With so many people practicing self-isolation and working from home we asked Rachel Kerr, MS Queensland ambassador, for her tips to balancing working from home with two young kids.
1. Ask your kid’s teacher for help or resources
- A lot of them have apps or online programs they can recommend. The Queensland Department of Education also has stacks of resources by year level.
- I’ve got the resources for both Tate and Sophia’s year level and also the year above them, to provide a challenge sometimes.
- I give them printed workbooks or dedicated apps, which buys me 20 minute blocks to have a meeting or focus my brain on a tricky work task.
2. Don’t feel pressured to set it up like school
- We have work to do inside each day to practice reading and writing, but
- We also planted a veggie garden and the kids are in charge of watering it each day and monitoring plant growth.
- Cooking is also one of my go to activities when they’re “schooled out” so they can learn things without even knowing it.
3. Schedule your work tasks like you would any other day, use a to-do list or your email calendar system. Then fit the school work around that.
- Also, sometimes you may need to work later than normal to get everything done. I did 3 hours of focused work last night which saved me from potentially 5 hours’ worth when it’s done around lessons for the kids.
- Consider the “other” stuff” your kids do at school that they’re missing and try to replicate them. Both my kids love P..E. so we break at morning tea for a jump on the trampoline or a play on the motorbikes.
- Social interactions with their friends are hard to replicate but I try to play games with them using their rules and ideas. I’m not the mum in that space I’m just another person with absolutely no say in the rules. They have a blast and I learn some cool stuff watching them interact. Also, board games. They both love it and don’t think they’re doing school, but they take turns at being the banker and reading the cards and spaces. It all helps.
Having a supportive employer AND educators make this ride a whole lot easier! Another bonus is a great partner who can adjust his workload according to what’s on my work schedule and the kids school plan for the week.