Homeschooling – the new way to work

We can face down the virus, we can cope with loo roll hoarding (you know who you are), but then they closed the schools. The speed of which this situation has escalated to such an extent has taken people by surprise. Things aren’t in place, we don’t have childcare to rely on, we have education folders, lesson plans and suggested reading materials. But let’s just take a breath and figure out how this will work.

We have put together a few suggestions to try and help you balance all your plates, without losing your mind*

*we don’t guarantee that you won’t lose your mind. It is possible.

Have a team meeting

You are all in this together so sit down over the weekend and talk about how you are going to work together. It’s not preaching to the converted, but kids appreciate communication and honesty. Set the parameters and talk through what your expectations are over this time. HOPEFULLY they will listen, and MAYBE they will adhere to it.

Set realistic objectives

Everyone likes to have a goal in sight but having it too far away makes it unmotivating. You aren’t going to manage a full school day, with no TV breaks and do a full day of work. All it will do is push you closer to the edge. Setting realistic objectives such as helping your child finish a chapter in a book, listening to them going through a times table and sending the weekly report to your boss, followed by a walk and a glass of wine. Highly achievable and very realistic.

Instil independence

Introduce some time in the day when you and your kids and do activities independent of each other.  Things that don’t require supervision such as reading, listening to a story CD, writing a short story (them) whilst you manically reel off a P&L, write a blog, complete the invoices for the month, send 20 emails and have a cup of tea. How much you can achieve in an hour is astounding.

Introduce flexible working

You could write the routine in blood, on a stone, and it still won’t run to schedule. Being flexible and accepting that some days they won’t want to follow your plans, and maybe neither will you. Breath, put the routine in the recycling and try again tomorrow.

Set boundaries

Whether you have a desk or not, make sure the kids know where your ‘do not disturb’ space is. And guard it. This is your safe space to make calls, be professional and not have your kids running into the room having just gone to the loo (google the video).

See the bigger picture

This is difficult at the moment. But remember, as with childbirth, this will end. Maybe not tomorrow but soon, and normal life will resume, and you will be able to buy toilet paper without getting elbowed out the way. You can’t do everything, and you shouldn’t put that sort of pressure on yourself. Remain calm, prioritise what you need to do and keep reminding yourself that by keeping working, you are helping to keep a business going, keep people in work and keep the world spinning. That’s pretty great.