homeschooling is a fluid word. It basically means they are not attending public school, they are schooling outside the box at home, on the road, at Grandma’s, etc. And while YOU technically are still registered with public school, you are literally homeschooling now.
    So, how to survive this new experience. You need to carve out a part of your day for homeschool or be able to work and homeschool at the same time. Whether you have your kids enrolled in an online program, such as Time4Learning, or your school has you on an assigned program, depending on their age let the kids tackle it alone or you can attempt to work alongside them to offer help... In reality, school only takes 1-3 hours a day. Really! Once you subtract recess, lunch, moving between classes, and allowing for the teaching of 20-30 students in a lesson…. The actual learning time is 1-3 hrs. So what did I do?

    I created a homeschool organization area in our kitchen. We invested in some shelving that would pull double duty as a homeschool zone and childcare storage. We bought the table attachment and chairs and I organized the heck out of it. My boys each got a laptop, we signed up for Time4Learning, and away we went. We homeschooled during naptime. I had a 2-hour break and could devote my entire attention to them. As we went along, I was able to work in the same room. They were able to tackle things like reading time on their own.

    Does this mean you need to do this? Nope. Not at all. Chances are, you are doing this short term. Set them up at the dining table. Use a small shelf or cart to store their supplies for the time being. Make it simple, make it easy on all involved. Split up the teaching time with your spouse/partner. Things are easier together. Take breaks. Lots of breaks. Use your television as a learning tool. It is OK to take a day and do nothing. Your kids are learning even when you’re not actively instructing them.

    Go easy on yourself and your children. This is a trying time for all of us. Things are crazy and stressful as adults; even more so as kids, because they don’t understand it all. And that is OK. Understand that they will have good days and bad days and homeschool is a small part of it. ENJOY this family time together. Enjoy the rare chance to bond with your family. Don’t sweat the small stuff!

    If you have any questions, need to vent, or need to chat… feel free to email me at [email protected]
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