How to Work from Home AND Home School During Lockdown
Last night the UK Prime Minister announced that the country was going into yet another total lockdown, leaving many working parents wondering how to work from home and home school during lockdown. We had a similar situation in March 2020, and I learned a few tips to make life easier. For background, I work from home as a Pinterest Manager and have an eight year old daughter. My husband works from home but the majority of the childcare and home school responsibilities have fallen to me as he works full time office hours. As my role is flexible, I can adjust my routine to take into account the extra responsibilities of home school. Here are my top 5 tips on how to work from home and home school during lockdown.
Be prepared to work in short bursts as you will definitely be interrupted. Turn off your phone (or put it on aeroplane mode). I wait until my little girl is on with a task then I crack on with some work, helping her out as she needs. We both work at the dining table so I’m on hand to help if she needs it.
Change your working hours if possible, so you can work when your children are asleep or your partner can help out.
Only do the essentials.
We’d all like to organise our inbox or create a new background for our laptop, but these can wait. Only focus on the tasks that NEED doing, not the ones that you’d like to do.
Get up early.
I’m a huge fan of an early morning as it means I can get a cup of coffee in peace before the before school rush starts. I get up at 6am most mornings and go through my emails with my cup of coffee. I’ll also do some social media engagement and post on my personal account if I’ve got a decent picture. I feel like I’ve ticked a few things off the To Do list, and am actually feeling awake before the rest of the family get up.
Plan your meals.
Meal planning really helped us, as did batch cooking. A big batch of chilli will make a quick, easy and healthy lunch and save you having to think about what to make. If you have a freezer, batch cook and portion up things like chilli, lasagne, stews, casseroles. I have a Pinterest board full of free planners – use one of these to plan your meals.
Don’t feel guilty about extra screen time.
We tend to work and home school in the mornings, leaving us afternoons free to read, watch a film or play Xbox. It’s important to have some downtime! It also helps to keep a bit of normality in what is a very strange situation. My little girl has gone from being in a classroom with 34 other children all day to being at home with just her parents. It’s a huge adjustment, and anything we can do to make the situation better for her is a bonus. We’ve definitely had our money’s worth out of our Disney+ subscription over the various lockdowns!
If you have found yourself in the situation where you have to work and home school during lockdown, be kind to yourself as well. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to do all the school work, all your work, bake banana bread, learn a new language or take up painting. There is only so much you can do. Make sure you schedule in time for yourself, even if it’s just half an hour after the kids are in bed. You might like to read this post on The Myth about Self Care I wrote.
I hope this is helpful. Do you have any other tips on how to work from home and home school?