Tips For Those Now Working From Home Due To Coronavirus Quarantines – With Or Without Children

So, you’ve been working from home for a few days now and you’re not used to it. Maybe you usually work from home but now your kids’ schools have been closed and you don’t know what to do. Maybe both scenarios are now taking place for you.
Working from home, with or without kids, can be difficult, but thankfully there are enough people who have been through this (including myself) that can help you through this strange new world. One of the best sources for this information has come from The Federalist (where I also have a byline), but I’ll work in some of my own tips as well. This article will include two sections: Working from home without kids and working from home with kids.
Working From Home
Working from home can be tough if you’re not used to it. All your favorite stuff is there. It’s easy to get distracted without discipline. David Marcus has some great tips for people who have no discipline, fortitude, or a solid work ethic (though the tips work for those who do as well).
  1. Set Boundaries
Just because you are at home, does not mean you are at home. Conversely, just because you are working does not mean you must always work. Try establishing a routine with your family to know that between certain hours, or when you are in front of your computer, you are working and that must be respected. And when you’re done with work – be done with work.
  1. Take Breaks
Taking short breaks can help keep you from going stir crazy and can help you focus. Marcus suggests going out for short walks. If that’s helpful to you, do it. If you’re like me, and leaving your computer except to get food or use the bathroom will destroy your focus, I suggest multiple, super short breaks spent in your workspace.
For me, I’ve found that the only way I can easily write five articles a day is to write a few sentences or paragraphs, and then play a few minutes of a mobile phone game. So many of these games have a time component to them, such as the matching games where if you fail five times, you either have to wait 30 minutes to play again or spend real-life money to continue. I find that playing the game (just one or two levels, typically) can be enough to get me motivated to work again.
It feels like this would make your workday longer, but I’ve found that it adds no additional time to my work schedule. All the time I would spend trying to force myself to keep writing – to the detriment of my article – is replaced by the game. It’s hard to explain why it works for me, but it might work for you too as a simple way to give your brain a break.
  1. Keep Your Home Clean
Having a messy home can hurt your productivity because you find it difficult to concentrate when your house smells or there’s more trash lying about. Find time to keep your home and workspace clean, and you’ll have an easier time working from home.
  1. Social Media
Marcus suspects using social media to stand in for the coworkers you typically chitchat with during the day. It’s the same kind of distraction for many people that the mobile game is for me – it doesn’t require a lot of concentration, but it’s enough of a distraction to give your brain a break to recharge.
  1. Recreate Your Commute – To An Extent
Marcus suggests going through some of what you would do during your commute to the office, such as reading the paper or a book, listening to music, or stopping for coffee or breakfast. Marcus suggests taking 30 minutes before and after working to go through these rituals.
Working From Home With Kids
All the advice from above applies to those working from home with kids as well. In this section we will use advice from some moms who work from home and homeschoolers. The advice from this section comes from Joy Pullman and Jayme Metzgar.
  1. Find What Motivates Your Child
Just, please don’t make food the motivation.
Pullman writes that children who are unmotivated to learn simply won’t learn no matter how good their teacher is, so “character training” may be the first step for them. She recommends several sources: “Laying Down the Rails,” by Sonya Shafer, “Tending the Heart of Virtue,” by Vigen Guroian, “Parenting with Love and Logic,” by Foster Cline, and “Mere Motherhood,” by Cindy Rollins.
  1. Find Quality Content For Lessons
Pullman describes “Morning Time” as one of the key elements in teaching from home:
Morning Time is where you collect the most soul-touching bits and pieces at the heart of a real education and place them all together in an hour or two each morning to start the day. Most families will read aloud at least one classic book during this time, sometimes while the listeners work a handicraft. Many also memorize scripture, hymns, folk songs, historical gems (such as the Gettysburg Address and Bill of Rights), and math facts. Other Morning Time ideas include studying great works of art and music, working through a grammar or math problem (and then following up with homework related to the demonstrated concept), and nature journaling.
Other than Morning Time, Pullman suggests the Core Knowledge Series’ “What Your ___ Grader Needs to Know.” She suggests using the pre-Common Core versions, which may cost a few dollars.
Hopefully the child’s school has provided lessons, but if not, the series mentioned above can be helpful.
  1. Help With Weak Points
Perhaps your child is struggling in certain areas. Pullman suggests finding workbooks that target these weak areas – particularly in math – in order to get your kids on track.
  1. Lead By Example
Show your child how to be organized and self-manage during this time. Show them through your actions how they should behave while working from home.
  1. Have Them Read The Classics
Pullman explains how classical literature is better:
Classic literature is better, as it has more complex ideas and language and good fiction has been shown to develop character and interpersonal skills. Plus reading classic works will make your children conversant with their cultural heritage and the rest of the educated world.
  1. ‘Detox’ Your Resistant Child From School
Pullman suggests using this opportunity to help students who are not doing well in school or hate it. Instead of Morning Time, read-aloud as a family, spend a lot of quality time together, and do the minimum required by the child’s school. It’s a way to give them a break from school without a complete break.
Pullman suggests family hobbies can also be useful, such as cooking, or sewing. She says this method can help students who feel incapable and lost at school.
  1. The Day Doesn’t Have To Be Filled With Academics
Jayme Metzgar writes that one of the first things she tells new homeschoolers is that educating young children doesn’t take as much time as you think. Until fourth grade, she writes, her kids’ academic day didn’t last more than a couple hours.
  1. “Make The World Your Classroom”
Metzgar suggests getting out of the house and experiencing things to facilitate learning, such as identifying birds or going on nature walks. She suggests building a small garden at home to teach your child about botany, or going to available historical sites. A number of museums around the world also offer online tours and virtual “field trips.”
  1. Teach Life Skills
This goes along with Pullman’s suggestion about hobbies. Teach your child some basic life skills like planning meals, budgeting, changing a flat tire, and more.
  1. Remember What You Did As A Kid Before The Internet
Some of us still remember a time when the Internet wasn’t what it was today and what we did to pass the time back then. Try making them play outside.
  1. The Kids Should Come First
Pullman suggests meeting your kids’ needs first, which will keep them from nagging you while you work. Make sure they’re fed, changed, or working on an activity before starting to work.
  1. Work When They Sleep
Doing your most focused work while your kids are sleeping will help keep you from becoming distracted. This obviously doesn’t mean you can never sleep, but try working before your kids wake up, while they’re napping, and after they’ve gone to bed for the night. Obviously, you can work at other times, but these are the best times to keep you focused.
For parents with older children, Pullman suggests implementing a two-hour afternoon quiet time so that you can get your work done while they play or work on something quietly.
  1. Schedule Your Time
Pullman provides a helpful schedule of that alternates between work and your children, if that is possible for you based on your job:
6-7 a.m.: Work while the kids sleep.
7-9 a.m.: Kids wake up, feed them breakfast, read them books, then give them a craft or activity to do (or, for older children, assign them some homework or make them go outside to play or walk around the block).
9-10: While the kids are occupied, dive into work and try to “clear the decks.” Do triage: Most urgent things first, then things that can be dispatched quickly. This will probably take your whole hour.
10-10:30: Move your kids onto the next part of their homework checklist if they are school-aged, or bring out a new activity for them if they are preschoolers and toddlers.
10:30-11:30: Knock out another block of work, this time switching to something that requires more time and focus than a “clear the decks.”
11:30-1:30: Spend this chunk of time with your kids. Put lunch together, throw a load of wash in the washer together, walk the dog, read a book aloud together after or during lunch, and then set up the afternoon quiet activity.
1:30-3:30: Quiet time for kids while mom and/or dad works. Do your hardest and biggest jobs right here.
3:30-5:30: Regroup with the kids, put them to work on household chores (even toddlers can pick up their toys), plan and make dinner, eat.
5:30-8: Family time. Perhaps one spouse can work while the other occupies the kids.
8-9:30: Kids in bed, knock out some more work if you need to. Usually after a long day like this, this is the best time for catch-up work, smaller tasks that don’t require much time, energy, or brainpower, such as email.
  1. Get Help From Your Spouse Or A Friend
Pullman suggests switching days or times with a spouse or a friend in a similar situation. That way, you don’t get overwhelmed.
  1. Have Older Kids Mentor
Pullman suggests pairing younger kids with older kids and have them play or read together to further spread out the responsibility.
  1. Rotate Activities
Instead of having all the toys and activities available to the kids at all times, keep some locked away somewhere and rotate them out to keep your kids from getting bored of them. Pullman has a “closet of wonder” where she keeps new activities and snacks for emergencies, like a sudden radio call without a babysitter. It gives the kids something new to do long enough to take care of what the adults need to do.
  1. Set A Timer
Consider setting a timer so kids know when they can stop doing their current activity or when they can start bothering mom or dad again.
  1. Say Goodbye To Most Of Your “Me Time”
This is going to be a difficult time for many working parents, and you have to accept the fact that you won’t get much time to yourself until school opens again and you can go back into the office. But, you know, if you find enjoyment in the activities you can do with your kids, it’ll be much easier.
Tips For Those Now Working From Home Due To Coronavirus Quarantines – With Or Without Children Tips For Those Now Working From Home Due To Coronavirus Quarantines – With Or Without Children Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:53 Rating: 5

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