In case we didn’t realize already, many of us have become even more aware of how incredible our children’s teachers are and the work that they do. During the COVID-19 pandemic, schools across the country have been closed indefinitely. Students have been sent home, and parents have been asked to adopt a homeschooling model.
Figuring out how to juggle working from home—on top of homeschooling our kids—is a new frontier many of us have never journeyed on. Here are a few quick tips to help make the day run a little smoother.
Kids are used to following a strict schedule. Bells ring at set times and teachers fit their lesson plans into time-sensitive allotted periods. Take advantage of this built out plan your kids already follow. Create a schedule where homeschooling starts and ends at the same time every day. Carve out time for short breaks, lunchtime, and recess.
Although you will most likely need to rework your schedule a bit to accommodate that of your kids, you’ll be able to strategize time when you will be able to get tasks done or participate in virtual meetings. Most importantly, allow for some flexibility – chances are, your schedules will not align perfectly so adjust when needed. Likewise, many of your staff partners, clients, and vendors are all in the same boat so allow plenty of space for grace as we all learn to navigate this challenging time.
We all have been asked to alter our lives right now. You most likely have created a home office where you can dedicate yourself to your work while working from home. Do the same for your kids. Make sure their workspace is clean, organized, and free of distractions. Maybe investigate noise-canceling headphones for them to wear so they stay more focused when working on their computers or iPads.
For both you and your kids, this is an opportunity to gain independence in your work/school day. Take advantage of it and make it unique to you and your work schedule. We all need to know how to take a task or project and complete it. Teach your kids to take timed-out chunks of their day to accomplish certain tasks. Perhaps it’s 60 minutes of reading or 30 minutes of math equations. Let them set a timer and see how much they can accomplish in that time. Although as parents, we may be giving them a structure to follow – allow them to exercise some independence.
Try to keep all of this in perspective. We are all doing our best to be our best during this challenging time. Allow for flexibility, grace, and understanding as we figure out how to work from home while homeschooling. As entrepreneurs, many of us are used to working with little direction and flying by the seat of our pants– so embrace it and help your kids find excitement and fun throughout their “new school days.”
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Derek Rundell, is a successful business leader, operator, and serial entrepreneur. Derek has founded, managed and sold businesses in the technology, media and finance industries. He sits on several boards and serves as an advisor/investor to numerous established businesses and startups. Startups are Derek’s real passion, and in addition to building his own portfolio of technology, media and financial ventures, he invests in and mentors startups and entrepreneurs. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and helping other businesses succeed.