You’re on a call with a client but it’s suddenly interrupted by an urgent math question. An hour later, while guiding your child through a reading comprehension exercise, your boss calls and you have to step away.
In 2020, it’s a scenario to which many working parents can relate. It can be challenging to find the right balance between being a parent, a source of remote learning support for your child, and a reliable employee. It can leave you feeling stretched thin and worried that you aren’t succeeding in any role.
You’re not alone. If distance learning isn’t working for your student, consider these five tips on how to balance working from home and teaching — including ways to better support your child’s learning.
Incorporate structure in their day
Whether your child is in kindergarten or 12th grade, creating a schedule is key to their scholastic success (and you accomplishing that next item on your To-Do List). Stick with consistent bedtimes and wake up routines. Balance academic lessons with playtime or physical exercise.
When it’s free time, encourage your student to do activities that are engaging (and don’t just occupy their time). At the younger level, this might look like independent play. This will allow you to focus on your work as they enjoy age-appropriate learning activities and explore their interests.
Set realistic expectations
The reality is, you might not make as many meetings working from home as you did when you worked at the office. It’s also unlikely that you will be able to work a traditional 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday. Talk to your boss and discuss the best way to keep open communication (a chat tool might give you more flexibility as you answer that urgent math question). It’s also important to discuss when you’re expected to be on the clock, and if you can break up your workday into segments that allow you more time to help your student.
Setting expectations is also important with your family. Your child is adjusting to you working from home and needs to know when you are available and when it is appropriate to interrupt your work. It might take some time before they adapt to not having your undivided attention, but having conversations with them will help manage their understanding of your availability.
Make family time a priority
When you spend all day, every day with your child, it’s easy to feel you’re up to speed on everything they’re thinking and feeling. But setting aside designated family time allows you to keep a more accurate pulse on your child’s social-emotional needs. How are they processing the changes you’ve experienced this year?
This time can be fun, lighthearted, and center around a family favorite activity or game. It can also bring back a sense of normalcy to your routine and help older students who might be struggling to manage their expectations of what their future looks like in light of COVID-19.
Give yourself grace
It’s likely your co-workers have also been adjusting to the new normal. Also, you likely understand your child’s learning challenges, but have you offered understanding to yourself and embraced your own limitations?
Let’s quickly underscore a few true and encouraging things you should remember:
- You haven’t failed your child (even if some days you feel that must be the case).
- You are doing the best you can with unusual circumstances.
- You worry about your child’s education because you care about their future success. That makes you a great parent.
Try something new
God created each of us with unique gifts and abilities. Each child learns in a different way and at a pace that is right for them. If your child continues to struggle with distance learning and you aren’t finding a balance that works well for your family, it might be time to look at alternative schooling options. This could be an on-campus experience or distance learning experience at a different school that offers you more support.
Explore a new school experience today
At Legacy Christian Academy, we offer a safe, on-campus experience for students in Pre-K through 12th grade. Additionally, we offer LCA Online, supported by our highly qualified staff for families who are more comfortable learning from home. LCA accepts applications throughout the year and enrolls mission-aligned students in grades with open spaces.
To learn more about LCA and how we can meet the educational needs of your family this season, download our Parent Info Packet.