Hey there! I’m Erica, welcome to my first blog post! I’ll start out by saying that this was NOT my first intended article. However, after recent events caused by the outbreak of coronavirus or COVID19, I thought it would be best to share some of my newly learned best practices for working at home with my kids while also trying to homeschool them. Plus, I wanted to share our current schedule in hopes of helping other moms who may be struggling. Currently, I work full time in the hospitality industry, but I also have a personal business, Summit Virtual Solutions, helping bloggers and online business owners create success via Pinterest. In the future you can check back for articles all about Pinterest Marketing and being a Pinterest Manager! Now onto the goods.
How to work from home (and homeschool) with your kids effectively
Work from Home with Kids Tips
1. Set a schedule
Anyone else Type-A to the max? I love a good schedule and creating one for our “new normal” was task number one. My boys thrive on consistency and knowing what’s next. Here are my best schedule creating tips:
- Determine when your kids are at their best for learning. For mine, it’s the first thing before they get tired from the day’s activities. This is also when I have their attention the most.
- Determine when your work schedule demands the most out of you and when you are at YOUR best. For me, it’s also the morning which means I get up and crank the laptop early
- Are there any scheduled learning activities for the kids each day? If so, add them in.
- What are your kids favorite activities and how can you incorporate them? For us, its LEGO all the way!
Bonus: Access my current work from home schedule with my boys’ learning times built in!
2. Take breaks
This has been super important for our family, and let’s be honest, my own personal sanity! As we transition to working from home and homeschooling the kids, we tried to create a schedule with everyone in mind. Currently, we have concentrated learning time from 9am-10am, they have a play break until lunch (I work) then we all go out as a family (weather pending) for a walk or bike ride. I’ve found this additional one on one time helps fill their “love bucket” for the afternoon. More on that later.
3. Flex time
I’ve been very lucky in that, due to the circumstance, my company has been very flexible, ultimately allowing flex time. Flex time is essentially working when you can to incorporate a full day and making sure your work is complete. Since my husband is still working outside of the home (which is an entire post/rant in and of itself!), I am ALL ON MY OWN during regular business hours. As I mentioned earlier, I’m starting my work day earlier and ending later to accommodate the stopping points in the day necessary to help the boys with their school work.
4. Filling the “love bucket”
It’s important to fill your children’s “love bucket” each day. For us, this is one on one attention with both boys doing something they love and without any other distractions. No working or teaching during this time! Activities for us include LEGO building, nerf gun chases, sliding down the stairs on a mattress (boy moms, you feel me!) and totally random dance parties. When your kids’ “love buckets” are filled to the brim, they have better attitudes, act out less and are more apt to do what you ask later….like more school work. Trust me on this one – I got my oldest to read for 20 minutes (his LEAST favorite thing to do) after 10 minutes of floor play and goofing around.
5. Reward system
Ain’t no shame in the REWARD game! Let’s be real for a second. We’re working at home, FULL TIME, while also trying to homeschool our kids. If you gotta promise ice cream in return for school work, at its 10AM, DO IT! Both of mine are so motivated by something they want, that sometimes it’s the only way to get them to do what I want. Plus, our current situation with COVID19 won’t last forever, so do what you gotta do to make this time in our lives as easy and stress free as possible.
We also reward with TV and electronics because at the end of the day, we still have a job to do. Two to be exact. Mom-ing is as much a full time gig as any salary paying job. It may be impossible to be a star at both right now but I’m here, giving you full permission to set the bar low and continue moving forward. Trying to work from home while also keeping our kids on track IS NOT EASY. We’re all doing the best we can right now! Remember, YOU ARE AWESOME! And regardless of what you think, you’re still killing it. I promise.