How to Balance Homeschooling with Working from Home
How to create a balance when you are suddenly both the working parent and the teacher
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Bergeron agrees that kids need parents to project calm. “Your children are looking to you for information about how to feel about this new setup. Good humor and a light touch go a long way toward reassuring them that you’ll get through this challenging time together.”
And make sure to do what works for your family, not what doesn’t, suggests Kristen Glosserman, an executive and life coach in NYC, says: “When we couldn’t access the Schoology app,” she recalls, “I called a recess so my first-grader could go outside and jump on the trampoline. Don’t allow this uncertain time to stress you out—do stay flexible because things are changing every day.”
Bergeron also wants parents to remember that it will not always be perfect. “Your family is adjusting to a vastly different routine. Expect push back from children as they adapt. Keep a positive attitude and don’t take it personally.”
And for those moments when you just can’t do it yourself, don’t be afraid to seek support. Learning apps, like classtechtips.com and scholasticeducation.com, allow you to work while your child is being educated online, Kovacs says. They are especially useful for younger kids who have fewer actual assignments. Dell’Aquila also urges parents to reach out to online counseling centers and/or online tutors to help them through the rough spots.
Communicate with everyone involved.
There are several factors involved in making this situation a success: your work, your child, and their work. First and foremost, notify your job of your constraints, Bergeron advises. “Definitely let your workplace know about your current situation with children at home. If you set realistic expectations from the outset, you won’t set yourself up for failure.” Dell’Aquilla also suggests looping in coworkers and saying something like: “I know you have a family. I have a family. You can do Tuesdays and I’ll do Thursdays.”
She also urges parents to talk through everything with their kids—because kids want to feel involved, acknowledged, and understood, she says. For example, ask them what they really want to do when they finish their work. Let them have a say in how their day plays out.
Parents should also communicate with their child’s teachers, Kovacs says. Ask them for help as much as possible. “For example, do you need more independent work? More instructions on how to complete work?” Make sure the teacher knows what’s not working for you and your child.
Everyone should be part of the solution during this uncharted period. As Dell’Aquila says, “It is a time to be resilient, to be compassionate, and empathetic.”