How to Work From Home While Having Children

Juggling kids and work is becoming a new reality for many people, with schools closing, many parents transitioning to working from home, and social isolation decreasing child-care alternatives.

I’ve been working from home for almost six years—almost as long as I’ve been a parent. During that time, I’ve worked through my daughter’s day care abruptly closing, worked through both of my daughters being sick for a week with hand-foot-and-mouth disease, and worked through hundreds of snow days and sick days with one or both of them at home.

These times have felt like a marathon and a sprint at the same time. The days sometimes seem endless, but I’ve had to work in short bursts in order to keep up with the kids.

Working with children at home isn’t ideal, but I’ve developed several tactics that make it easier over time. They’re what I’ll be using with both my preschooler and first-grader at home in the following weeks. Check out our previous articles on staying sane when working from home with kids for more suggestions.

Make a daily schedule.

It’s unlikely that you’ll become an expert homeschooler. After all, you’re doing two jobs at the same time! (There’s a reason you didn’t choose to homeschool in the first place, after all.) Giving your family a list of activities, on the other hand, gives the day a sense of purpose and pace, and you won’t be left wondering what to do with your little monsters next. I attempt to follow my children’s school routine (and if your child’s school is closed, you may have already been provided topics of study to concentrate on). That usually entails some reading, painting, choosing time, a trip outside, and lunch for my 4- and 6-year-olds.Make a daily schedule.

It’s unlikely that you’ll become an expert homeschooler. After all, you’re doing two jobs at the same time! (There’s a reason you didn’t choose to homeschool in the first place, after all.) Giving your family a list of activities, on the other hand, gives the day a sense of purpose and pace, and you won’t be left wondering what to do with your little monsters next. I attempt to follow my children’s school routine (and if your child’s school is closed, you may have already been provided topics of study to concentrate on). That usually entails some reading, painting, choosing time, a trip outside, and lunch for my 4- and 6-year-olds.

Like they do at my daughter’s preschool—but honestly, it doesn’t have to be that difficult. A simple list with estimated timelines has proven to be very useful for me. (If you need more tips on how to plan a school day at home, check out this post.)