We’re now a month into the COVID-19 lockdown, and at present, there’s no end in sight. Adjusting to life in self-isolation has undoubtedly been a challenge for all, and with no real end-date insight, it can be difficult not to get overwhelmed – particularly so if you’re working from home with children.
For many of us, living in close proximity with other members of our family full-time, whilst working, whilst keeping up with life-admin, whilst managing childcare and other caring responsibilities is a nightmare come true.
But the team at RedCat is here to help you keep patient, productive, and peaceful.
Your Goals. Your Routine. Your Expectations.
As we’ve discussed before, adults and children typically respond well to some kind of structure. Why not create a few short-term and long-term goals for you and your family to achieve during self-isolation and beyond. But remain realistic. There will be days when you won’t complete your to-do list or your child refuses to do their full 2 hours of science – this is perfectly normal.
Also, don’t pay too much attention to social media. You must do what’s right for you and your family. Look back on everything your household has accomplished so far in quarantine, and use this to set your standards of success.
With your short-term and long-term goals in mind, create a schedule for you and your family. There’s no need for this schedule to be sophisticated, but it should remain flexible, allowing you to adapt on a daily basis.
Communication is key
It’s important to remain honest with yourself, your kids and those you work with during this period. You are not alone in your situation. Chat with other parents for advice – be it colleagues, friends or the online community. Furthermore, keep up communication with your employer so that you can find a way of working that works for both you and the business. Most employers will be understanding – particularly if they’re parents themselves.
Similarly, keeping up communication within your household should become your priority now. Talk to your children about what’s going on, why they need to keep learning, why you need to keep working and most importantly – how they are handling everything. There’s a chance they could be confused or worried about what they are seeing. Arrange regular periods of quality time with your children throughout the working day to help ensure they don’t feel ignored and alone.
Time for Technology
Working from home with your children might mean that they have a bit more screen time – that’s ok! There are tons of apps, games and tv shows available for streaming that are both entertaining and educational – and a large majority are now free during lockdown.
Trying to find education resources online can be daunting. We’ve listed our free favourites below that will hopefully spark curiosity in your children and keep them distracted whilst your working.
- Head to NASA’s Teachable Moment, for STEM resources, activities and lessons that are suitable for ages 5 – 15.
- Parlez-Vous Français? Learn French with Duolingo – or Italian, or Spanish, or pretty much any other language.
- BBC Bitesize is a homework helping tool that has your child covered whether they’re in primary or secondary school.
- YouTube has the capacity to provide hours of learning (or entertainment) for all ages. Fuse School’s channel has lots of short snippet videos in all subjects ranging from Maths to Art.
- Shakespeare’s globe theatre has a range of classroom activities and resources created especially for Children and Teens.
- If you’re children like to colour or draw, CBeebies has some great activities and printouts for the youngsters and if they’re older, these Disney animation lessons might be interesting!
Go on a trip
We have the capacity to travel anywhere in the world for free thanks to the world wide web. More than 2,500 museums around the world have made their collections accessible online, while Zoos and Aquariums are hosting Live webcams and your children can even do a virtual escape room – all for free.
Check out our favourites:
- Head to Google Arts and Culture to check out Museums and National Parks.
- Test their knowledge with a harry potter escape room – created in Google Docs nonetheless.
- Need 10 minutes of serenity? Watch jellyfish float through the water in this guided meditation video.
- There are so many good Animal Live cams but here are a few: San Diego Zoo, Edinburgh Zoo, Monterey Aquarium, Vancouver Aquarium and best till last, Tembe Elephant Park
Read with your ears
For as long as schools are closed, Audible are making their children’s audiobooks free. If that’s not enough, David Walliams will be reading a story from his world’s worst children collection daily at 11am.
There are a large number of cooking series available on social media channels, aimed at teaching you and your children fun and easy recipes that you can make together. Here are our top picks:
- Jamie Oliver’s roundup of family-friendly recipes,
- Tasty Junior, – little bites for little hands
- Delish has recently introduced a daily 20-minute Instagram live for mums and kids.
Work the Body
Fitness instructor Joe Wicks is running his popular YouTube video series – P.E with Joe, which provides a daily 30-minute P.E workout that kids can perform at home. Alternatively, If your children are missing out on their dance practice, BalletEnDemand provides free ballet, yoga and pilates lessons taught by professionals for all ages and levels.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is vital for your mental health. Life is all about balance and you will need to find your own balance that works for you and your children. If you need to spend a few extra hours watching TV to make everyone happy, then you do you.
Most importantly, embrace this unexpected time together as a family. Some say the best gift you can receive is time, and we will be one of the few generations that have been given extra time to spend with our children.
If you’re in need of any career advice during this period of uncertainty, please feel free to reach out to a consultant through firstname.lastname@example.org or by giving us a call on 0207 265 7800.
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