Woman working from home on the phone with a laptop

How to Homeschool and Work From Home During Coronavirus

Are you worried about trying to homeschool and work from home during coronavirus? Whether you’re new to working from home, to homeschooling, or both, don’t worry.

You and thousands of other moms will learn how to navigate this new normal. Yes, it’s challenging. You will need to make quick adjustments and rethink routines and responsibilities in order to keep some kind of sanity in your home. Yet I’m here to tell you that it IS absolutely doable.

Woman working from home on the phone with a laptop

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Why I Homeschool and Work From Home

I’ve worked from home as a business and personal finance writer for ten years. For almost eight of those years, I’ve also homeschooled my two youngest children.

I homeschool for several reasons.

One of my daughters lives with an auto-immune disease.

We live in a very remote part of Canada.

We (used to) like to travel as a family.

We love the freedom that homeschooling offers us in our educational choices. For example, I’m a big believer in outdoor education, learning self-reliance skills and encouraging entrepreneurship in children.

And homeschooling allows me to teach my children the basic business skills they’ll need to launch their own businesses someday…if they choose to.

Yet I know not every mother wants to – or should – homeschool their kids. And if this is you, that’s okay. However, for right now, you’re up.

You CAN Homeschool and Work From Home During Coronavirus

It’s important to understand that you’ll probably find it easier to adapt to working from home than you will to homeschooling.

After all, you’re familiar with your own work routines and responsibilities. You might not know as much about your child’s routines and educational needs and activities.

Please bear in mind that this is NOT the optimal way to introduce your family to home education. Crisis schooling is NOT homeschooling.

Make The Best of It

I don’t believe that working from home and homeschooling is the best choice for every family out there. And right now, as I hear from frazzled mothers trying to homeschool and work from home during coronavirus, my advice is this. Simply make the best of it.

Use these practical tips to meet your work responsibilities and keep your kids learning during this time.

If you’re wondering how on earth you’ll learn how to homeschool and work from home during coronavirus, start by considering the benefits. Yes, there really IS an upside to this.

Benefits of the Coronavirus

So maybe it seems strange to use the word “benefits” in the same sentence as the pandemic. However, as with most things, it’s all a matter of perspective.

While the virus itself has done its fair share of wreaking havoc on individuals and families, it has also forced us into situations that reveal opportunities we never would have seen before.

Discovering WFH Success

For starters, some mothers might never have realized they could succeed at working from home.

Whether they lost their job and were forced to find other work, or found their position changed to remote status, some mothers find working from home easier than commuting to an office.

Discovering Homeschooling Works

On the other hand, some moms who toyed with the idea of homeschooling have been forced into it. Yet they might have found it tough to envision visualize what that would actually look like, especially if they were already working or running a business from home.

When the first round of school closures happened back in the spring of 2020, many families found themselves crisis schooling.

And guess what? Some families discovered they actually preferred to have their children learning at home. In fact, some school systems were so unprepared that parents had to take the responsibility of providing their children with curriculum, or other educational resources.

This is when these families realized that the option to homeschool and work from home during coronavirus could work quite well.

Another benefit of the coronavirus is more family together time.

More time together provides the opportunity to learn more about each other. To strengthen your bonds. To really get to know your children before they become adults.

These benefits alone can help you to confirm your work and education choices or to give you a new perspective on what’s possible for your family.

How to Homeschool During Coronavirus

There many things to consider, but to keep from overwhelming you, I’ll stick to the basics.

Make it legally right

Every state/province in North America has its own homeschooling laws.

In the past eight years I’ve homeschooled in Ontario, the Northwest Territories, and Manitoba. Each one has different rules around registering, reporting, and administering tests, etc.

Has your current board of education mandated temporary homeschool due to coronavirus? If not, and you voluntarily choose to homeschool, you’ll need to take the necessary steps to make sure you’re doing it legally.

Many jurisdictions require registering students with either a school board or an actual school.

For example, where I currently live, in the Northwest Territories of Canada, my children are registered with a local public school each year. I complete an information form detailing the curriculum and objectives for learning annually as well.

Some places also require enrollment with an umbrella school and/or showing proof of homeschooling. Regardless of the requirements, it is up to you to discover what they are in your area should you choose to homeschool permanently.

For more information on homeschooling legalities in the United States visit Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA.)

In Canada, you’ll find the information you need at The Canadian Homeschooler.

Take time to deschool

Have you heard of deschooling?

Don’t get alarmed – it doesn’t require your kids to “unlearn” the lessons from school.

Instead, it simply means taking time to help your kids (and yourself) adjust to a new way of learning.

You may not realize how much the school system and rules embeds in the mind until you (and your child) try to educate differently.

So take time to establish a homeschool vision and a list of goals. Ask your children what they want to learn.

Consider how long you plan to homeschool, and what education means to you.

Think about the short term, while your family tries to homeschool and work from home during coronavirus. Now could be the best time to let your child pursue a favorite subject.

For example, maybe they love electronics. Or gardening. Or even art.

Check out online learning platforms like Outschool, and free learning resources from sites such as Homeschool Giveaways.

Take your cue from your children. Give them the chance to learn about something they love independently.

Establish a homeschool routine and schedule

At first, when you’re trying to adjust to homeschool and work from home during coronavirus, you might feel you need to stick to the school system’s routine and schedule.

I’m here to tell you that YOU DON’T HAVE TO.

Make adjustments to suit your family situation. And yes, that means your own work situation.

For example, you may want to let your children sleep in longer each morning so you get uninterrupted work time. Or maybe your homeschool routine includes an hour of reading together in the evenings.

Perhaps schooling works better in the afternoons for your family. Regardless of what you choose to do, keep your family dynamic in mind and take into consideration every aspect of your lifestyle.

Also, remember that actual “lesson time” with just a few children doesn’t take six hours a day as it does in schools with 20 to 30 children per class. So expect your children to have more “free” time.

Look for learning opportunities in household chores you can do together. For example, get older kids involved in meal planning and cooking. Math, literacy, science even geography and history lessons emerge from cooking together.

Also, enjoy the flexibility. The routine and schedule you establish today can totally change tomorrow.

With these three tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to homeschooling your kids without much stress and worry. Of course there is curriculum to consider, outsourcing with online classes, homeschooling groups to think about joining, and nailing down your homeschooling groove – but those will come in time!

How to WFH During Coronavirus

Working from home during coronavirus can be a little overwhelming if you’ve been used to clocking in and clocking out at another location. Use the tips below to make the transition easier for you and your family.

Set up a work routine

If this hasn’t already been established for you, then it’s a great idea to set one up. Grab your favorite planner, or use a digital one, and carve out non-negotiable work hours. This should be a chunk of time that is distraction free and during a time of day when you have the most energy. Communicate this schedule to your family so everyone is on the same page.

Designate a work space

While you don’t need a full home office to make this work, having a work space to call your own can work wonders. Your work space can be a corner in your bedroom, a closet, or even the dining room table. The idea is to have a designated space for all things work and work related.

Create a set of work rules

This is just as much for you as it is for other family members. Write down work rules that pertain to what is and is not allowed during work time. Be as thorough as possible and include things like no social media (for x amount of time), only notify you if there’s an emergency, and how often you’ll take breaks.

And don’t forget to set your boundaries when it comes to what is and isn’t okay during your homeschool hours and your work hours too. You’ll be surprised how much these rules will come in handy.

Homeschool and Work From Home During Coronavirus

Homeschooling and working from home during the coronavirus may seem intimidating at first; however, using the tips listed above can make for a much smoother process to your new normal. I’d like to hear from you! Are you new to homeschooling and/or working from home? Let me know your biggest concern or struggle in the comments below!

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