So, another day at home… Courtesy of COVID-19

So, another day at home…

Trying to work from home and/or trying to get your usual housework completed. Not to mention the additional housework, due to everyone being home.

The whole family, or most of the family are home with you.

Which is…nice…

Mother reading to 4 children.

Helping your kids with their schoolwork.

Entertaining your younger children.

Encouraging your children to sit down and do their schoolwork.

Trying to maintain some sort of routine.

Encouraging your children to play in your backyard, or to come for walks.

Insisting your children do at least some schoolwork before they complain about not wanting to do it.

Wondering how teachers cope everyday.

Thinking you won’t be complaining in the future at only having to convince your children, that, yes, they do have to do their homework.

Trying to remain calm, and not think too much about the work you, yourself need to be doing.

Count backwards from 10.

Download family meditation apps.

We hear that homeschooled children do not have to spend as many hours doing their schoolwork, as children at school…how do those parents manage to do this everyday?

Explaining to your children that if they were to sit down, and apply themselves to their schoolwork, they’ll have more time to play (& the unsaid, you will be able to get some of your own work started)

Your children finding new excuses every day for not doing their work

Young girl, looking bored. Arms across the textbook in front of her, and chin resting on her hands.
  • I’m hungry
  • I’m thirsty
  • I need a pair of scissors, and I don’t like mine
  • Now I have to put the scissors back
  • Now I need to go and get the tape, that is in the same place as the scissors I just put back
  • I need a tissue
  • I need to see if that was a bus going past
  • I need to see what colour jacket that dog was wearing
  • It’s boring
  • I need to go to the toilet (again)
  • (Sibling) looked at me funny
  • (Sibling) isn’t doing their work

We have bribery

Reduced expectations 

Constant explaining that they can’t play with their friends right now.

Have you thought about any online group chats for their children during ‘playtime’? Which platforms do you use? How do you monitor usage? Do you feel you need to?

What do you use to motivate your children (& yourself), to complete their work?

How do you get time to do your own work, or get a little “me time” each time, to recharge your own batteries, so you can do it all again?

You get tired of constantly reminding them to complete their schoolwork, feeling all that results in, is constant arguments. Then a little bit of schoolwork, while you have the same discussion with the next child…and on it goes…So you change tact.

Leave them to their own devices, until they come to you with a question. This results in no schoolwork being done, which in the current climate, may not a big issue for a day or two. However, you feel guilty. They are only children and don’t yet appreciate the value of a good education….

Two children looking through a pile of books. Neither very excited.

What’s your next move? Try to make each different lesson fun for each different child? Sitting with them the whole time, to prevent bickering? Hmmmm. Your work suffers. Where is the happy balance?

Sometimes, involving your children (in an age appropriate way) in decision making, or scheduling, can help with their compliance.

Start by writing out a list of things that should occur each day, with your children. Don’t forget to include playtime, lunch breaks, outdoor time. Time for you to be undisturbed to do your own work. 

Set out the framework. Any non-negotiable timings i.e. bedtime, & meals you all eat together, any meetings you have. Let the family discuss and negotiate to ensure everyone has input, and while not everyone (& possibly no one) will be 100% happy, explain this from the beginning.

Try it for a set period – maybe a week, and change as necessary. Remind them of the input they had, throughout the days. You will need some flexibility, but also will need to stick to certain boundaries and all caregivers will need to be consistent with this.

Good luck!

Happy family, Mum, Dad and 2 kids.

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