How To Balance Homeschooling And Working From Home
I’m a planner, so if I’m going to manage our new normality I need a plan.
In simple terms, a plan makes me feel comfortable. It means that I can have a little stability in this seemingly unstable world. It’s my coping mechanism. It’s my comfort blanket. Plus, I know that my children like a routine and they like to know what is happening.
But the biggest thing is, if we don’t have a plan time will feel like it is going a lot more slowly. We will waste this precious opportunity we have to spend quality time together making memories. And worst of all, I can see us getting on each others’ nerves through boredom.
That’s why I need a plan. A plan that takes into account everyone’s needs so we all know what is going on.
- Hubby works for a company and so needs to complete his daily workload.
- I need to work on my business.
- My daughter is in year 2 and has homework to complete.
- And my son, who is in Preschool, just needs to be occupied.
So as you can see, not straightforward.
Here’s what I did to create our weekly routine.
- Create a schedule
I created a simple template knowing when our day was going to start and when it would finish. I then split each day into 30 minute slots.
- Identify what needs to happen every day
Obviously, there will be some things that we will be doing every day. Like getting ready, eating, getting some fresh air, exercise and FaceTime. These are the activities that have helped to create the general structure for our day. The activities that are familiar to us as daily activities.
Examples of daily activities:
- Getting ready in the morning
- Having breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks
- Going for a walk
- Bedtime routine
- Free play
- Identify the activities that need to happen generally during the week
Fortunately, my daughter’s school has been really good at setting work for her, suggesting how often she does it and for how long. I’ve then taken that and adapted it for my son.
I’ve then identified other things that they might like to do like crafting, outside activity and cooking. Plus one of my school mum friends has set up a daily zoom call for the class which the children really look forward to.
As for me, I need to fit in about 5 hours of work a day plus time to do household chores and exercise. Hubby’s needs are very similar, although he needs to work more hours!
Examples of other activities:
- Zoom call with class
- Cooking / baking
- House chores
- Decide the duration of each of the activities
The last thing to do is decide roughly how long each activity needs to be. Whatever you decide now is obviously not set in stone as when you start to create the plan it will change.
Examples of durations:
- Breaktimes – 30 minutes
- Going for a walk – 30 minutes
- Bedtime routine – 45 minutes
- Free play – 30 minutes
- FaceTime – 30 minutes
- Learning – depends on subject
- Zoom call with class – 30 minutes
- Cooking / baking – one hour
- Crafting – one hour
- Populate your schedule
You now have all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle. Now you just need to complete the jigsaw and create the plan. By using a worksheet I was able to move things around to fit. I also used a colour code to make it easier to see what was happening when.
My first step was to put in the activities from step 2 so that I could create a framework. I then allocated the activities from step 3 for the children first. I could then see where I had time to do things and how it was going to work with hubby working.
And finally, some words of advice.
Although I instigated putting the plan together, I have involved the family so that we have agreed what we’re doing. I’ve learnt that everyone is more likely to go along with things if they’ve had their say.
I’m still tweaking our plan, as we work out what actually works for us. It’s great having it written down but that doesn’t mean it will work for us first time.
Other things to consider. Just because you have a plan doesn’t mean you have to be rigid. If it’s not working change it. If you want to spend more time doing something then do it. And most of all, make sure that the weekdays feel different from the weekends. We may all be at home but that doesn’t mean we can’t make it feel a little normal.
That’s ‘How To Balance Homeschooling And Working From Home’ according to Mummy on a Break.
Have you got a plan?
You might also like to read ‘How to survive and thrive as a family in this uncertain world’
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