So what can we learn from homeschooling in the workplace? When the Coronavirus hits and you are now in home schooling mode – what can you learn and how can you make sure you stay sane?
On Friday, we were told that our school in NRW, Germany was closing down for the next 5 weeks to protect the population and the health services over Coronavirus.
This means that the kids will have to be home schooled for the next 3 weeks until the Easter holidays start. Now, when I say homeschooled, I mean that school are doing an amazing job over the next two days to create a programme of work that can entertain and educate the kids from grades 1 to 12 and be delivered via the internet.
We are lucky, our school has access to iPads and the Grade 6 upwards have computers, so we can all access the information over the portal.
However, for the next two days, we have had to create a plan so the boys are still in school mode until the online learning is activated.
So what did we do? and what can we learn from Home Schooling?
Task One: Creating a logic around maintaining structure
We, as adults, know that the joy of working in ones pyjamas is the fact that you don’t have to do that everyday. Adults know that the acts of showering, getting dressed and cleaning your teeth, help you start the day well. This can be hard to describe to a ten year old who is desperate to luxuriate in the newness of homeschooling!
Task Two: Create the Daily Timetable
Family meetings about the need for structure and the need to have a school day timetable were necessary. We are all at home now, so we needed to agree when lunch is, when recess is and when is “home time”.
This was good for several reasons:
- I want no small person coming into my office in the middle of a Skype meeting.
- The kids would only pick PE and Art as their favourite subjects so we needed English and Maths in there too.
- The kids need that feeling of HOME time. So they can stop working and move onto fun things
Task Three: Give them some Autonomy
The boys were asked to write their own timetable. The 7th Grader has a timetable now, so we suggested that he used that as a baseline.
They decided that 5 x 60 minutes was too long to work alone and they wanted more variety. Ok we said. The 5th Grader wanted 6 x 45 minutes but this was a very short school day. What could we do to add more time into the day?
The compromise was 7 x 45 minutes with 5 minute breaks between “classrooms” so you could set up the next class. The is PE, art, English, Maths, German and Spanish so far on the timetables.
Task Four: Review
We have 2 days of this timetable until the school has a full plan in place for internet based learning. We need to review the timetable and keep the bits that work for us. Regular check-ins are essential in any work place.
So what can we all learn for our teams and our work lives about home schooling?
We have followed in the Kennedy Family, the same principles that we would with adults in the workplace.
- Set up the rules clearly and the reasons why
- Offer autonomy and self directed spaces
Maybe you can follow the same principles to help your family with the new family workplace.
Once they are back to school, have a look at this blog to get back your full working mojo.