Working from home while attempting to home school children

Lorain Findlay

Working from home with two kids, a husband and a dog has brought a few challenges that I wasn’t expecting or was prepared for. I was quite happy sitting at the dining room table getting on with my work then all of a sudden I was expected to become proficient in google classroom, prepare meals, provide copious amounts of snacks and ensure they are being educated at the same time.

We have found a routine that works but it relies on us all being quite strict with each other.

We have agreed that all school work should be carried out in the mornings (as much as possible) along with one form of physical activity. Aidan (age 12) and Jamie (age 8) both have individual online chanter lessons each week - I need to avoid meetings at these times as it can be quite noisy! As well as working through their allocated school work, they have made me cups of tea and produced some delicious home baking. I am lucky that they are fairly independent and they understand when I need peace to take a work call or just need time to concentrate.

Both boys will happily spend a day on their PlayStation or watching YouTube so they do need a bit of encouragement to help out and get their work done. They have both said that they are looking forward to the day when they can return to school.

I am enjoying my daily dog walks with Murphy at lunch time or at the end of the working day and this has helped me to switch off from work and keep my steps up. Our favourite walk is along the beach front to Port Seton Harbour. We are also keeping in regular contact with my parents as they are in their 70s and are self-isolating. We are making sure they have all they need by leaving food parcels on their doorstep and using video messenger so they can speak to the boys. They look forward to our daily evening calls (or so they tell us).

I am missing the HR Team chat (and I do like to chat!) but we have managed to schedule time each week to catch up for a coffee break or for our Team Meeting via Microsoft Teams, which has worked really well. It’s important to stay in touch and check in with one another every so often. I like a good TV show recommendation and my colleagues always deliver.

So overall, I am doing what I can to maintain the momentum of working from home, keeping the kids entertained and educated, and maintaining a level of normality. I try not to compare myself to other parents' Facebook posts, highlighting what they have achieved in one day with their children as some are just not achievable for me. We are all doing what we can in this strange time to keep ourselves and others safe.

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