6 Top Tips for Coping with Kids at Home During the Coronavirus Crisis

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Understandably, this time is very stressful for many of us. But even more so for parents who have been hit with school closuresAs a result of this here at Inside Government we’ve been busy reaching out to our teacher community (digitally) for some feedback which we hope will give you some ideas on how you can tackle the weeks ahead working at home whilst also having to look after children: 

1. Establish a routine (this is key!)
As children will have been used to a strict routine, it’s important that some part of their day remains familiar to their school day. This ensures organisation and structure to both their day and yours. By implementing a schedule and dedicating a few hours a day to learning, you will be able to juggle your work, as well as your new teaching role. Ensure that breaks and downtime throughout the day are also in place - having some fresh air even it’s just a walk around the block at lunchtime for example (if you can do so safely without coming into contact with anyone). 

2. Make the most of technology!
There are so many resources available online and through apps, both for entertainment and educational purposes. Children can work through these themselvesand as they’re learning and not just playing, it should alleviate any guilt you feel whilst you need to get with your own work! 

We’ve included some of these great resources here: Home Learning Resources for Teachers and Parents 

3. Discuss your situation with your employer
It is better to be honest with your employer regarding your capabilities whilst working from home. In some instances, it’s just not going to be possible to do everything you did in the office at home and this is OK. Discuss your new schedule with them so they know what hours you’ll be available and make it clear that you are keen to find a way which works best for both of you moving forward. For example, if your boss understands you have children, they may allow you to work extended hours into the evening. 

Here are some top tips from the team at Inside Government: Top tips for working from home 

4. Create a designated workspace for both you and your children

With both you and your children working from home, it’s important you each have your own space that you can work from. Ideally this will include a monitor, mouse and keyboard as this will massively reduce the strain on your eyes and wrists. There’s a great piece on this over at the Guardian. 

By doing so, it will be much easier to focus, and family life can continue around the house as normal. Laptops, textbooks and notes can be kept here too, so it hopefully keeps the clutter to a minimum. 
5. Get Creative!
Use your imagination and think of fun and different ways kids can learn – playdough, arts and crafts, drawing, counting with coins. You could even set them their own science project which would keep them busy for hours. 

Exercise is also going to be important if everyone is cooped up at home and is a perfect way of tiring out your kids! Joe Wicks (the body coach) is running daily PE lessons at 9am Monday-Friday on his Youtube channel. 
6. Limit the amount of news being watched in the house
Although it is important to stay informed, it is a good idea to limit the amount that is being shown, both for yourself and your children. It can trigger uncertainty and can feed into anxiety. By turning off the news channels and perhaps muting or unfollowing certain accounts/friends on social media, it will help to keep calm and create a more relaxed, controlled environment around the household. 

Here are 3 great resources that the teachers we have spoken to have been using to communicate what is going on to their pupils/children: 

Manuel Molina: Corona Virus Story for Kids 

My Story About Pandemics and the Coronavirus - Carol Gray 

Corona Virus Story - Elsa Support 

This piece was written by Emily Bell, IG Schools Team.

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