With school closed and parents working from home, there are enough challenges for families to face these days. However, schools are tasking parents to be teachers too!
Coronavirus concerns have closed schools to slow the spread of COVID19. Thus, schools are switching to online, at-home learning. However, school administrators are expecting parents to step in as school teachers. This dual-role is a challenge – especially if the parent is a working parent! How are they supposed to oversee children’s virtual learning when they are juggling their job at the same time? Isn’t it bad enough that they are juggling being a working parent while their kiddo is home as it is?
Some parents are pushing back, but in light of changes, there may be no choice. So how does one juggle teaching, resources, and a job? Here are some thoughts, though I know many are not ideal!
1. Homeschool first thing in the morning and late in the day.
Before work begins, tackle an hour or so of assignments. Do the same before dinner and after work. This schedule enables the computer to be used for work and tasks if you are a one device household
2. Homeschool only on the weekends.
Leave the week for general activities, or things you know your kids can complete on their own. Save the oversight and tutorials for the weekends when you can help with tasks and projects.
3. Get a babysitter to tutor.
I know there is supposed to be social distancing. Yet, if there is a trusted babysitter often around the family, see if they are willing to come over for an hour or two to help with assignments. Alternatively, see if they can help out on Facetime or Skype.
4. Ask your boss for adjusted hours for a few weeks.
Ask your boss if you can work from 8 am – 12 pm so you can homeschool in the afternoon (or vice versa.) Then offer to make up the other hours on the weekend.
5. Pair off with a parent.
If you are a co-parent, then ask your partner or spouse to step up to the homeschool plate. It should not fall solely on your shoulders. That may mean alternating days, or one person taking the morning and the other the afternoon. It may mean you are doing what you can during the week, and they do the assignments on the weekend.
6. Work simultaneously.
The fact of the matter is that work will be a challenge as parents juggle the responsibilities at home. There may be no way to get around the interruptions. However, sometimes modeling behavior can set the stage and tone for schooling. If you can, in terms of space and technology, set up work stations side by side. As they work on their assignments, you can work on your tasks. If they need redirection or some help, you can just reach over to assist. Once they are on to the next thing, you can get a few more minutes of work done. Sometimes kids feel vital if they are working next to their parent who is working too!
7. Ask for Resources
If technology is an issue, reach out to your district and see what they are providing for computers and tablets. Many regions are providing loans and temporary devices. Also, call your internet provider. Many providers are waiving data fees right now or boosting internet speeds at no cost.
Remember that your kids are adjusting too. Provide calendars and timelines so they know the expectations and when they need to work. Provide incentives like stickers that they can turn in for a prize at the end of the week if they can complete their work independently.
Read this post with more work/homeschool challenge ideas.
All in all, just do your best. While you may have a new job as a ‘teacher,’ the most important one is to be a supportive parent. If you need other homeschooling resources, check out my other posts as well as these posts that provide homeschooling tips and online support!