Home School and Home Work Life Balance
I don’t know about you guys, but adjusting to the new normal of working from home full time and full time homeschooling has been nothing short of HARD. Anyone else in the same boat? Life has been hard and weird for so many in different ways this year, but school/homeschooling has added a difficult layer to an already crazy year. Welcome to the new normal they say! Here are some tips/thoughts to help balance your mentality (and sanity!) surrounding being at home and dealing with homeschooling.
It’s okay not to like school at home or to not feel happy in the new normal.
I have amazing momma friends that have homeschooled their children at home for years and absolutely love it. And to be honest, they’re amazing at it. This isn’t a new normal for them at all – it’s simply their way of life. I am not ashamed to admit it, but unfortunately that is not me. I was never cut out to be a teacher, especially to my own kid. And honestly, my kid doesn’t like it either. I think what counts here is the trying.
We’re all doing our best and trying our hardest, and that’s amazing. Are you working from home full time (like me) trying to figure things out? Or maybe you’re jobless at the moment thanks to the pandemic? Whatever the situation, if you’ve found that homeschooling is not making you or your kid happy, it’s okay to know that it’s truly OKAY. You don’t have to like it. You just have to try and do your best. We can hope that the situation isn’t forever, so it’s an A for effort in my book.
All interactions are good for kids right now – including virtually.
Now that we’ve been in NTI for several months, I must say that I am grateful for great teachers and all the hard work they put in to give their students face time. My daughter’s days can be hectic over zoom classes. I am grateful for the face time that the teachers put in (as well as other students!) so that they can all find a way to interact. If you can’t be there in person, it’s the next best thing, right? Very grateful for her online time in class.
Feeling frustrated? It’s okay to take a break!
When you have to balance your child’s school schedule with your own work schedule (hello multiple zoom calls every day), and not to mention your spouse’s and toddler’s schedules—there’s bound to be problems. This is what I hate most about the “new normal” – it can be very inconsistent. Calls will get missed. Confusion will ensue. Assignments get lost. If it all seems too overwhelming, give yourself a break.
If you’re anything like me, the anxiety gets overwhelming. Take a step back. Go for a walk, take a long lunch. Invite your kid too –they need recess and breaks because this is a hard situation for them. It’s okay to not be okay sometimes. We are living in a pandemic. These are not normal circumstances. Give yourself some grace. Take a deep breath and walk away sometimes!
Having an area to work is vital: focus is key.
Working or schooling from home definitely warrants a nice working space to rely on. We didn’t have a proper desk space for the kids (or myself) to work on when we first went to full-time NTI 6 months ago. Therefore, it became a priority to set something up. Focus is key, and you need a dependable area with few distractions. I set up my own private office in a spare bedroom. This was necessary for all of my client calls and to have a quiet area.
I also created a desk space with a daily agenda for my daughter to remind her when/where she needed to be on zoom all day long. This helps keep her in focus. I faced her desk against a wall and not a window – more time to focus in on work and to not be distracted by outside happenings. Should the new normal finally be to return to school full time soon, we’ll leave this area set up in case NTI schedules recur.
Carve out time for helping with schoolwork or just checking in.
Your day might be full of meetings or housework, but make sure you carve out the time to sit with your kids. Offer help, advice, or just a shoulder to lean on. I learned that my daughter has needed help more than once, but didn’t come and ask me because she thought I was too busy. We HAVE to make time to help them and let them know we’re there and they don’t have to go through this alone.
Mistakes happen. Learn to embrace the beauty that can come from them.
All the change has been hard this year! I think one major lesson has been that it’s okay for plans to not work out. It’s okay for things to not be perfect. And it’s okay to make mistakes. We do the best with the hand that we’re dealt. It’s how we take what we’ve learned from it and apply it to life.
This adorable book was gifted to my kids that beautifully illustrates how making mistakes can actually turn into a positive experience. “Beautiful Oops!”, written by Barney Saltzberg, is an award-winning and best-selling book with some fun and interactive pages.
The book teaches kids that with every mistake comes the opportunity for something beautiful to happen. I thought it was a super fun a creative way to display opportunities, and my kids LOVE the interactive features it has! It’s full of pop-up pages, overlays, folds and flaps to lift and pull, and the kids loved seeing how the mistakes on every page transform into something wonderful!
When we read the book together, I tried to get the kids to guess what each of the transformations could be before they saw it to try and get their creative juices flowing! It was fun to hear what their little imaginations conjured up, but also to see their surprising reactions when they saw the outcome. I think this is a super fun way to get kids thinking creatively outside the box—and also to understand a very important life lesson here. Everyone does in fact make mistakes, and it’s perfectly okay as long as we are trying our best.
It’s important to understand how we choose to learn from mistakes, and how we can turn them into a positive experiences. This book is a great way to foster that idea with your kids! Check it out on sale wherever books are sold! Thanks so much again to Workman Publishing for sending us over a copy! We love it! @workmanpub #beautifuloops #beautifuloopsbook
How has your life dramatically changed during the pandemic this year? Has your family enjoyed the extra time at home, or is everyone itching to get back to normalcy? What does the new normal look like for your family? I’d love to hear any tips and tricks on what you have to navigate your family through homeschooling and NTI, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting started at it!
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