When COVID-19 entered all of our lives, it disrupted many aspects of society, leaving us all looking for ways to stay calm and sane. One of these disruptions was school.
School has always been essential for the development of children, not just for academic learning. It’s also a critical component of our economy.
If our children did not have someplace to go five days a week, how are most people with day jobs supposed to work?
The pandemic has caused many parents to work remotely and balance their responsibilities while helping their children with remote schooling. It’s a lot!
If you’re one of these parents, here are five tips to help you juggle remote learning and working from home.
1. Plan Thoroughly to Avoid Stress
Like with many things in life, it’s crucial to have a plan when it comes to balancing work and remote learning.
This approach means blending your child’s academic schedule and your work schedule. Many things factor in, such as:
- When are your child’s classes?
- Do they have free periods (like lunch or recess?)
- What will be the requirements for online learning? (technology, learning materials, etc.)
- When does their school day end?
A big issue for both of you will be scheduling. For this to work, you’ll have to be creative with how you budget your time for your job. It could be you’re waking up earlier and going to bed later to get assignments completed.
2. Burn the Candle at Both Ends
Sometimes you can “burn the candle at both ends,” so-to-speak. This opportunity is when you can be doing work while also keeping an eye on your child’s assignments.
An example of this is when you are on a large, company-wide call. These are the types of calls when you phone in or connect on Zoom, but everyone’s video and audio are off. This setup allows you to be more mobile.
You can have your phone in your pocket and one earbud in your ear listening while you do other things. That could be other house tasks or sitting with your child while they do their work. Of course, this is not ideal and something mental health therapists wouldn’t normally suggest. But these are not normal times and this method can help in certain situations.
3. Make a Game of Remote Work and Learning
Why not make work and school fun? Looking for ways to help kids manage school changes in an engaging way can also help you feel more focused on your work knowing they’re having a little fun. Set aside a day during the week when you and your child get to “dress-up” for work. You put on your business suit that has been gathering dust now for months. Your child puts on their best clothes, too.
Both of you sit down together at your “co-working space” (aka, the kitchen table) and pretend to be workmates! It’s worth a try, and it affords you the chance for both you and your child to spend time together while getting assignments completed.
4. Avoid Putting Everyone Else First
Working from home and remote learning creates a tricky combination beyond just scheduling issues. You want to ensure your child is learning and staying on track with their studies while also making sure you’re managing screen time beyond the virtual classroom, so you’ll bend over backward to make that happen.
But you also have a job and work responsibilities. And in this economic climate, you don’t want to do anything that would jeopardize your position. Yet, here’s the thing; you can’t please everyone. And focusing on living with presence in the moment can help you realize that.
At some point, you’ll forget your child had an assignment due for school. Or, there won’t be enough hours in the day to get all of your and your child’s work done.
In those moments, be kind to yourself. Know that many are going through the same situation as you are.
5. Ask for Help
There’s no shame in asking for help, especially during these times. Consider the resources that might be available to you, such as:
- Your spouse or partner with whom you could divide and conquer responsibilities (granted, this isn’t always an option, especially if you’re a single parent).
- Extended family or friends
- Ask your child’s teachers or principal how their school or the district could help
- Connect with other parents in discussion forums to exchange ideas and also vent.
- Talk with your company or organization about what options they offer (work flexibility, etc.).
Mental Health Therapist in Columbus
Working from home while guiding your child through online schooling isn’t easy. It can sometimes seem impossible. If you’re struggling to make this happen and keep all the balls in the air, talk to a counselor today about how therapy can help. You’re certainly not alone as many navigate this tough situation during the pandemic. Blue Boat Counseling offers online therapy to help with the stress and anxiety you may be feeling. Contact us today to schedule an online appointment with one of our Columbus therapists. We’re here for you.