During the arrival of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), a lot of us employees approached the “stay at home” order and the new norm of working from home as encouragement to decrease the curve and the spread of the virus. If you are one of the many working parents who are now taking on daycare and homeschooling responsibilities, we know the struggles you are going through. Check out our list of tips, tricks, strategies, and resources that may help you find your footing as you start wearing all the hats at home.
Alongside the push for working remotely, schools and childcare facilities are being closed in an effort to limit the spread and risk of exposure to the Coronavirus. While this is a crucial step in managing the pandemic, it has created unique challenges for professionals who are also parents.
Keeping a tight schedule
Many schools support the idea of maintaining a regular schedule for children (and adults). A consistent routine can provide some much-needed structure during times like these. It can also help maintain stable moods, improve one’s ability to interact and build relationships with others, and develop a sense of responsibility. When kids are following their schedules, parents are better at keeping theirs!
If you have a child who was attending school before COVID-19 developed, use everything their school is providing, including the daily schedule. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel if you do not have to, so try to align your child’s day with a routine they are already used to following.
“eLearning is learning utilizing electronic technologies to access educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom. In most cases, it refers to a course, program or degree delivered completely online.”
Even with many schools providing structured e-learning for students, it is difficult for children and their families to maintain a schedule and adjust to learning differently. If you have found it tough to keep your kids on track, check out some of these options and resources:
- Create your own family schedule. A schedule that is unique to your own family’s needs will work much better than a generic one. Do not be afraid to use any examples you find – they will give you a framework that you can adjust to your needs.
- Make it a game. Even if your kids have online classes or a schedule to follow, they are not always going to want to follow along. Consider making a game out of how long your child can stay in their seat or how many sheets of paper they can fill up in a certain amount of time. This can be difficult with a baby in the house, so take as many breaks as you need for duties such as diaper change and feeding times.
- Offer your child choices. This can be effective for toddlers as well as grade school-aged kids who are capable of more autonomy. By offering up a choice between two options, you are maintaining structure and control of what they will be doing. Having the choice will make your kids feel more responsible and more committed to following up on their decision.
- Align your day to your energy levels. We all have our own rhythms in terms of when we feel most energetic and productive, so consider a schedule that works with that rhythm instead of against it. This goes for kids too! If you can afford to put some time in upfront to develop this type of schedule, you may find you and your kids being more productive and focused throughout the day.
At the end of the day, every child is unique and requires different things to learn. Try a combination of these ideas or try none at all — as long as you are providing your kids with a few activities that will spark curiosity and learning, they will get through this situation having grown (and you will too).