Schools are closed. People are working remotely. You are at home 24×7 with the kids. You have your hands full – Managing your work and deadlines, their school work and their deadlines, breakfast, lunch, dinner, safety precautions against the virus and whatever little free time you’re left with. 

I feel you!

I was not sure how to get this done – Running a business remotely, keeping two kids occupied and entertained at home, managing their safety and providing their meals.  We thought parenting was hard, now we have parenting and teaching to manage simultaneously!

I wanted to share some of the tips and tricks I’ve started using that have helped me through these challenging times. Now it is only the first day and I may refine my strategy as we go along and see what works and what doesn’t.

Start with a routine

I thought routine would be exactly what the kids need need to be as disciplined as they are at school. So here we go…

Home school starts at 9 am everyday. So before that we all get up and get ready just as we were going to school and to work. This puts the kids and myself psychologically into work/study mode. We have breakfast and head over to each of our ‘spots’ in the house to work. iPads and books are ready at their stations.

Set up a learning schedule

I also built a daily schedule based on the kids’ school subjects. I added recreational breaks and a lunch break as if it were a normal school day. Along with that, I added their outdoor time, packing in activities like biking and walking to get some exercise in. 

Next, I set some rules…

  1. During study time, no one moves from their desk until work is done. But of course, they can ask for support.
  2. While mummy is on the phone handling work, no one is allowed to disturb.
  3. Timing should be respected – Once break is over, everyone needs to get back at their stations.

Put up a timetable

You’ve got a great homeschooling plan in place, now comes the execution. A weekly timetable will help bring order and structure to your kids’ daily routines. We can plan the day and more importantly, the kids know exactly how to go by their day, with a designated time for studying and for having fun.

Bonus – You won’t have to deal with tantrums and lengthy discussions about what they need to do and constant questions of what is next. 

Below is an example of the timetable I have put together. Both kids have a copy and they refer to it. I do have to sit at the beginning of each lesson and go through the list of things to do, so they don’t have to keep coming up to me for help during the lesson.

You can access the timetable right here, and download and customize it to suit your kids’ schedule.

I am trying to look at the silver lining amidst all the disruption caused by the Coronavirus outbreak. As working parents, we barely have time to see the kids and engage with them. We’re always in a hurry to get things done and are always stressed out around dinner or bed time after work. So why not turn this time into an opportunity to bond with your kids?!