10 Clever Tips for Working at Home While Homeschooling This Year 

Sep 23, 2020 by

To say it’s a challenge to balance homeschooling your children while working from home (WFH) is a little like calling the Rocky Mountains “hills.” Hello, Mr. Understatement. 

You need all the help you can get to keep your sanity and get everything done. The following ten clever tips can help you WFH while keeping your homeschool scholar on track academically. 

1. Use Your Planners

Both you and your child will benefit from using a planner to stay on top of tasks. Sit down together each Sunday when making the weekly family schedule. 

Hold each other accountable by making your daily to-do lists together. At the end of each day, sit down and review that day’s accomplishments. Assign time estimates to each task and adjust these each day as necessary. 

2. Discuss the Best Schedule

One benefit of WFH arrangements and homeschooling share is increased schedule flexibility. Since you have more freedom, why not make it work for both of you? 

Sit down and discuss scheduling needs with your kids. Teens might benefit from waking up later due to their circadian rhythm — use the early morning to knock out your tasks free from interruption. You could even plan a day at the shore to find fossils for a dinosaur unit if you synchronize your watches. 

3. Set Designated Study/Work Areas 

You won’t accomplish much if you waste time fighting over one work desk. Create separate study and workspaces, even if you don’t have a dedicated home office. 

You can use inexpensive room dividers to give an illusion of privacy if you set up your desk on one end of the living area while your 5th grader takes the other. If one of you must use the kitchen table, then set a dedicated snack schedule to minimize interruptions. 

4. Create a Do Not Disturb Signal 

Do you know how hotel rooms contain “do not disturb signs?” You need one for when you need to make a conference call or complete a detailed expense report. 

You could swipe some from your recent stay, but the tourism industry took a hit in this pandemic — think beyond that option. If your children are young, you might don a “thinking cap” that tells them to leave you alone. If your kids can read, a sign will do — you can hang one on a lanyard around your neck. 

5. Have Lunch Together 

It can feel lonely to share a roof without talking. Why not plan to take lunch together? 

While eating with your kid doesn’t substitute for noshing with colleagues — and they’ll miss their friends — you both enjoy a welcome break. Your conversations about your respective mornings can help bring you closer. 

6. Take Mini Breaks 

According to productivity experts, you should work for 52 minutes, followed by a 17-minute break for maximum efficiency. During crunch time, you can’t check email or social media — adhere to the task at hand. Save such measures for your breaks. 

What can you do while you rest? Try to step away from the laptop, if possible. Take a short walk around the block with your kiddo instead — the fresh air benefits you both. 

7. Get Meal Prep on Point 

Even though you are both at home, that doesn’t mean you’ll spend less time bellyaching over what to eat. Tripping over each other when you need a quick snack is no fun. 

Instead, get the family in on your meal prep game. When you prepare dinners on a Sunday, cut up veggies and fruit and dole out dip into individual containers. It now takes two seconds to grab celery and hummus — aah, 

8. Locate Available Resources

While supplies understandably run low, you can still find free technology resources for your homeschool student. Please take advantage of these — it can prove challenging for two little learners to share one computer. 

You can also find online enrichment activities. Many museums and science centers now offer virtual tours. Some libraries allow you to check out materials online then pick them up curbside — while maintaining social distancing. 

9. Troubleshoot Technology Woes 

Another issue that can cause woes is a lack of connectivity. If you have the means, research your options for staying connected. Many wireless carriers now offer unlimited hotspots for when your internet service provider drops. 

If you live in a rural area, an older phone may not offer enough connectivity for multiple devices to stream video chats. You might need a stronger portable tool to keep you online. 

10. Lean on Your Support System 

Finally, you need to catch a break from time to time. If your spouse works outside of the home, see if you can stagger your schedules so that he can watch the kids for part of your shift. 

It’s not only the quiet work time you need. Everyone deserves a night out sometimes. Find a reliable sitter you screen well and trust to enjoy date night — even if you only stroll in the park. 

Use These 10 Clever Tips to Balance Working at Home While Homeschooling 

If you are a WFH parent who is homeschooling their kid, you deserve a medal. The ten tips above can help you as you continue your challenging journey. 

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