By Guest Author
Chatty coworkers make it tough to stay productive on the clock — especially when those chatty coworkers are your kids! Juggling homeschooling while working from home can be a recipe for chaos, but you don’t have to choose between getting things done and being home with your family.
If you love the flexibility that working from home offers but don’t love the distractions, use these tips to help your family work and learn in harmony.
1 Assign everyone a workspace
Dedicated workspaces provide structure — and keep kids out from under your feet. Depending on the size of your home and family, you may dedicate rooms to a home office and homeschool room or set up student desks in the kitchen. Consider if you want to keep kids insight or if they’re old enough to work unsupervised.
2 Set schedules — and boundaries
It’s not enough to dedicate space for working and learning. If you want to keep your family on task, you need to create schedules and routines. Consider how you can schedule your workday to minimize interruptions. For example, you might opt to start early before the kids wake up, plan your most productive hours during nap time, or get everyone settled into their homeschool day before clocking in yourself.
Once you’ve set a schedule, encourage everyone to stick to it. Timers are a great way to show kids how much time they have left before their next break or transition. For yourself, try time management tools like Pomodoro timers or time tracking app like RescueTime.
3 Build breaks into the workday
Needs inevitably come up during the day, whether it is help with a tough homeschool lesson or snack breaks. Instead of getting frustrated when kids interrupt your workday, build frequent, small breaks into your schedule. By scheduling time to attend to family needs, you make your workday more predictable and reduce unscheduled interruptions from kids.
Are you working from home with your spouse? By alternating who takes kid-duty, you both can maximize your uninterrupted work hours.
4 Free up your free time
If your children frequently interrupt you during the workday, it may be because they’re not getting enough attention after hours. Remote workers tend to put in more hours than their on-site colleagues. Combined with household chores and other responsibilities, it can be tough to find time for family time.
If you’re struggling to spend quality time with your kids while everyone is working and learning from home, try scheduling planned family fun, or consider hiring help to reduce your workload. A cleaning service may seem expensive at first, but when you consider the average person spends 13 hours a week doing chores, the price tag doesn’t seem so bad!
5 Keep snacks and drinks stocked
Parents can also minimize interruptions by helping kids help themselves. Prepare healthy snacks the night before so kids can serve themselves during the school day and set up a water station with kid-safe glasses. Don’t forget to prepare some for yourself as well!
6 Use screen time (wisely)
What about the hours that your kids are done learning but you’re still on the clock? If you need a way to keep kids quietly entertained while you’re working, don’t feel guilty about turning to screen time. While experts agree that too much screen time isn’t a good thing, screen quality is more important than screen quantity. Ensure your kids are consuming high-quality content by using tools like Verizon’s Just Kids and Smart Family plans to control what your kids see without standing over their shoulders and remember to talk to them about internet safety.
7 Create a Montessori play space
Younger children can stay occupied with a Montessori play space at home. Designed to be kid-friendly and educational, Montessori environments foster concentration, curiosity, and child development. Attach your Montessori space to your home office or use a video baby monitor to keep an eye on kids from a distance.
8 Enroll in after-school programs
Another option (when it is safe) is enrolling kids in after-school programs. After-school programs don’t just provide peace and quiet at home, they’re also great for kids. After-school programs provide academic support, hands-on learning opportunities, and a fun social environment for children. After-school programs may be offered through public schools, community centers, churches, or your local YMCA. Teens and tweens can get involved in sports, extracurricular activities, or volunteering to keep busy after school. And keep in mind that A2Z Homeschooling offers event listings for local program opportunities to help you too!
Homeschooling while working from home s is a learning process. While these tips will help you create order in your home, don’t expect results overnight. Creating new family habits requires consistency and patience, especially when you have young children at home. However, by sticking to it — and getting help where needed — you can create a homeschooling while working from home environment that works for the whole family.
About The Author:
Lacie Martin created Raise Them Well to help inspire parents to raise their children well by prioritizing love over everything else. She firmly believes that all moms and dads raising kids who know they are loved and cared for are successful parents.