Be Real: Safe at Home With Kids During Quarantine
If you are working from home with kids in the house, then you can easily picture the everyday scene: Up early with kids – one of which usually has an immediate need. Perhaps today they need an immediate glass of water or perhaps they dreamed that all their dinosaurs had been stolen and we need to quickly do a dino count.
Then, breakfast for kids. I try to cook a hot breakfast at least a few times each week. The other days they likely have cereal.
Smoothie for me to get those beneficial nutrients in.
Morning work call or checking email.
Time for school – homeschool, that is!
Convincing the kids to stop playing to go to the school room/office to start doing worksheets is not an easy task. Can you blame them? School is all about being with friends and learning from a qualified teacher who is going through a lesson that is often interactive.
Homeschool is mostly an onslaught of worksheets. Nothing against doing worksheets, but it gets old when you are a kid … and a parent who has to try to make them exciting every day.
I often mix in some online classes that I find and vet on YouTube, Facebook has some great Virtual Field Trips, and we use Outschool.com which offers a wide variety of subjects taught by trained educators online. My kids have taken virtual trips to Egypt, Peru, and the Amazon Rainforest. They have also done fun classes using dice for math or doing crafts.
Then back to work and more coffee. Perhaps a conference call or a writing project.
Kids are yelling that the computer is frozen and it is time for their class Zoom call. Run upstairs, fix it, get the Zoom call set up, accidentally hit video too early and the teacher gets a nice view of me, in pajamas, leaning over the computer screen.
Back out of the room once the kid is settled in.
Coffee. Start lunch.
Text with coworkers about a project. Questions. Answers. Quick stop at the computer to respond to emails.
Lunch is boiling. Stir, plate, and listen to kids in office to see if they are almost done.
Lunch on the table. Call kids to eat. Head back to computer to continue working.
After lunch, tell kids they must go outside and play while I have another call.
They go. Two and a half minutes later there is screaming and he said, she said tattle-telling.
Figure out the problem or just tell them to deal with it depending on whether the call is already started or if I have a few minutes.
Conference call. Work. Work. Coffee. Maybe throw some water in there – we are trying to be healthy after all.
Quick salad or leftovers from the kids’ plates. Clean up after lunch. Run dishwasher.
Project team call. Interviews. Writing.
Check kid school work. Get them to fix the incorrect answers. Help with math. More math. Find a glue stick to finish one project. Help them staple a booklet.
Reading time – each pick books and head into your rooms to read for … please, at least 15 minutes!
Inevitable fighting when younger one enters older ones room.
Break up fighting. Remind them we are a team. And, as team leader I need more quiet reading time for them… and for my sanity.
Clean up morning work in office and set up for afternoon online class or Zoom meetings. Consult the spreadsheet for Zoom meeting ID or log-in information.
Urgent text from team. Back to computer – quick typey-typey-typey. Fixed.
Run back upstairs before kid is late for Zoom class meeting. Accidentally start video while still yelling at kid to get his butt into the office. Apologize to teacher.
Close door and tell other kid to leave kid on call alone.
Back downstairs. Then back upstairs when other kid inevitably goes into office for something that is an absolute necessity at that exact moment, which causes kid on call to yell.
Apologize again to teacher. Close office door again. Tell intruding kid there will be no snack unless kid stays in room and finishes reading.
Back downstairs to computer.
Work. Water. Need more coffee – set machine.
Kid on Zoom call is done. Both complain of hunger. Give both snacks – totally forgetting that one kid was told there would be no snack for them (insert shrug emoji here).
Set up Duolingo for daily Spanish that both kids do together. Get kids and snacks organized in the office and remind them they have to take turns and “no fighting.”
Back to computer. Oh wait, where’s the dog? He should go for a walk. Quick walk around the block. Ah fresh air. Thought: I should work out more. Pull out the balance ball and do some quick sit-ups.
What’s for dinner?
I have to interject here and say that as a member of the amazing Communications team at Beebe, it is an honor to be able to write the stories of our team members and patients. It is something I am so proud to be able to do and I LOVE my job.
I also LOVE that I can work from home (even if I don’t love working from home with kids). I know so many cannot. I am just giving my perspective – a glimpse – into daily life during quarantine in my house.
And I LOVE my kids. They are generally amazing. And, they are just having kid struggles, just as we are having parent struggles during this pandemic. It is good to keep that in mind and be gentle on yourself and on the kids. Take breaks (I am working on this).
One way I keep us all sane is making sure we get outside time every day. The weather has not been great, however a quick walk or dart gun battle in the backyard gets us some much-needed fresh air and a break from the grind of it all.
We all are doing what we can during this time. We are all doing our best. Be gentle with yourself. Be gentle with your kids. It can be an emotional time as we stay safe at home heading into the summer.
Some Resources I'm Using
Outschool - classes online for small fees: https://www.outschool.com/
Education.com - Create profiles for each kid. Tons of lessons and games (We have a membership, but it's not very expensive): https://www.education.com/
YouTube - Kid Safety Videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMGDJIGmfbo&t=1s
YouTube - Learn to Play Ukulele: (There are tons of learn to play videos out there - for free!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0piM1L3a9Rc
Resources from Teachers - searchable by topic, grade, etc: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/
Discovery Education Virtual Field Trips: https://www.discoveryeducation.com/community/virtual-field-trips/