Working From Home - Parent Edition
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of us are now set up in our own office from the comfort of our own homes. And with school closures, many parents across the country have turned to home-schooling their children. Including many of our Ewe Mum’s and Dad’s!
It’s so important to maintain a routine and have a good structure to your day around the house to ensure that you’re being productive with work but also ensuring that your little ones are still learning and developing despite being at home, surrounded by many distractions.
The Ewe team are keeping in touch throughout the day, every day to deliver our best possible work and many of us are multi-tasking by playing the part of teacher too.
We’ve compiled a list of top tips from the first weeks of working from home with children to help balance your job and the education of your children, all while being at home.
Try and stick to your regular routine and do the things you’d do if the kids were still going to school. You can do this by getting up at the same time, getting dressed and having a healthy breakfast.
Keep things more relaxed at the weekend by sleeping in, watching tv and eating breakfast in pyjamas! It’s so important to set weekdays and weekends apart so you’re still having those two days of rest that you’d usually get during a normal working week.
While your children are eating their breakfast, this is a good time for you to set your own work space up and log in to any apps you’re using to communicate with your colleagues. Where possible, try and set your work area up away from the main busy rooms of the house for when you need time to concentrate on what you’re doing. If you can avoid regular interruptions, you will be more productive.
At the start of each day or week, create some form of timetable, nothing that puts too much strain on an already difficult situation, but dividing the day into activity/task time and quiet time helps to give some structure.
Our Account Manager Kate is focussing on different topics that interest her two children for example, one day will be activities around nature and the next day, tasks will be focussed on sport.
Having set snack and lunch times comes into this too, try and replicate the break times that they would have at nursery and school so they know when they’re coming. Good luck avoiding the requests for food every 5 minutes though…
Some parents have been setting up their own ‘tuck shops’, where they have a selection of snacks each with a price. Then they give the kids an amount of ‘spending money’ each day and they have to choose how to spend it. Once they’ve spent up then they know there’s no more snacks that day. This is also a great way to introduce money and keep up with some maths.
Many of you will have little to no experience of home-schooling and it will be a huge challenge for you, especially adapting to remote working life as well! Luckily, there are lots of websites and apps which have given access to free resources for a limited time while schools are closed. Many have lots of worksheets and activity ideas for you to download.
Here are some of our favourites so far:
- Twinkl- Online worksheet resource with lots of Key Stage related activities for all ages.
- Audible - Lots of free kids (and adult) books to download.
- House to House - A site which has collated a huge range of resources all in one place.
Currently, we are allowed out of our homes to exercise once a day and it’s vital that we still look after our bodies and health at this time. If you can for yourself, go for a jog or for a stroll around your neighbourhood or local countryside, as long as you stay 2 metres away from other people, you are quite entitled to get outside and exercise. But remember to stick to government restrictions and don’t travel to tourism or busy hotspots.
However, if you would prefer to stay at home, there are plenty of ways to keep fit without leaving the house, like getting out into the garden for a work out or a game of tig with the children - at least you’re getting some fresh air!
It’s vital that your children stay active too. While they can’t do their usual PE lessons or after school clubs, it’s essential that they burn off any extra energy they have from staying at home!
There are some great ways that you can stay fit with your children and add into your new daily routine.
- Joe Wickes - The Body Coach is doing 30 minute PE sessions live on Youtube every week day at 9am. A few of us from Ewe have been doing this and it’s a fantastic morning workout for parents and children. On our morning Teams call, you’re guaranteed at least one red-faced person jumping on the call after finishing the session!
- Rock Kidz - Daily music and rocking out sessions on YouTube which get you up and dancing to some fun and crazy rock songs - a lot of fun and a great way to use up additional energy!
- Cosmic Kids - Online kids yoga class that teaches yoga moves along with a story.
We want to stress how important it is to take regular breaks for yourself and your children. When working from home, it’s so easy to feel lethargic or unproductive, and having children at home to teach is another distraction, so it’s important that you all take breaks so they don’t become unproductive when doing their activities too. Make yourself a cup of tea and read a chapter of your book, take a full lunch break, do a 15 minute workout video.
You need to have structure to your day too. Go outside with the kids and play hide and seek for half an hour, that way you’re playing and getting some well-needed fresh air. Sitting at your kitchen table for 8 hours every day may leave you feeling uninspired and sluggish, so taking regular breaks throughout the day for yourself is just as important as it is for your children.
When your children are taking these regular breaks, they’ll be burning off extra energy and will improve concentration when they come back to focus on tasks.
It’s a new situation for so many of us, so if you’re struggling to juggle your work while looking after the children, have an honest conversation with your employer and see if there is room for you to be flexible. Then you can dedicate more time and attention to your children, which they may need in these uncertain times. We are all still learning so flexibility and understanding is key.
Stay at home, stay positive! And think of it this way, helping with homework will be a doddle after all this!