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The low-stress guide to working from home

03 /What you should know about working from home with kids

If you haven't realised by now, working from home with kids is tough.

School’s off, but you still need to teach them, entertain them, sort out the squabbles, tantrums and mood swings and make sure they burn off all the excess energy that young people usually burn off in the playground with their friends.

So this card (a bit like a digital super nanny) is here to help. We’ll go through some short points to bear in mind when you’re working from home with kids and then list a ton of resources that will help with entertaining and educating them, giving you the peace of mind at the end of the day that they've gone to bed happy that they’ve had a good day with you.

Remember these points when you’re working from home:

  • Accept that you’re not going to get as much done as if you were in the office

In the space of writing up to this point, I’ve been interrupted 5 times. Kids need your help with everything from getting something to drink to opening a pot of paint. And they just like being with you. So accept from the start that the amount you can do in a day is going to be lower. Consider getting up early or saving some work for later in the evening so that you can set aside blocks of time in the day to focus on your kid(s).

  • Try setting up a routine that allows for work and playtime for both you and your child

We all love routines, particularly now when our old routine has gone out the window. Kids will be used to having very set routines at school and will appreciate having some form of structure and the ability to know what’s coming next in the day. Try setting up a routine that shows when you’re free to play and when you need to work.

  • Think quality over quantity when it comes to teaching from home

Rather than trying to recreate the 9 - 3 school hour set up, focus on delivering short bursts of quality teaching time. Kids’ attention spans are short at the best of times and are more easily distracted when at home.

  • Remember that you’re not just working from home under normal circumstances. You’re doing it during a global pandemic.

Working from home is difficult at the best of times. But remind yourself that this isn’t normal working from home conditions. Everyone is in the house together and you’re limited to how often you can go outside. There’s a constant concern around employment, the economy, catching the coronavirus, even how you actually do the weekly shop! Focus on doing the best you can, but give yourself some slack when you’re not performing at your usual 100%

Resources to help entertain and educate your kids:

There are actually loads of helpful resources online that can help you keep your kids busy during the lockdown, but they’re often spread far and wide over the internet. We’ve pulled together the very best all into one handy resource, and they’re all free:

Learning Resources:

This is cool. Every day one picture is featured on the site, but from this picture are multiple lessons related to it.

Weekly lesson plans and suggestions for activities for each year group up to year 6. Each weekly schedule also has multiple links to other learning resources so this is a good place to start.

Scholastic Learning Pack for Early years 
Scholastic Learning Pack for Key Stage 1
Scholastic Learning Pack for Lower Key Stage 2 
Scholastic Learning Pack for Upper Key Stage 2

Twinkl have made thousands of learning packs free to use. Sign up or log in with this offer code to download them all: UKTWINKLEHELPS

Quizlet is aimed more at secondary school kids but offers loads of great revision tools such as flashcards and interactive games

Hundreds of e-books for children aged 3 - 11 from Oxford Owl
Classroom Secrets Kids - a learning resource for Years 1 to 6
Weekly home learning packs which are completely free while the UK is under lockdown
Free to download activity books for primary school children
CBBC’s Maddie Moate is running live science lessons every week day at 11:00, but if you miss them, they’re all available on her YouTube channel
Myleene Klass is also running regular music lessons on her YouTube channel

Exercise Resources:

Joe Wicks is live-streaming a PE lesson for kids every week day at 9am on YouTube. It’s amazing.
Less polished but still fun, Oti Mabuse is also doing dance classes live from her living room on YouTube every weekday at 11am.
Cosmic Kids Yoga is a great way to help kids calm down and unwind, particularly useful just before bedtime. It’s a series of yoga exercises wrapped up in an engaging, kid-friendly story.