Work From Home – Learn From Home
During the last two weeks students across the United States have enjoyed spring break or an unscheduled break from school. School districts prepared at record pace how our children are going to continue learning in the interim or for the remainder of this school year. Most of us are not teachers, yet we’ve be tasked with creating a learning environment from home while at the same time juggling our own work or shift to working remotely. While I sit back and think of how I can make my children as successful as possible from home, I realized the rules I set for my own remote work environment are similar to what they’ll need. Viola!
Create a Space
Find a space where your child will be most productive. It doesn’t have to be a dedicated home office space, but think of a location where your child won’t be distracted. That might be at the kitchen table or counter, couch, back patio if the weather is nice, or even in their own room. Let them know it’s their work space, and you’re making sure the distractions are at a minimum. This may mean removing technology or pets from the space and keeping the area quiet. While I can listen to music and TV in the background, children will have a harder time filtering that out.
Talk to your kids about what work is expected and when you expect it to be done. In our home we have the kids “check in” their technology at the start of the day. That includes their TV remotes, tablets, phones, gaming devices, etc. They get to keep their laptops for school work. After our morning walk and breakfast, the kids know it’s time to log into their school district portal to start work. When they log in is really up to them, but they don’t get to check out their technology until their work is done. This gives them independence in their job but clear expectations.
Just as a good manager does, peek in on them and ask if there is anything they need while they work. This also lets them know they aren’t alone and allows you to see if they need help before they become frustrated.
Set a Schedule
Some children just crave a schedule. Right now, as things are changing almost daily, mimicking their current school schedule might be the stabilizing force they need to feel calm. In our last EVŌ Insider we talked about finding the trigger that makes you feel like your work day is starting while working from home. Kids need this, too.
As parents we’re not going to fulfill a complete 6 hour school day, but if you can start the day off on a similar schedule, it helps. This includes waking up at the same time, breakfast time, morning work time, and lunch time. Remember, you’re still working as well, so late nights aren’t going to make for easy mornings. We recommend 7-9 hours of sleep per night, and EVŌ will continue to monitor your sleep and set your sleep goal.
The Classroom Coworkers
Your kids’ teachers and the other parents are all in the same boat. Just as quickly as some people had to get used to working remotely, teachers used their spring break time to upload lesson plans or prepare printed versions for distribution. If you’re stuck on an assignment with your child, reach out to the teacher. They are the Project Managers to help remove the block.
Reach out to other parents in the classroom for help. Some schools will use Google Classroom, Classroom Dojo, Remind, and you might have neighbors on Nextdoor who can all help.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Many districts use what’s called small group instruction. See if your child can start a video chat with other classmates to figure out the assignment together.
Take a Break & Have an Open Door Policy
I’ve always ascribed that if I’m working on something, and it’s taking me more than 20 minutes to figure it out, I get up and walk away for a break. Let your kids know this is OK for them to do. Frustration within the confines of a home can get to a bubbling point, and it’s OK to just take a breather.
Encourage your kids to take a break for a drink or even a few minutes of activity. The work will be there when they return to it, and the problem may be easier to figure out with a clearer head.
Let your kids “complain to management” about what’s going on. The best thing we can do is make sure they are heard just as we would do with any team we manage.
Be Kind To Yourself
I fully admit I am not the parent that will have four craft projects, three home cooked meals, two acts of kindness, and one daily affirmation on the ready for my kids. Lunches won’t be gourmet or even made from scratch. I will phone it in, and I’m OK with it. You have permission to be OK with it for yourself, too! Every day you can put two feet on the ground and say, “Let’s do this” is a day you and your kids have already won.
Be Well and EVŌ On! #EVO
Sr. Director of Product Development