You’re working from home. You’re managing meals and your kids’ education. You are socially isolated and figuring out how to live in this uncertain time. Of course you are overwhelmed!
Here are the tips I covered on the previous blog for new homeschoolers:
- Create a rhythm or schedule (without trying to turn your home into school)
- Add warmth to your home
- Set up space
Creating individual work space is nourishing and will help everyone function better. Your kids may have fun finding an area where they can easily store and access materials they need.
For our mental and emotional well-being, I think it’s also important to make a place where you can go to nurture yourself—a place free of clutter that allows you to connect to your inward home, a safe sanctuary inside of you. Maybe it’s just the window in your bedroom, or a bookshelf where you light a candle—anywhere you can let go of fear and allow higher thoughts to be heard.
Rhythm, warmth and space—it’s not all going to come together overnight. Give yourself time and grace. Give yourself time and grace. There is no falling behind.
For day-to-day managing, create the schedule with your kids and tweak as needed. Everyone contributes to household tasks (even kids as young as two-years-old). My daughter and I like to write down a list of work choices in her calendar/agenda at the beginning of the week. She is then free to choose when and how those things get done (during our “work cycle” mornings). Sometimes she completes them all by Friday, but not always.
If you’re juggling multiple kids, plus your own work, maybe this schedule from my friend Jamie Sheils of 18 Summers, will help (the family consists of two parents running two businesses, two young children and two teens):
Also, Khan Academy has sample schedules for ages 4-18 with some helpful links. But here is the caution: do not judge your own schedule against someone else’s. It is okay to spend an entire day in the kitchen/garden/hammock/couch/etc together. Really, it is okay to forget about “schooling” as you know it. Sure, the kids need to complete their requirements, whether they are getting assignments from teachers or doing online school. But HOME has much to teach.
Maybe there is a garden that could be tended. Maybe there’s a family recipe that could be cooked (and passed down). Maybe there’s a backyard full of flowers and plants and bees ready to be investigated. Maybe your kid has a passion he/she can now fully tend to, or the whole family can learn something new, something you all can’t wait to learn! Maybe there’s a craft you learned as a kid that you could now teach your child. An instrument to play?
Or maybe not. That’s okay too. Maybe, right now, the kids will do their online school while you work, and you will focus on creating the smooth flow, the rhythm of your days. This builds a strong home. I have found that in tending to home—my inner and outer spaces and rhythms—home teaches me what’s most important.
There is no falling behind.