Wow… hasn’t this year been super interesting!! If you are working from home and suddenly find you have isolation schooling added to the job list, read on!
We came into 2020 all full of promise and excited for the growth and change that this year will bring. A new decade, new opportunities, new this, new that, new hope… and BAM!
Here is something new, something we would never have considered to be in our lives in 2020. The world is in lock down, self isolation, quarantine, closed borders – and are we learning LOADS!
But not what we thought we would be learning and doing, right?
What I have learnt myself during this time
The biggest thing for me that I have noticed in my own life, is just how complacent we get when we are comfortable. When things get shaken up, we learn so much about our lives and the things we thought were important. They now don’t seem to be that important.
I have discovered just how flexible I can be, and how much I like being a home body. I also know that others are absolutely despising that they are stuck at home. What I do know, is that we are all trying to do the best we can do under these weird circumstances.
We can make do with much less than I thought and that simple things can mean much more than grand plans.
We have been using all our spare time getting jobs done around our place, de-cluttering, deep cleaning and spending more time together as a family. Hubby is still heading to work, and I also have to head into the office when I need to.
But, the best part has been doing some big cook-ups and making up some meals for my grandparents as they are self-isolating and I’ve been doing some shopping for them. The best feeling for me is getting to show my love with my cooking, because my happy place is in the kitchen, and feeding people yummy food!
Managing Home Schooling / Isolation Schooling / Online Learning whilst also working from home
One of the biggest things I have learnt is that it is super difficult to do your ‘normal’ working from home hours and duties whilst your kids are home and doing their schooling online.
We really are blessed that our school has set the kids up with online learning and resources. The lesson plans were sent out each night before the next school day, which meant the girls can jump straight onto their devices and start their school work in the morning. I did find it challenging going between both kids, making sure they were OK and then trying to schedule my own working time at the same time.
The girls have team video calls where they can see and speak to their teacher, ask questions and tell their teacher how they are doing. My little one seems to have a morning of story time and devotion time, which means as long as the big one is set up and working I can get a good couple of hours of work done in that time.
When working from home with the kids home, I have to just go with the flow. I work at each chance I get, but I find I get distracted from my work tasks a lot because my job now includes making sure my kids are getting the help they need if they run into a problem.
Here are some tips for how I am making it work (at the moment)
- Set everyone up so they can work well – school work, and me for work work. If everyone has the resources they need, the space they need and the time they need, it works better.
- Set yourself a to-do list ranked in importance for each day. When you are working, make sure you stick to your to-do list and don’t faff over things that are not important. Your own time management skills are super important right now
- Be flexible with your own working time and don’t put too much expectations on yourself. If you have too many tasks planned or too many deadlines, you are going to feel overwhelmed and are more likely to set an unhealthy atmosphere in the household. I find spreading my work out over the week, instead of trying to get it all done in my usual 2 days has worked a lot better for me.
- Communicate with your clients. If they are expecting you to work to your normal time frames, have the chat with them to see if you can push those time frames out a little. If they can’t, then make sure that you get that work done first. An earlier start to the day can help get the important stuff done before the day begins.
- Keep your normal routine. If the kids go to bed at a certain time for school nights, then make sure you keep the same routine. Tired kids and homeschooling don’t work too well… trust me!!
- Take advantage of easier to cook meals. I am using my slow cooker a lot at the moment, as it is much easier to chuck the ingredients together in the morning, pop the slow cooker on and turn it off mid afternoon. By the time dinner time comes, it has cooled down enough to serve to the kids straight from the slow cooker.
- Do some bulk cooking for snacks / dinners in one go. Portion it out and then freeze in portions.
- Make up lunchboxes for the kids (and yourself) for during the day. That way you avoid the never ending “I’m hungry!” cry.
- Incorporate some learning into your everyday activities. Baking a cake? Talk about measurements and how you would divide it by two, or double the batch. Get some paper and get them to do the maths calculations. Do some gardening and talk about what plants need to grow, why we need to weed the garden, etc. Get the kids involved in washing, cleaning and learning time management skills.
- Get them outside if they start getting rowdy. Set a timer to play, or give them a set of exercise tasks to do. Go for a family walk or bike ride… get out in the fresh air.
- Netflix is a god-send when school work is completed and you need to get a project out and done. Pop a movie on, and you have about 90 minutes to get your stuff done.
- If all else fails – art supplies!! Set them up with some YouTube drawing or painting tutorials, a waterproof table cloth and plenty of plain paper… 🙂
- Finally, GRACE. You will need to show yourself and your children a lot of grace at this time. If the school work doesn’t get done… try again tomorrow. If you all need a break, have a break.
The most important thing at the moment is to take care of yourself and your family. Now is not the time for superstar homeschooling mum of the year. Now is not the time for judgement or feeling like you are failing as a parent. Now is the time to do what you need to do to get through each and every day. This will not last forever… it will pass.