5 Tips for Parents Homeschooling & Working Full Time

The COVID-19 virus has caused many changes in our lives and significant disruption in how children are being educated.  Not all parents have formal training in teaching children, and they are finding themselves managing family, career, and now homeschooling.  If we have learned anything during quarantine, teaching is not a casual affair, and it requires training in pedagogical theories and principles. Parents also have learned that homeschooling is difficult and can cause higher levels of stress in addition to the other disruptions in life and society that are daily reality. Looking ahead, within the next month, the school year is coming to an end, and summer is looming in a semi-quarantined world. As a parent myself, I worry about surviving day to day and making sure that my children retain the knowledge and skills that they gained this past year. 

Mental Health Tips for Parents Who Homeschool and Work Full Time

To alleviate the stress that summer will bring, the following practices can help parents cope and have a sense of peace in the middle of the storm:

1. Create a visual schedule

Develop a daily visual schedule that outlines times to work and play that can be seen at all times.  A visual list will help structure your day, and your children will have a sense of predictably throughout the day. 

2. Communicate with your children

Socialize with your children and take time to understand their fears and provide reassurances of your love and care for them. Sometimes children may overhear adult conversations or hear something on the news that may cause them to internalize these anxieties and fears.  Checking in with your children will help them communicate any concerns they may have. 

3. Don’t forget self-care

Engaging in self-care and pampering yourself will “recharge your batteries” and help with coping.  

4. Separate work and personal life

Put work material away when you are not on the clock and create a boundary between work and family life. Some parents will continue to work from home during the summer. Thus, keeping work material out of sight during family time will create a positive work-family boundary.

5. Socialize with other parents

Connecting with other parents and having virtual socialization times are essential. Checking in with other parents can be very therapeutic and uplifting. 

Homeschooling During a Crisis: Things to Remember

Incorporating these five principles will help with the life, work, and homeschooling balance that parents across the country, most assuredly the world, are experiencing.  The truth of the matter is that this current situation is fluid and changing every day.  Thus, parents are encouraged to make the most of the moment and use this time to connect with their children through conversation.  During times of crisis, like COVID-19, parental stress levels can increase and cause them to forget that their children are also experiencing the crisis.  Take the time to talk to them and have fun! We can’t control our world or political climate, but we can control how we react and model to our children how to cope during times of crisis. Have a great summer and stay safe!

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