Working from home or stay at home situation gives us the ability to stay present all the time for our family.
If you want to homeschool, you may think that you have plenty of time, but it can get overwhelming at times. Attending meetings while preparing lunch, unlimited snacks, warming and rewarming your cup of morning coffee, etc.
We decided to homeschool our toddler while working from home. It was hard to find a balance at first but we got a hang of it eventually.
Here are some of the tips that helped us.
- Make Homeschooling and Work from Home schedule
Planning ahead and scheduling helps a lot. It could make one feel productive and less overwhelmed. Once you get into the habit of planning it becomes really therapeutic because you feel like you are in control.
Here is how I plan my day.
Take a simple daily planner and plan your day ahead. You can also put daily routine on your refrigerator.
- Prioritize — Pomodoro Technique
You know your child and you know your work from home situation. Prioritizing increases efficiency.
I schedule my meetings/calls when kids have quite time. They are fed and there is less chance of background noise, whereas I do some of the work that does not require 100% focus while I am preparing lunch or cleaning. Meal planning helps a lot as well.
For our toddler we start with important subjects that need undivided attention first.
Let’s talk about Pomodoro technique I started using it when I was studying and found it very helpful. This method uses a timer to break times into intervals. We use one of those cute little timer that you may have seen in your grand ma’s kitchen in shape of apple, chicky or cat.
I do not put timer on my phone because of notifications and social media distraction.
- Homeschool Curriculum — Keep It Simple
There are so many things you can find on the internet and offline. I would suggest keep it simple. Start from the very basics.
I make lesson plans in the beginning of the month and try to follow them.
I have couple of books and workbooks that I use and my lesson plan will be like
Big Preschool Book. Pg#300
Writing practice Number 1 Letter C
My First Encyclopedia Pg# 19, etc.
It goes up to Day 30.
You can make weekly or bi weekly lesson plans.
Then I check the homework we completed and move the topics that we haven’t completed to next day.
For Kindergarten curriculum:
For Mathematics we have one Mathematics book.
Reading, General Knowledge and Science is covered by My First Encyclopedia.
We got some Sight words flash cards.
That is pretty much it for the Kindergarten curriculum.
We try our best that whatever she watches on TV or tablet it’s educational.
If you want me to share the list of our favorite apps for toddlers let me know in the comments.
Then we have pencils and Jumbo Chalks.
If you find it difficult to teach correct pencil grip to your child I would suggest investing in pencil grip holders they will make your job a lot easier.
Sometimes we use writing tablet for scribbling and doodling.
- Include Fun Activities
When you are working from home and kids are home all the time it gets hard to keep them busy, but no screen time activities are extremely important.
Take them for a walk or to the park it will give you a break too. Indoor you can make a fort, pasta beading, edible play dough, slime making, play with old Tupperware, painting, laundry folding, etc.
Have a family exercise/dancing time. It is as good as meditation.
- Be Flexible
2020 taught us really well that nothing is permanent, long term planning can easily go down the drain and we should cherish little happiness in life. So stay flexible, it is ok if you missed a day, its ok if you ate instant noodles in dinner, its ok if you had a mental breakdown. Mom and Dad you are doing great. Whether you are working from home or a Stay at home Parent you are doing your best for the family. We are in this together.
- Family Time
It is very important to have family time. At dinner time put your phones and computer down. Eat together, watch a show with family. Tidy up living area. Prepare for tomorrow and go to bed.
- Design your weekends.
Keep your weekends for grocery runs, home projects and cleaning. Try to involve and include your kids in all of these things because there is so much books can teach. Inclusion in home projects can teach a kid patience, discipline and responsibility plus you get to spend quality time together, win win.