Schools in Ireland are closed indefinitely. Having children at home and having the responsibility of working from home is a challenging task to achieve. Here are a few things that you can incorporate to balance it.
Talk to your team
The most important thing to do is to be transparent with your team members. They can understand the situation, you will be surprised to know how cooperative most of them are. Talk to your team and see what works best for you and them. Make your work schedule and share it with the team, fix an everyday time for team meeting and one-on-one calls. Try not to allow your children in your workspace. However, even if it happens and your children’s’ voices are heard at times on the team call, don’t stress about it, your team will understand.
Create a schedule with your partner or family
Now that your partner or your family members are also at home, it becomes less of a hassle to manage children. Talk to your family members and see how they can contribute to the homeschooling of your children. It is a big task to keep children educated, occupied and entertained. Schedule your work in such a way that one or the other family member is available to spend time with the children. If there are two people working from home, take lunch breaks at different times. You can ask help from your cousin/ niece/ nephew who are willing to help you during this time and plan an online storytelling sessions or online creative classes.
Explore options online
Homeschooling is a major concern for a lot of people. You already know what the school is offering for your children and the time they would spend on studying school curriculum. For the rest of the time, you can consider several options online to keep the children occupied. Of course, with the screen time in mind, you can certainly create a schedule that will have a mix of educational and entertaining content. Here are a few websites that have great content which is fun, educational and entertaining.
- National Geographic Kids– Free resources to learn about earth and animals
- MathGames– A fun way to practice core mathematical principles and improve
- StoryBird– Create stories and also publish their own
- Jolly Phonics– For interactive activities and pronunciation videos
- Top Marks– Learning games
- Go noodle– Includes informative videos on meditation, exercises and dancing
- YouTube– Plenty of channels. You can choose your area of interest. Some recommendation- TED-Ed, The Brain Scoop, Minute Physics
Create timetables and assign tasks for your children
Sit down with your children and family members. Spread awareness about the current situation. Tell them the value of staying at home and learning during these times. Involve your children in the planning by giving them a sense of responsibility. Create a timetable with short learning sessions, breaks, entertainment sessions, creative sessions and physical exercise sessions. If your children are in primary school, it is a good idea to do one or two subjects a day and mix with art and craft sessions. Try and make it a fun timetable. Additionally, assign chores corresponding to their ability. If you have two or more children, assign a leader for the day and give him/her more responsibilities.
Set boundaries, it is important to keep your mind clear and fixated on one thing at a time. Inform your children about what you can and what cannot do when at work. Use physical signs like a ‘do not disturb’ to indicate when you are not available. Prepare a list of exceptions and ask the children to contact you only when it is required. Take time off for yourself, walk alone, meditate or listen to music.