• Paul McCabe

A home schooling juggling act


I don’t know about you, but running a business and being a teacher at the same time isn't easy. If your partner is working from home too, you may have the added battle of deciding who takes maths and who takes PE today!


It has been 5 weeks for us now in lockdown and 5 weeks of below par teaching that Ofsted would have deemed inadequate at best. However, as with most things, as time goes by you learn and adjust. Here is what we have learned so far.



Be organised


Work out what you need to do and make that a priority. Don’t worry if non-urgent work doesn’t get done as long as it doesn’t impact on other things. Planning is a must! Plan your day ahead and the work you need to complete (school, business or otherwise).



Work at optimum times


Figure out when you work best. It may be you can get up early and fit an hour or so of work in before breakfast, or even fit something in around a 9am PE lesson with Joe Wicks. Or perhaps it suits you, and your employers/clients, to find extra time after school hours. This might give you the extra time you need to give your child the attention and help they need.


It doesn’t always work when you have clients to fit around, so only open your diary for appointments on certain days of the week, leaving other days free.



Communicate


Tell your clients that your children will be off school, ask them what they need and tell them what they can expect from you. I find that clients are very understanding, as long as they know what’s going on, how they can contact you, etc.



Remember that guilt is normal


Most parents feel guilty for one thing or another. Lots of parents will struggle with balancing demanding bosses or clients and not being there for their kids enough. No matter what the circumstance, you can guarantee we’ll be feeling guilty about it!



Let your children get involved, if they can


Depending on your business, your children may love to get involved. Are there any tasks that they can help you with that fit in with their curriculum? You may get some free help!


My daughter shows a lot of interest in design so occasionally she may ask questions about a job I'm doing. That is my chance to teach and work at the same time. If I can get her to carry out a task I think she can do well, even better!



Take time out


Do things – go and have fun with your children.


If you’ve planned and organised your workload and told your clients what to expect of you, then you can go out and have some fun and make memories. As long as it fits in with your deadlines work can wait until later while you're working from home.

Let me know your top tips in the comments below - I think working mums and dads everywhere would be interested - or email me on paul@thisisplum.co.uk with the story of your homes schooling juggling act.



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