It’s no secret parents are dealing with a lot at home throughout this COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, which shutdown schools across the country — and the globe — for an undefined amount of time. If you're like me, you're at home helping to facilitate distance learning for your multiple elementary-aged children and toddlers while working your own job from home. You're juggling parenting, working, helping with online learning and trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy in your home. Oh yeah, and you're trying to remember to shower.
As an educator and a parent, it gives me a unique perspective on this at-home time and what it can and should mean for families, that I felt it important to share some lessons learned to help you navigate these unsettling times and be the heroes of your own household.
Find the Balance
Mental health is incredibly important now more than ever before. There is so much uncertainty surrounding the current climate, topped with the fact that we all feel trapped and confined and our children are forced to live chat with their teachers and classmates through a computer screen. When it comes to this new normal, remember to take breaks — snack breaks and brain breaks. Just because we’re distance learning doesn’t mean there isn’t time for play and rest. We all need it.
Set up a schedule that works for each family’s uniqueness. Schools will understand that parents are at home trying to navigate this new normal with their children — especially families with multiple children on multiple schedules. Setup a family schedule that allows each child to share computer/Internet time and ample time to get their school work done while also taking into consideration what works for you as a parent who is also working.
Create a Designated Learning Space
Find a space — wherever it may be — to set up a schoolwork environment and if possible a separate quiet space for work calls. See: Virtual Learning Tips for Families
Get Back to Family
Use this time to get back to family. Now more than ever before is an opportunity for families to focus on family. It’s a lot of “together time” for learning, but make sure you’re using this time to reflect on your faith, your morals and your values. It's time to get outside and play with your kids, play family board games, get your kids to help with chores, and focus on manners and family dinners. While this is anything but normal, keep the big picture in mind that the world is upside for our children and they need to feel safe. And try to remember to breathe. We're all in this together.
How are you navigating this time at home? Let us know in the comments below: What are your tiny victories while working at home and parenting?