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How To Balance Homeschooling, Work Life And The Rest



How To Balance Homeschooling, Work Life And The Rest

The coronavirus pandemic and all that it’s meant to the way we live our lives is now approaching it’s one year milestone here in the UK. Not a milestone any of us want to celebrate, the pandemic has been responsible for much stress worry, heartache, grief and sadness. It’s also caused significant and challenging changes to how we live, work and socialise. 

Another huge change has been the way our children are being educated. Whilst home learning has been around for many decades for those who choose it, the concept of homeschooling for the majority of us is completely new, and very daunting. 

Throw into the mix the fact that we might be working from home, we all need to share the same kitchen table, laptop, mobile device and internet connection, and we can become extremely overwhelmed. Especially so with kids who become bored quickly and need entertaining

How we juggle all these different, and new, aspects of life will differ for each one of us. But our first piece of advice for coping with all that now needs to be done from home, is to know that you’re not alone. So many people are struggling with this entirely new situation, even those who look like they’re leading a perfect life on social media. 

Secondly, don’t forget the importance of routine. Just like if your children were at school and you were in the office, you’d have scheduled times for meetings, calls, snack breaks and lunchtimes. Having a routine is tricky when your environment is so different, especially for little ones. But trying your best to stick to planned times, even if that means working and learning for half an hour at a time with frequent five or ten minute breaks. 

That said, your routine may well differ from someone else’s. You might be more productive in the evening, whilst next door are all up and out learning through play in the garden before the sun has even risen. Your routine is ok. It’s also ok if you’ve tried, but you just can’t get the family into a rhythm. Here it’s important to remember that simply getting to the end of each day is worthy of celebration. 

Having a head clearing lunchtime walk can be enormously helpful for resetting for the afternoon. If you have a partner at home or childcare arrangements, getting out by yourself can give you the breather you need, despite the weather. 

If you need or want to bring the kids, try to add some learning in at the same time. You can talk about the changing seasons, climate change, local architecture or see how many different animals, insects or birds you can spot. Learning doesn’t just have to be from a book or a laptop. Taking note of all that surrounds us is learning, and can ease some of the guilt you may feel over your homeschooling abilities. (Which are great, by the way.) 

Healthy meal planning can add another element of stress to a long to-do list. So it can be helpful to set aside time at the weekend to plan your meals for the week. Although it will take time from your weekend, it will mean less time spent trying to throw something together during the week. Our easy store cupboard essential meals can help to ease the burden.

Finally, try not to have too many high expectations. Living through these times is a tough experience, without the added pressure of what we “should” be doing, feeling, managing or achieving. Talk to other working parents who are working and teaching from home, and hopefully both parties will gain comfort from knowing that no one is alone and this won’t last forever. You’ve 100% got this. 

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