This fall, parents will be embarking on a new journey for the school year. They will work from home and take on the task of educating their kids. What a BIG TASK! During this time so many things can be overwhelming and stressful. Many friends and family have asked us how we balance work and school and I am excited to share with you six things we have learned over the years as we have navigated the waters of working from as well as educating our children from home.
Communication is Key
This might seem like an obvious suggestion, but even we struggled with this in the beginning. Our kids are watching how we communicate with each other so it is important to set an example of what good communication looks like. For us, this meant not making assumptions and direct communication. Working from home, sometimes your schedule might be super unpredictable. It’s important to express to your spouse what you’re expecting to get done in your day. Don’t assume that they know or should know what you want them to help with.
Every week we talk about the schedule for the week. We make notes of any appointments and due dates that are coming up for each person. We also talk every morning briefly to address any changes that might have occurred.
After we know what our day looks like, I carve out time for each thing that needs to get done. We set a goal for when work should be completed. Help children learn to set goals so they can learn how to self start and accomplish those tasks / goals. Maybe it is only 3 things that you will have as your GOALS for the day, learning to accomplish those small goals daily change into big improvements!
There are many amazing blog posts out there about time blocking to get lots of things done during your day. For us, time blocking is as simple as having times where mom and dad have set times to help with school work. We have periods of time where mom’s work is not as intensive so we carve that time out as mom assisted school. Then when mom needs to do work that requires her full attention the kids then switch to independent study.
Pro tip: Play to your strengths. Dad brings a different perspective on how to learn than mom does. Mom and dad have different talents and interests where they can really shine and help in the education process.
This is not to say don’t create some sort of structure around how your day goes. Have structure and a form, but be flexible. If your child is really interested in the electricity lesson you’re teaching, maybe go deeper into it. You can always pick up the next day the subjects you didn’t get to. Being flexible like this can help them find their passion.
Pause, Re-evaluate & Reset
If things are not working out or panning out the way you had pictured, it might be a sign that you need a break. Go for a walk, get outside, switch to a different location, splash some water on your face, etc. Re-evaluate and make changes if the day or week has become overwhelming.
This is especially important for kids. If they are frustrated with a subject it’s important that we as parents recognize that and have them take a break. This is one thing that season homeschoolers do. If our children are frustrated they shut down and they can’t learn what you’re trying to teach them. Trying to force it will just make them resentful and will not cultivate the love of learning that you hope to create.
I also use this trick when I am feeling burnt out and needing some quiet alone time. I will send my kids out for recess or have them do self-guided assignments and activities while I find a quiet place to have that quiet time and regroup.
Expect and understand that you will need breaks. We have found it helpful to make a list of things that we can do whenever we feel frustrated and need to take a break.
If you need some more inspiration to help you learn how to balance work & school at home; listen to our PODCAST about this…its fun to hear what we might throw at each other to find this balance!
What are you struggling with? How can we help? Who can you share this post with to help them find balance? Let us all learn from each other, comment below what works for you,
Thanks for stopping by,