Working and schooling have changed massively in recent years, and we know how challenging working from home with kids can be - especially if you have no previous homeschooling experience!
If your child’s school is currently adopting a hybrid approach to teaching, or you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right choice for you and your family, you may not yet have found a plan that works for your lifestyle, especially if you’re working from home. In this article, we’ve compiled the best tips on how to combine working from home and homeschooling - we hope these help you find an effective way to tackle both!
For some of us, sticking to a set routine can feel monotonous and at times boring. However, it really does have a huge impact on how successfully you’ll be able to manage your work/homeschool day. Here are some tips on how to successfully organize your homeschool day in an attainable and realistic way:
This piece of advice goes hand-in-hand with establishing a routine that works for your family. You should aim to plan as much as you can ahead of time: this includes day-to-day activities (such as your morning routine before starting your work/school day), meals (meal prepping is a great way to save time), household chores, weekly shopping and miscellaneous appointments and events. Not only will this help you devise a strategy for how you want to tackle working from home while homeschooling, but it will also greatly decrease your stress levels!
When you’re working from home and homeschooling simultaneously, it’s really important to share scheduled events with the whole family, in order to be prepared in advance. An example of this is a set work call or business meeting - if you know that you have a call at a specific time, you may want to let your family know and ask them to be mindful of this. This will set clear expectations and will allow you to avoid mishaps!
We know that not all families are able to provide separate work areas for all members of the family. However, it’s a known fact that establishing work/study-specific areas can massively increase productivity and improve concentration. This can be a different room of your home for each family member (for example, office, living room and kitchen) or different areas within the same room that are set up to accommodate all members of the family (for example, separate desks, or separate devices).
Working from home as a parent can be extremely difficult, so keep an open mind and be flexible! Lots of parents have felt guilt over not being able to provide the same “quality” of education their children have grown accustomed to at school. However, you must remind yourself that teachers are trained professionals who dedicate their lives to teaching! When you’re homeschooling and working at the same time, it’s easy to prioritize one over the other, but keeping an open mind can truly set you up for success. It’s often not the end of the world if your child doesn’t complete all the work that was set up for the day, or if you have to push something back at work in order to optimise your use of time - everyone’s in the same boat!
As a working parent, you won’t always be available to tend to your child’s questions or be able to offer help all the time. This is why we believe that encouraging independence and group work (if possible) can be very effective ways to get your child to want to find answers on their own! Independence is a great skill to develop and it may even inspire your child to find new facts to share with the rest of the family.
Technology can really be your best friend when you’re working from home with kids! With new advancements in the educational technology (edtech) space, it's now easier than ever to find new forms of learning to keep your child engaged for long periods of time, whilst allowing you time to focus on your own, work-related tasks. Encourage your child to use search engines and online learning programs, such as nightzookeeper.com, as a fun way to develop their intellectual skills!
Please note that what works for you may not work for another member of your family, so communication is key when working from home and homeschooling! Having a conversation as a family may be the best way to figure out a strategy that works for everyone.
Similarly, if you’ve had this conversation with your family and agreed a clear approach to working together, then someone has expressed that this particular strategy isn’t working for them, you should always listen and come up with suggestions to improve your current working from home and homeschooling strategy.
Kids who have not been homeschooled before may think of homeschooling as a “break”, or as a great opportunity to spend “quality time” with parents and vice-versa. While quality time is very important and should be prioritized outside of working/schooling hours, creating clear boundaries to let your child know when it’s time to “get serious” about studying can be extremely beneficial.
If your child is receiving study guidance from an education organization, it may be easier to come up with some rules related to timeframes and content covered. If you’re homeschooling independently, this may be trickier especially if you’re also working from home and have expectations to meet professionally. Nevertheless, creating boundaries which are agreed upon by the whole family will set you on the path to success!
We hope you’ve found these tips helpful and that you choose to give them a go! Discover even more help with our best homeschooling tips for parents.
Before you go...Nightzookeeper.com is used by thousands of homeschoolers to develop their children's reading and writing skills in a fantastically fun way! For many homeschoolers, our program is their main homeschool writing curriculum or English program. Get started with a free trial of Night Zookeeper today.