Build a Routine
Just like in our last Work from Home Tips guide (https://bit.ly/3bPbtvQ ) the number one thing to do is set a schedule. Amy Joyce and Mari-Jane Williams at the Washington Post and Courtney Connley at CNBC list “Set[ting] a schedule” as their number one tip. Scheduling when your children will wake up, when they will eat, when they will do chores, and when they will have some fun will help give them structure to their day. This will help you stay on schedule too!
Help Them Build Independence
That being said, overscheduling can also be an issue! As important as a structure is to your children’s learning and growth, making sure they have time to decide what they want to do is equally as important! You can help your children “cultivate freedom and independence by learning how to entertain themselves” (Glicksman, 2020). Ensure your children have time that is entirely theirs, to do with as they see fit. Not only will this help your child find ways to entertain themselves, but also ensure you can have an hour to yourself as well!
Don’t Skip Recess:
Are you taking time to get up, stretch, and get some water during your workday? Your child will need some fun and exercise too! Physical activity is often built into children’s normal schedules through recess and physical education classes. And these are things that can be built into your schedule to keep YOU healthy too! David Crotty at The Scholarly Kitchen writes “Get outside if you can, go for a walk, go shoot some baskets at a local court, or just run around the yard/block” (Schonfeld et. al, 2020). When my mother and I would take long walks during my middle school years, we always would play “Favorites”, or list our five of our favorite things like, “Top Five Favorite Breakfast Foods”, or “Top Ten Countries You Want to Visit”! These 30 minutes of activity can be a great way to exercise, get your mind off work, and build a closer bond within your family.
Maintain Their Social Life
Avni Patel Thompson from the Harvard Business Review notes the idea of “Virtual Play Dates” for children. For younger children this can be easy as “catching up and coloring together”. (Patel Thompson, 2020). The major thing is making sure your children have access to their peers outside of their virtual school day. As much as you’re attempting to maintain your social connections, your children should be too! You might also want to set your older children up with video and audio-sharing apps to make this a little easier.
Click on the "Social Resources" tab to find resources about staying social!
Be Patient with Yourself
We are living in very strange and very stressful times. It is impossible to be our best selves constantly. If we, as fully grown adults, are having trouble adjusting to social isolation and working from home, imagine what your children are going through. We are all struggling to find a new ‘normal’. Give yourself grace. And a lot of kudos. This isn’t an easy time, but we’re all in it together.
Courtney Courtney, 5 Tips for Effectively Working from Home During Coronavirus Outbreak, When You Have Kid, CNBC (Mar. 16, 2020, 3:52 PM), https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/16/how-to-work-from-home-with-your-kids-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.html.
Eve Glicksman, Working from Home with Kids? How to Manage the Impossible, SHRM (Mar. 23, 2020), https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/employee-relations/pages/working-from-home-with-kids-coronavirus.aspx.
Amy Joyce & Mari-Jane Williams,. Parenting during coronavirus: What to know about play dates, online learning and more, Washington Post. (Mar. 25, 2020), https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2020/03/14/parenting-tips-coronavirus/.
Avni Patel Thompson, A Guide for Working (From Home) Parents, Harvard Business Review (Mar. 19, 2020), https://hbr.org/2020/03/a-guide-for-working-from-home-parents.
Roger Schonfeld et al,, Parenting School Aged Children Through a Pandemic, The Scholarly Kitchen (Mar. 19, 2020), https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2020/03/19/parenting-school-aged-children-through-a-pandemic/.
Cheryl Wischhover, Working from Home with Kids Feels Unsustainable. Here’s How to Ease the Burden, Vox Media (Mar. 25, 2020, 11:50 AM), https://www.vox.com/identities/2020/3/25/21193142/coronavirus-covid-19-kids-work-from-home-child-care-school-cancellations.
With school closures occurring for students ages 0 to 100, MacMillan Library understands a lot of our patrons may be working from home with children. With this guide, we hope to provide you with resources for not only helping with your schedule, but your family as well!
Download these tips as a PDF below
For Pre-K children:
Georgia’s Pre-K at Home
Georgia's Department of Education and Early learning will offer “Georgia Pre-K At Home” on its website at www.decal.ga.gov. The page will include educational resources divided into four categories including Storytime, Virtual Field Trips, Let’s Go Outside, and Screen-Free Time. Activities will be based on the Georgia Early Learning and Development Standards (GELDS) and intentionally involve simple household items and include daily activities that focus on reading, math, spelling, etc.
For all ages:
Georgia Home Classroom
In partnership with the Georgia Department of Education, GPB is broadcasting informational programming aimed at students of all ages that align with Georgia standards. These include lessons in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies, with many more resources in their High School Content Collections! You can even sign up for their newsletter. https://www.gpb.org/blogs/education-matters/2020/03/17/gpb-education-offers-daily-e-learning-newsletter-during-school
Georgia Department of Education
The Georgia Department of Education’s Curriculum and Instruction Page contains a wide variety of resources to support your children’s education. These resources range from self-care to digital learning resources. Their page also lists frequent announcements, so be sure to follow it!
For older children:
Trello is a free, online scheduling system. With an easy-to-use, drag and drop style, this digital pinboard allows you to make lists of tasks you need to accomplish during your day. Creating three lists of “Things to do”, “Doing”, and “Done” can help you and your child keep track of what needs to be done during the day, what they’re working on, and what they’ve completed without too much interruptive check-in!
For All Ages:
The Open Physical Education Network
This resource by the Online Physical Education Network has resources for children ranging from Elementary School through High School, along with family activities to help keep your healthy and fit!
For younger children:
Children's Museum of Atlanta
The Children’s Museum of Atlanta is putting out daily activities that children can do! This resource puts out story times, science facts, and so much more. Often these are videos that include discussion questions and can be accessed any time.
For All Ages:
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Live cams of a variety of aquatic creatures, ranging from sharks to birds to jellyfish, are sure to be a perfect background or keep your children entertained! For younger children, you could ask them what kinds of aquatic creatures they see, and maybe ask them to find ten facts about whatever creature they like best.
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History has a variety of interesting, educational resources to keep all ages engaged. From classes, to quizzes, to virtual tours, this site is great one for children interested in animals, dinosaurs, and more!