Working from home can be a challenging task for anyone who is new to it, and having young children at home with you can make it that much more of a challenge! This can seem overwhelming for many families, which is why, with the help of Guardian Childcare & Education Freshwater’s Centre manager Petra Wright, we’ve put together some tips to help you and your family make the adjustment.
Have a set schedule
Familiarity is key – for both you and your child. While you can’t stick to the exact same routine you would normally follow in the office or at Childcare it’s important to develop a sense of familiarity where you can, and creating a schedule can help you and your child with this. Your child’s schedule could include getting up at a set time, having breakfast, brushing their teeth, then sitting down to engage in an experience. Write the schedule on a white board or a sheet of paper and mark it off as you go along. Adding stickers as a reward system is a great way to motivate your child!
Encourage independent play
Independent play is an important lesson for young children to learn, it teaches them self-reliance and creativity. Independent play can include reading, drawing, building – whatever your child is interested in, there are bound to be experience’s that they will enjoy and can do on their own. With a little help, you’ll be surprised how children can forge ahead in play through their imagination!
Letting children help
Children fundamentally want to help you. Help them feel helpful at this time by giving them some responsibilities. It can be as simple as having them clean up their toys, making sure their pets have fresh water, or even watering the garden. Like all of us, they want to be part of things, care and protect the world around them and feel valued.
Reach out to your community
During these trying times, it’s important to feel a sense of community with those around you, even if you can’t be physically near. Guardian Childcare & Education Freshwater has created a ‘Resource Library’ to help parents from their centre who have had to take their child out of Childcare for reasons such as poor immune systems, or if their family has a newborn at home.
The centre organises a weekly package for families who are working from home with their children to pick up. The package is bespoke to the child and includes experiences that they know particularly interest the child. All resources are thoroughly cleaned before sending them off to families as well as when they are returned at the end of the week. This is a contactless transfer – the boxes of supplies are labelled with the child’s name and are left out in the garage for families to collect.
“Families would contact me pulling their hair out, saying that it is so difficult to work from home with their children,” explains Centre Manager Petra Wright. This is where the initiative stemmed from.
Inspired? It’s something families can do with their own friendship group, and it’s a great, sustainable way to refresh resources within your household.
Don’t be so hard on yourself
Remember, this will be a learning curve for you and your child. Be kind to yourself and you will find what works and what doesn’t work for your family as you go!
For more helpful ideas and tips to engage your child while working from home, visit Guardian Childcare & Education’s new Learning Exchange at www.guardian.edu.au/learning-exchange or the blog at www.guardian.edu.au/blog.
The Carousel would like to thank Jane Morey for her article.