Many of you have been given the opportunity (or let’s say, the challenge) of teaching from home for at LEAST the next few weeks because of school closures.
I am definitely used to working at home with kids around. My five amazing children are awesome, but I know how overwhelming it can be to work and make sure you are caring for your family, especially when children have been impacted by school and day care closures as well. Here are some tips on how to teach from home when you have kids!
Set up a schedule.
You’ve all seen homeschool schedules going around the internet. Schedules for your kids can be helpful not only for them but for you as well! You don’t have to make everything scheduled down to the minute. Give your kids a menu of options to complete within the hour, for example. This works best if your children are able to work independently on at least some tasks.
Also, make sure to give yourself flexibility and grace. Do you think the first schedule I set up with my kids worked perfectly? No way! Adapt and change as needed. You may have a sick kid at home or arguments to settle. It will take some time to have your kids practice and get used to their schedule.
In addition, try to set up your own schedule. Put it side by side with your kids, or if you have multiple children like me, set it up on a white board or poster paper. When I know I want to be on Zoom helping teachers, for example, I have my older kids reading silently. Find something that works for you. Get your kids’ input to set up their schedule as well!
This may not work for those of you that have very young children, but my older four all can help out around the house and get things done. They know when mom is on a call or working on curriculum, they should only interrupt in an emergency.
Of course, the youngest is a different story, but they can often check on my daughter and play with her while I work.
Playing together is a vital part of learning. Not every part of their at-home learning day has to be academic with rigor!
Set up learning/working spaces.
Productivity is a product of organization and environment. When my space is crazy messy, it’s harder to get things done. If you have an office, work from there. If your kids are little, you may want to keep them in the room with activities and comfortable places to sit and move around.
For “live teaching” via Zoom or other services, make sure your space is clean. Some people like to use “virtual backgrounds”, but I love for students and other teachers to see my space and know that I am a real person, helping them and staying home to be safe and healthy as well!
Check out my video on how to use Zoom with your class!
Don’t reinvent the wheel.
If you are working from home and have your kids at home, you’re probably feeling pretty overwhelmed right now. I definitely am.
You can make it easier on yourself by using at-home learning resources for your students and your own children.
Save some time on creating materials and lesson planning so you can take back that time with your family.
You don’t have to create everything from scratch and spend hours planning.
Take time for you.
Mental health for our students and children is so important, but don’t forget to focus on your own self-care. Take a lunch break with your own kids, connect with your spouse in the evening, and even watch a mindless TV show or read a fun book. Your mental health is important, and we can all do this!
Just imagine how amazing classrooms next year will be if every teacher takes time now to relax and refresh!
For my self care time, I had my husband color my gray roots!
Give Yourself Grace.
It’s not going to be perfect. It won’t look like something you have seen on Pinterest. One day will be fine and the next will be a hot mess.
That’s life! Go with it.
Give yourself a hug. Give your kids a hug.
If your kids run around while you are trying to do a Zoom lesson, roll with the punches! It’s not a big deal. Your students will love it.
In fact, do less than you think you should.
I hope that these tips help you to learn how to work from home with kids!
Have a Not So Wimpy day,