Are you suddenly working from home with the whole family? How’s that going? If you find yourself struggling to get into a rhythm or get as much done as you want/need to, read on for some of my favorite tips for working from home with kids.
Tips for working from home with kids
Join The 5am Club
If you aren’t already an early riser, now is the time. Waking up before your kids (or your spouse) gives you uninterrupted time to get sh*t done. I wake up at 5am, make my coffee and settle in at my desk. This is my most productive time of day. We use an Okay To Wake clock so that my son stays in his room until 7:15. That means I have a solid 2 hours to focus on work before the craziness of the morning. Make sure to use this time for your big priorities or work that requires creative thinking and focus.
Create Some Sort of Routine
Having some sort of structure in your day while everyone is home together is important. However, be sure to be flexible here because, well…kids. For reference, my son is almost 5. I created a visual schedule of our days so that it is easy for him to know what is coming up next.
Kids thrive of off routine and predictability, so get them involved. My son caught on to our new routine in one day and he was actually keeping me on schedule. He knows when it’s time for me to work, when it’s time to play outside, when it’s time for lunch, etc.
Loosen Your Reins on Screen Time
Consider this your permission to let go of your rules on screen time. You’ve got to do what you you’ve got to do and technology can be a great tool. On that note, also don’t worry about letting your kids get bored. That is when their creativity comes out. You do not have to be their sole source of entertainment.
Divide and Conquer
If you have a spouse who is also working from home, divide and conquer so that you both have dedicated work hours. The days my husband is home he has been taking the morning parenting shift and then we switch in the afternoon.
Focus on Being Fully Present
When you are in work mode, be all in on your work. When you are parenting or playing teacher, be fully present in that. It will leave you feeling more calm and you will actually be more productive.
Set Your Work Hours
Don’t fall into the work-from-home trap of being “on” all the time. While your office hours may not be 9-5, stick to regular hours. I typically work in blocks with breaks for spending time with my son.
Designate a Workspace
Work with the space you have, but have a designated space for work. If possible, make sure that area isn’t your bedroom. Working in your bedroom will have a negative impact on your sleep which you need now more than ever.
Identify Helpful Resources
We are so lucky to have so many resources available for ideas and tools to help educate, entertain, and engage our kids. Create a Pinterest board with age-appropriate activities that will keep them engaged for as long as possible. Some of my favorite resources include:
Khan Academy Kids: this free app is designed for kids ages 2-7 and engages kids in core subjects like early literacy, reading, writing, language, and math, while encouraging creativity and building social-emotional skills.
ABC Mouse: Another educational app and website offers a full curriculum for kids ages 2-8. You can get the first month for free (that’s what we are doing).
Starfall ABCs: Starfall ABCs motivates through positive reinforcement and play. Children delight as they see, hear, and interact with letters and sounds in words, sentences, games, and songs.
What are your tips and tricks for navigating working from home with young kids? I
want need all the ideas!