Online schooling is becoming more popular today than it ever has before. The ability of students to learn from their own homes without having to fight traffic or deal with the pressures of school is a major benefit for many students and their families. While online schooling is often a great way for students to learn, it can be incredibly stressful for many parents.
Many parents today are being asked to work from home, but to also help home school their children. When students choose or are forced to learn online from home it gives parents the responsibility of being a working parent and also being a teacher. Parents are forced to make sure their children are logged into the computer and working, are able to navigate the instructional platforms, are well behaved during the lesson, are able to complete the work, and more. In addition to all these things, parents must also perform all the job duties of their work.
Home schooling your child while they learn online and working from home can be a difficult juggling act. Here are some tips that you should use to help keep your life balanced and your sanity in tact.
#1) Set Up An Office
One of the most critical things parents need to do to stay balanced while working from home and helping educate their children at the same time is to create a work environment that is suitable for both themselves and their children. Both parents and children should have a separate work space or office that they can work in. Try to set up a small office or desk in a spare room of the house. If this is not an option, due to lack of space, try to set up a room together that is quiet and resembles an office. If there is not an extra space in your house, do your best to set up a positive work environment at your kitchen table.
One of the most important things you can do is to make sure you are not working in your bedroom and your children are not working in their bedroom. Working in your bedroom is a major distraction that can often result in people being unproductive and distracted. It is too easy to get into the habit of waking up and just staying in bed to do your work. This can lead to many negative consequences. Therefore, it is critical that parents set up an office space that promotes learning and improvise if needed.
#2) Remove Distractions
Another important thing for all parents to do while working from home and teaching from home is to remove all distractions for themselves and their children. Try to place all phones and electronic devices, except for the laptop, away from yourself and children. This will help you both focus and stay on task.
Try to work in a room without a television so that there is no desire to watch television or check the news quickly. Also, have your children away from their toys and other things that could distract them. It is important to create an environment for leaning that is as close to school as possible.
#3) Create Rules
Another important thing to consider is establishing and implementing rules for both yourself and your children. For example, if you have to take an important business call you cannot have your child talking to you and interrupting you. You should have some kind of rule or signal that indicates you cannot be distracted at the moment. Try placing a red cup on your desk to let your child know that now is not a good time to interrupt what you are doing.
The same is true for your child. You can give them two different cups to place on their desk at the appropriate time. For example, you can give them a green cup to place on their desk to let you know that they are doing great and do not need any help. You can give them a yellow cup to place on their desk when they need your help. These signals can help clue you in to how they are doing and let them ask you for help without interrupting the work that you are doing.
There are many other rules that you can create, like rules for break time, lunch time, and more. To help make sure that these rules are effective and are going to work, you should create the rules with your child. When you are both involved in creating the rules, you are both more likely to follow them.
#4) Establish a Routine
Another key thing to do in order to keep your sanity and your life balanced is to create a routine for you and your child. For instance, you should have a set time that you wake up and go to bed every night to ensure a good night’s rest. Other parts of your routine should include a lunch time routine, an exercise or gym routine, a break routine and more. While the times may change slightly, it is important to keep the routine as close to the same as possible each day. This can promote learning and stability and also help you get more work done each day.
#5) Take Necessary Breaks
No one can work for eight hours straight without taking a break. Therefore, it is important to remember the benefits that taking a break can have on your mental stamina and your willingness to learn. When you or your child feels overwhelmed it is important to remember that you can always take a break. Even if it is not a scheduled time for breaks, you can take one. Before your or your child gets frustrated and defeated you should take a five minute break and get water or just walk to calm down.
#6) Focus on Strengths
Working and learning from home can be difficult for parents and children alike. To help make the experience as beneficial as possible, you should focus on your strengths. Each person has different strengths and building on these strengths can help you stay positive and balanced while taking on a lot.
For instance, if you are an organized person, you may be able to organize an office well and use different organizational tools to help manage time and space for both you and your child. If you are excellent at time management, you may be able to create an amazing schedule that benefits both you and your child. Let your child use their strengths to help you as well.
Finding your strengths and your child’s strengths is a key component to working and learning from home. It is important to have this conversation with your child. Having this conversation gives you and your child an opportunity to bond and connect as well.
#7) Take Time To Build A Positive Relationship
Working and learning from home allows parents and children to spend more time together than they may have ever had in the past. Spending this large amount of time together can always be frustrating and difficult, however, it can also be rewarding and a great way to bond. When you are forced to spend this much time together it is critical that you both focus on building a positive relationship with one another. Try to compliment each other and set goals for each other. You should have a conversation once a week about goals and interests.
Try to make sure that your relationship is primarily the relationship of a parent and child and then only a small portion as the teacher and student. All children should look to your first as a parent that is always on their side and then as a teacher who can help them learn. It can be difficult to blend these two roles together, but if you are able to create a positive relationship the roles can stay separate and your relationship can grow.
#8) Stay Positive
While working from home and working as a home schooling parent can often be one of the most difficult things in the world, it is important that you stay positive. A positive attitude can make all the difference. If you wake up in a bad mood, you will likely have a bad day. If you wake up with a positive attitude and a smile, even the worst day will not be that bad.
Staying positive can help you be more productive and can also set a great example for your child. Children pick up on the suddle attitudes of their parents and are likely to act the same way that you do. It is crucial that parents stay positive for the sake of their children. Here are some of the best tips to help parents stay balanced while working as a home schooling parent and as a professional from home. These things may be difficult to do all at once, but each parent should try to implement one new thing each week.