Before school was shut down, we had a snow day and I shared tips for working from home with kids on my IG stories. We are getting in a pretty decent routine now with at-home learning, and mom working from home, but not every day goes perfectly smoothly! I thought I would share these again because sometimes we forget what has worked before!
Here is what helps me:
One thing that is really helpful is to stick to the routine. Our routine includes getting up, getting dressed, getting ready for the day. We have family scripture study together, family prayers, breakfast, clean up the kitchen – all of the regular stuff! Keeping my kids in the regular swing of things helps so much with the craziness. They have “morning stuff” charts where they physically check off each thing every day. The charts have pictures so my pre-reader knows exactly what she has to do. These are just regular getting-ready things like getting dressed, brushing your hair, brushing your teeth, and then unloading the dishwasher, saying prayers, clearing their dishes. When they want something like screen time, their chart has to be checked off. Every two weeks we give allowance for checked off charts.
I am not always great at this – but when I stick to regular, consistent mealtimes and snack times, it makes such a difference! Probably because their blood sugar doesn’t get so low! I once ran a day home and I was so, so consistent with this – snacktimes were 10 am and 2 pm on the dot. The kids weren’t asking for a snack in between because they knew it was coming! It also gave us logical breaks in the day where we would clean up. Working from home in a messy house makes me feel crazy!
Merrick’s Art has a great blog post on this. She is a super organized, on-top-of-things blogger, and she does quiet time every day. Her kids have to be in their room, they can play lego, or read a book, color, etc, just do something quiet. Even if they don’t nap, they have quiet time. I started my kids with 10 minutes, then increased it until we got to one hour. We do it during naptime so the baby is sleeping, and everyone else plays quietly, listens to audiobooks, colors, reads, etc. It helps with sibling rivalry and I think everybody just needs a little time to relax in a day.
I know this isn’t always possible. It doesn’t always feel as productive when you’re breaking up your work time. My kids are really little – my baby is 16 months, and I have a 3-year-old. When mom is sitting in front of the computer for 2 hours straight, that’s when they start needing mom. It’s just too long for them. If I can break it up and do an hour in the morning, then spend time with them, then do another chunk of work, and another chunk of time with them, things run more smoothly. When I break it up into smaller chunks, they need me less because they’re getting attention from me, and they can handle my work time better.
Finally, when working from home with kids, our day goes better when I start it off by giving some undivided attention to my kids before I ever start working. If I sit down and do storytime and or even just get them to help me do cleaning tasks, etc, then my 3-year-old and even my baby is happy to play on the floor, and they are more content because they’ve had time from mom.
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