By Guest Author/ CEDR Volunteer – Sandi Luipersbeck
So, you checked your email last week only to learn that your company was sending workers home to telecommute. Now you’re getting ready to try to accomplish your basic work tasks while trying to determine what your children will be doing for school, and wondering how in the world you’ll meet all your deadlines. Before you start pulling out your hair and running for the exits, there are a few basic things to remember which I will share below along with 8 resources to help during this time.
Determine What Resources are Being Offered
First, determine what resources your local school system will be providing you with if any. In some areas, schools are providing parents with access to distance learning materials so that they can access full courses with live instructors online. In other areas, schools are providing parents with take-home educational packets. And in some locations parents are being asked to homeschool their children for an indefinite period of time. Your first step is to determine what educational resources are being offered to you, so you’ll know if you need to create a curriculum, find a pre-created curriculum, or use the curriculum that is being provided.
You’re in Uncharted Territory
Keep in mind that no one knows how to do what you’re doing “correctly” because as a nation we’re all exploring new territory. This is the first time, historically, that we’ve needed to be able to work from home in technological careers while teaching and entertaining our children. Previous generations were able to manage working, schooling, and housekeeping by focusing on one task at a time, but that’s often difficult as modern tasks multiply. Once you know which type of schooling you’ll be responsible for, you’ll be able to work your child’s education into the daily flow of your household.
Go Easy on Yourself
It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to accomplish as much as you can at the office – go easy on yourself, and on your colleagues. Everyone is dealing with a large amount of stress at the moment. Deadlines may need to be adjusted, dates may need to be rearranged, and projects may not move along as quickly as they would if everyone was working in the office. It’s important to understand that it’ll take some time for everyone to get up to speed. Your children may also take some time to adjust to the new situation and settle into the new routine. Again, go easy on yourself, as this is a novel situation for everyone.
Keep Timing in Mind
As you go through your day, both careful timing and flexibility will be important. Set aside specific chunks of your day for dedicated, focused work. This may be time when your child is sleeping, entertained with another activity, or working on their schoolwork. Use other blocks of time for less focused work like returning phone calls, making lists, returning emails, and organizing your tasks. As you adapt to working from home, you’ll develop a “flow” of accomplishing your daily business tasks while also caring for your family. You can plan for breaks for meals, time to review schoolwork, and any quieter times that various family members will need throughout the day, as well.
CEDR will be offering ongoing blog posts about adjusting to telecommuting, handling education from home, additional resources for parents, and managing a household during a crisis. Feel free to drop a comment below with any suggestions or specific topics that you’d like to see.
Here are 8 resources and fun hacks you can use to educate your children during a quarantine:
Since there have been many #schoolclosures announced today, we are separating the #coronavirus #resources from the #COVID19 stats to provide you with #hacks and all you need to keep your sanity while being the coolest #Parents on the planet. Please RT this so others can find. Thx! Articles on how to talk to our youngest children about the #Coronavirus #COVID19: https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/3210-tips-for-families-talking-about-the-coronavirus
Educational Entertainment is going to be important while the kids are home. Reward children for completing their work and chores on schedule with extra viewing time; the catch is it can only be via free streaming on PBS. Elmo will be happy to see them. https://www.pbs.org/
Raising Dragons is a fun website that help get kids interestested in science. Activities are by age and parent involvement varies. Don’t forget to create a bookmark section to revisit the sites you find interesting and useful. https://www.raisingdragons.com/
Afraid your child might not learn or be left behind educationally? A great free resource is Khan’s Academy. They offer personalized learning to students of all ages including those AP subjects that can be challenging for Juniors and Seniors. #CEDRdigital volunteers highly reccomend: https://www.khanacademy.org/
And how about instead of going to the zoo, we bring the zoo to you. Join the Cincinnati Zoo for a virtual Home Safari. They are live each weekday at 3pm EST where they will highlight one of their amazing animals and include an activity you can do at home. https://facebook.com/cincinnatizoo/photos/a.96076385478/10158043842200479/?type=3&theater
And just because your indoors does NOT mean you get to skip Phys Ed. There are plenty of free kid-friendly yoga classes that parents can join in on. My son’s all-time favorite is Goat Yoga with Kids from Iowa PBS. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Vtfkq2HvwI
Finally, something you both can share… quiet time…in the form of a guided meditation. Headspace and YouTube have free guided meditations for kids. It’s a great way to get frustrated ansty kids to relax and its an activity you can both do together or apart.