It comes as no surprise that working from home as a parent is challenging. Children need to be supervised, engaged and entertained all day long – which proves to be difficult when you’re working remotely. Many parents are struggling to balance keeping their kids engaged while still being productive on the job.
If you’re among those struggling to stay productive while keeping your kids engaged, here are a few tips to help keep you and your kids focused on all the right things.
Maintain a schedule
Between school closings, stay at home orders, and other daily responsibilities, children and adults alike are having their routines disrupted. It’s important to adapt to this new situation by establishing new schedules and routines, especially for children who still need time to learn, to play, and to create…all while you’re working.
Jessica McHale, a New England photographer shared a viral image of her new daily schedule to help families find comfort in the safety and assurance of a routine.
Make time for play
Kids have a lot of energy. The only way for them to expend that energy is to let them play, preferably outside. When you can, such as on lunch breaks, go outside and watch your children play. Encourage them to run around and get some exercise before coming back inside. Between the fresh air and exertion, hopefully they’ll be ready to rest by the time your break is over and can begin a quieter activity.
Keep them learning
Mental stimulation is just as important as activity. Look for video lessons, books, websites, and other educational programming to keep your kids engaged and independent while you work. Many homeschooling websites and educational platforms have opened access to lesson plans, activity sheets, and other educational content to enrich at-home life, while also giving working parents some time to focus on productivity.
Check out Open Culture’s list of 200 Free Kids Educational Resources for ideas and free online lessons!
With exercise and learning checked off, give your kids time to be creative. Typically, arts and crafts are safe and quiet activities that allow your kids time to expand their minds – without destroying the house or interrupting conference calls. Creative time could mean reading a fun fiction book, coloring, drawing, or playing games. Look for free online printables for kids that offer activities for all ages, like these from Education.com. Depending on your “screen time” rules, creative time could also be a great opportunity for kids to watch educational television shows such as Little Einsteins or Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Keeping kids engaged and occupied throughout the day is no easy feat, but with the help of these free resources and tips – you’ll be able to regain a sense of normalcy, stay productive, and keep your household learning.