Suddenly working from home can be a challenge for both parents and children. We recommend a clear and transparent communication and alignment with your employer, colleagues, customers and the like.
It is also possible to distinguish between tasks that have to be done during regular working hours, such as ones dependent on the cooperation of the team, and others that can be done in the evening when children are in bed.
In any case, it requires strong time management, foresighted planning and close coordination. But be realistic: Don’t set your own expectations too high. It is a state of emergency for everyone at the moment. Your manager and colleagues will understand your situation at home.
Nevertheless, here are some tips that make home office with children more easy and relaxed:
1. Claim one area in your flat for your “home office”: If you do not have a spare room, use the bedroom or the kitchen. Most important: The room should have a door that you are able to close and work in peace. It is also really important to set up a clear “off-work” time and boost some more energy for the next day.
2. Try speaking with your kids and explain to them your situation as best as possible (Why you need to work in this way) that you are going to have to get some work done during the day and they are going to have to do some self-entertaining. Create together a day-by-day schedule, which combines their time for homeschooling and games, as well as your office hours, so that they know when you are not available and when you have time to play with them.
3. Create boundaries and set some rules: If the phone rings, your kids should know that you will be busy for a couple of minutes and they need to wait until you have finished the call. Additionally, if you close the door to your home office, it means that you are in a meeting. If they know the signals and the reasons behind it, it is easier for them to know not disturb or that they should knock before entering. When kids are smaller, try to plan upfront the time and entertainment, for instance, give them drawing material or ice cream just before a call.
4. Take advantage of sleep time: Work when your children are sleeping – get up early in the morning or work in the evening. It is the most efficient and productive time for you to get tasks done.
5. Block out the noise: Buy the best noise-cancelling headphones which are available.
6. Create a creative and diverse list of activities for them: Keep them busy with a mixture of varied program points like homework, reading, painting or playing outside. If there are no siblings, coordinate play dates with the one friend, who your child is still able to see and meet.
And to be honest: Loosening up on “screen time” during this time is completely fine. You won’t ruin them, especially when you are trying to vary their daily routine.
There are also various homeschooling platforms which might be of interest for your kids, too. Here are some examples:
ONLINE: BrainPop, Curiosity Stream, Tynker, Outschool, Udemy, iReady, Beast Academy (Math), Khan Academy, Creative Bug, Discovery Education
YOUTUBE: Crash Course Kids, Science Channel, SciShow Kids, National Geographic Kids, Free School, Geography Focus, TheBrainScoop, SciShow, Kids Learning Tube, Geeek Gurl Diaries, Mike Likes Science, Science Max, SoulPancake
Another great idea for your kids is going on a virtual tour of these 12 famous museums: https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours
List of thinking games by grade: https://allinonehomeschool.com/thinking/
More awesome free learning websites that we like to use https://www.starfall.com/h/ https://www.abcya.com/ https://www.funbrain.com/ https://www.splashlearn.com/ https://www.storylineonline.net/ https://pbskids.org/ https://www.highlightskids.com/ https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/ https://www.coolmath4kids.com/ http://www.mathgametime.com/ https://www.uniteforliteracy.com/ http://www.literactive.com/Home/index.asp http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/ https://www.switchzoo.com/ https://www.seussville.com/ https://www.turtlediary.com/ https://www.e-learningforkids.org/