While much of the country is experiencing working at home for the first time, work at home mums are trying to work out how the hell they are going to manage with the kids off school. While for some people, coronavirus might mean work dries up, for others it might mean an increase. I’m in the position where my main income comes from events so that will now stop indefinitely however some of my other income is from tutoring distance learning courses and it seems likely that will increase. Here’s how I plan to manage working from home while home schooling the kids.
Create a Schedule
I’m a person who needs routine. As soon as I knew there was a possibility that I would have to have the kids home for an extended period of time, I started planning. I’d like to point out here that routine isn’t for everyone and if winging it for the duration suits you, you shouldn’t feel under pressure that have a schedule.
Realistically, kids will be able to cover material much quicker one to one at home with you than they do in a class of 30 so they certainly don’t need 6 hours of homeschooling, five days a week.
My schedule covers 9am – 2pm, 4 days a week and is a mix of proper learning and fun but slightly educational stuff. After 2pm, there is an hour of screen free play and then they can glue themselves to their devices for a few hours. This will allow me to get my work done in relative peace.
Wednesday is different. Wednesday is special. On Wednesdays, I plan to give the kids unlimited access to screens form 10am until 2pm. This may sound like lazy parenting but I’ve decided that this is what I need to both manage my mental health and get my work done.
Below is an idea of the sort of things that are in my schedule.
Proper School Work
I plan for the kids to do spelling and timetable practice 4 days a week, as they do now. If school don’t send spellings (which I’m sure they will) I plan to focus on words I know my kids struggle with.
While that’s happening, I intend to do a daily household chore ie hoovering, ironing, cleaning the bathroom etc.
I’ve allowed half an hour a day for maths and English work which I’m assuming the school will set, I’ll supplement with stuff from Twinkl or the work books we already have if necessary.
I’ve also given a slot each day to topic work and hopefully we can cover the current school topic, in a fun way.
I’ve stocked up on gardening stuff and plan to get the kids growing some food. I’m also hoping to teach them to cook a few dishes completely independently.
We’ll be doing plenty of process art projects and both kids have shown an interest in sewing lately so I’m hoping to find some instructions online for making a basic needle case.
Another thing we’ll be doing is letter writing to their over 70 year old grandparents who are going to me missing the kids (and everyone else) terribly.
We plan to walk the dog for half an hour every morning, this might be round the block but hopefully some days we’ll drive somewhere for a bit of a change.
I’ve also allowed half an hour a day for physical stuff which will likely be a mix of garden football, bike riding, gymnastics practice and the fantastic Cosmic Kids Yoga videos on You Tube.
Activities that Will Let Me Work
I’m planning to let the kids watch a half an hour educational TV show after lunch everyday which will allow me a short block of time to get some blogging bits done. This is followed by reading when hopefully I can then carry on working although I might want to read to them some days, so we’ll see.
They’ll then have an hour of free play. I’m hoping to work in that time too but I suspect in the early days there will be a lot of repeating “I’m bored” until they eventually accept that I’m not going to provide them with any entertainment in that hour.
Why I’ve Planned it this Way
I’ve kept activities to 30 minutes slots because I know my kids have short attention spans. I do plan to be flexible and if things take more or less time we will adjust, this is just a starting point.
I’ve put most of the things that require my input in the morning, this is because I know that by the afternoon, my patience will be wearing thin. Things the kids find hard are also earlier in the day because it’s when they work best.
I’ve put our “lazy day” in the middle of the week to break things up. I suspect that by Wednesday we’ll be glad of a day where we don’t really need to communicate with each other too much.
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