Whether you are working from home, working on the frontline in an essential service, caring for young children or dependent loved ones needing full-time care, or you have recently been laid off from your job – this pandemic is impacting us all in a real way.

For those of you who have school aged children, especially primary school, last week presented itself with several new challenges. Some of those challenges included: navigating multiple technologies to access, complete and submit school work; setting up structures to enable home schooling; supporting and supervising kids through their learning tasks; learning about topics you have not done since you were at school; and dealing with tantrums and frustrated kids that were struggling with some of their tasks and their new schooling reality. And then there are those of you who are also working and trying to juggle your own workload and meetings while home schooling children.

As I reflect on how I managed the start of homeschooling for my two kids there are certainly things I did not plan for or anticipate and of course things I could have done better. I have thought about the strategies and activities I have put in place to help me set up my own daily work routine and how I have applied these to setting up my children’s daily routine to help ease the transition (…but of course, there is always room for improvement!). We are all being flexible and agile in our approach and assessing what is working that we will continue doing and what not working that we need to adjust. These are some of the daily work routines I have applied with my children in setting up their daily routine that I thought I would share:

  • Working environment – Setting up a workstation for each child to enable their learning. This included things such as a desk, chair, access to the internet and other technology (like required apps and camera access), a white board to set tasks and other learning materials specific to each child’s needs.
  • Preparation – Pre-testing weblinks, apps and logins/passwords prior to scheduled class times to ensure they will be able to login with ease.
  • Setting objectives – Discussing what each child wanted to achieve for the day. What were their learning goals? What did success look like for them?
  • Work schedule – Listing the specific tasks each child needed to achieve for the day based on their recommended school schedule.
  • Assessing goal and tasks – Reviewing what schoolwork was achieved against our morning objectives. Assessing what work was not competed and a plan to complete these tasks.
  • Recognition and Reward – Recognising tasks completed and done well; rewarding children with things they enjoy doing such as some screen time; virtual catch ups with friends or playing a game of their choice.

Children are resilient and have a strong capacity to adapt to their changing environment. I think we can also learn a lot from them and their ability to deal and cope with change.