This story was originally published on WeWork Labs’ content platform, Insider.
As families navigate these new waters, and the stress that comes with having exponentially more to do during the day, we’ve summarized some helpful tips and resources that may be useful when it comes to balancing work with educating and caring for children. As these two worlds have collided over the past few weeks—and continue to fuse for the near future—maintaining a peaceful coexistence can be difficult at times, but it’s not impossible.
1. Designate an area for your “home office”/adjust your workspace
You definitely don’t want to completely isolate yourself from the children if no one else is around to tend to them, but the kitchen table won’t serve as the optimal workspace, either. Search for a well-lit area in your home, preferably a spare room with a door, that will enable you to organize your files, stay on task, and minimize interruptions.
2. Work the graveyard shift/become an early riser
Because hours have been lost during the day to other distractions, tack on work time at night and in the morning when it tends to be quieter.
3. Be realistic
They are kids, and they demand attention. They can’t be expected to sit for hours at a time while you work. Assign time to be with them.
4. Plan ahead
If possible, take control of your schedule by establishing your own internal deadlines, because you never know what each day will bring when you have kids in the house.
5. Create a to-do/activity list
Some semblance of structure and a routine are what kids need. Provide them with a schedule much like the ones they have at school. Ideally it’s a daily ritual that combines educational activities and tasks.
6. Offer incentives
Set goals for your children to keep them occupied. If they successfully meet the target, offer them a reward.
7. Give it a rest
Kids still driving you up the wall? Rid yourself of any internal guilt and take a break. Take them on a bike ride, have a fitness competition, watch a movie, bake cookies, go for a walk, or simply play catch.
8. Pat yourself on the back
Balancing children and a full-fledged workload is beyond difficult. Regardless of how you wind down, make time to pamper yourself on occasion to avoid burning out and crashing into a mental brick wall from work overload.
These activities offer engagement opportunities for children as they hang at home.
Museums, zoos, and aquariums
- Google Earth: Now offering virtual tours of 31 national parks.
- Google Arts & Culture: Extensive selection of virtual tours of the world’s greatest museums and heritage sites.
- National Gallery of Art: American art museum.
- British Museum: Iconic museum located in the heart of London.
- Musée D’Orsay: Virtually walk through this popular Paris gallery.
- Cincinnati Zoo: Home safari on Facebook Live.
- San Diego Zoo: Live look at the animals.
- Georgia Aquarium: Check out the Atlanta facility.
- Houston Zoo: Big and small cams.
- Monterey Bay Aquarium: Ten live-streaming cameras.
- Zoo Atlanta: Watch the roly-poly pandas.
Learning and activities
- Scholastic Online offers online reading resources by grade.
- Smithsonian Online for science and social studies online resources.
- ABC Mouse is a great resource for learning and adventure academies; free access here.
- Go Noodle for your favorite dance break.
- BrainPOP for various stages of learning and activities.
- Cosmic Kids Yoga for a much-needed stretch and break.
- StoryLine Online for stories read by some famous actors.
- Vooks offers children’s books digitally presented.
- PBS Kids for videos, games, and learning activities.
- Mo Willems Lunch Doodles for your little artists.
For more free access, please visit this growing list of resources.