Balancing Virtual Learning and Working from Home – A Guide for Parents
Because of the pandemic, there are 46 states in total that have closed over 91 thousand United States schools, both public and private. This equates to more than 50 million kids home and now utilizing virtual learning. In addition to that, the United States has seen a skyrocket in unemployment statistics as well as people utilizing the advantages of working from home. On the surface, this is an excellent alternative for people to still make money to survive, and their children able to not miss out on their education.
However, as a parent, trying to balance the learning, working, and parenting can be quite challenging. If you have been struggling these past several weeks, here are some fundamental tips on how to make everything run smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Be Realistic with Your Boss
If your boss has allowed you to work from home, that is certainly not something to take for granted. Be appreciative of the offer and grateful for it. However, you also need to be realistic and have a transparent conversation with them. Let them know that right now, with kids home and partaking in virtual learning, that part of your days will have to be dedicated to that and other parenting duties. Let them know that you will always get your work done, but prepare them for your intermediate “breaks” to help your child. This is a respectful heads up, and if your boss is understanding, then they should be okay with it.
Make Designated Work Spaces for You and Your Kid(s)
This one is vital for both you are your kid(s). Everyone needs a distraction-free space of their own to concentrate and get their stuff done. Take the time to set up a work station for your child so they can work on assignments quietly, and you can do the same in your own area. You will be surprised how much more efficient you can be when you have a space of your own.
Make A Concrete Schedule
Scheduling will be a life-saver. Though chances are you will need to work around your child’s schooling sessions and assignments, being able to plan ahead like that can give you the ability to organize at work and accommodate. For instance, if you know that something for your kid is due at a particular time, then move a conflicting meeting to a later or earlier time so you can do both.
Focus on Critical Work-Related Tasking
If you have a job that involves a lot of little things that need to get done, but are not essential, consider putting them aside for the moment and just pay attention to what needs to get done on that particular day. You have to split your time right now, so getting bogged down with other duties that can wait is only going to make you frustrated, anxious, and probably irritable.
Make Time to Relax and Just Be A Parent
Remember, your family and mental health matters too and needs to be part of the balancing act. With the hustle of the day and trying to check off all your to-do’s, you can quickly get so caught up that it races through your head while you are trying to unwind. Though you will not be sending work emails or helping your child with their assignment, you are doing yourself an incredible favor by recharging and just being a loving parent. With a little relaxation and family-oriented focus at the end and beginning of each day, you will be much more resilient, patient, and have optimal productivity.
You are not alone in this situation. Families all across the country are in the same boat as you are, trying to find the perfect balance between virtual learning and working from home. Whether you are doing this in the short term because of the pandemic, or this is your long-term goal, you have the power to make it run ideally. Just do your best, think of the bigger picture, and try out the tips above so you can create a fantastic routine and system for a much more enjoyable time.