On this DEEP GREEN blog over the past year, I’ve written a fair amount about schooling and working from home. And I have shared what I hope are helpful resources for households and communities to manage this balancing act and reap the benefits that come from being able to spend more time at home. Today, I’m honored to bring you a guest post on this topic.
(Fellow bloggers and activists, if you have ever been approached by someone wanting to guest-post on your site, you know how great it feels — not only for the implied compliment to your site, but also for the opportunity to connect your readers with an additional source of support. Recently, DEEP GREEN blog seems to be getting more such requests, and some other forms of unexpected recognition as well. This site seems to be getting more widely known than I had thought! I take it as a wonderful sign that the #GrassrootsGreenMobilization is growing bigtime!)
And now without further ado, I present to you Cherie McLaughlin of CouchBasedBiz.com, on ways to balance work and remote learning in your home. Enjoy! And I hope you will visit Cherie’s site, and contact her to ask questions and thank her for this chock-full-of-resources post.
These days many parents are doing three full-time jobs— and feeling the stress of each one. Many are working from home while also supporting their children as parents and in remote learning as teachers. This can make home life very complex and complicated—but with the right organization and preparation it doesn’t have to be.
Are you struggling to find ways to create a new normal at home? Here are 5 tips for balancing remote work and remote learning.
Get the right technology for everyone
Sharing a laptop? Causes stress. Spotty wifi? Causes communication breakdown. Not enough headphones or earbuds? Causes distractions. Reduce your stress by making sure everyone in the household has their own personal remote work and learning equipment, but do so in an eco-friendly way. You can score major deals on tablets, laptops and other computer accessories by shopping on sites like Gazelle, which retails used devices so you can shop sustainably. If you’re getting rid of any tech pieces in favor of upgraded versions, know that while you can sell these items, giving them away is much more fulfilling. After all, there are many families right now that can’t afford to buy new or even used pieces, so knowing that you’re making a difference in their lives will also have a meaningful impact in yours.
Step up your coping techniques
Not only are you going to have to find new ways to cope with the new stresses, but you’ll likely have to teach these new techniques to the rest of your family. “Do as I say, not as I do” is not going to work here. Take advantage of the resources out on the internet to help you balance remote work and remote learning, such as podcasts like 10 Minutes to Less Suffering and The Less Stressed Life. Most importantly, cultivate an attitude of gratitude so that you can stay focused on all the good things happening in your life right now.
Make a clear schedule
Write out everyone’s schedule in a clear, organized calendar where everyone can see what is going on. This way, you can make sure you don’t schedule your first post-COVID performance review right when your kid needs to log on for a math test. While sticking to the schedule is crucial, being flexible is even more important. Roadblocks and challenges will happen, so it is important you stay flexible so you can adapt and adjust to keep everyone on track.
Make education fun
With so much time spent online, remote learning runs the risk of becoming boring and banal. That’s where gamification comes in. Investing in technology like VR (virtual reality) or enrolling your kids in extracurriculars like coding camps can boost your kids’ education and entertainment. Just be sure you get the right kind of internet speed for these online activities to avoid frustrating slowdowns. With more and more people working and learning from home, the internet has become an even hotter commodity.
Join a support network
You aren’t the only parent/employee going through this. Millions of Americans are learning how to work from home, while also keeping their kids on track. Reach out to other parents at your work and in your children’s school. Join or start a Facebook group for working parents to share ideas, ask for advice or just vent. Believe it or not, just the simple act of giving grace and support to others will help you have more grace and compassion for yourself.
Many parents, especially in the United States, are already devoting more and more of their time and attention to the emotional and physical well-being of their children. Balancing work and parenting with the addition of remote learning can add a new level of responsibilities— and that also means stress. Just remember there is support here when you need it.