5 Tips on Balancing Working and Teaching From Home!

By April 22, 2020 April 23rd, 2020 Blog

5 Tips on Balancing Working and Teaching From Home!

(part of a series of blogs throughout April to share our expertise with the greater community)

For all of those parents now teaching their scholars from home, we feel you! Many of our Compass staff has been doing this for years! We have enlisted some of our experienced teachers and staff to chime in on this balancing act!

Create a Schedule

Scholars benefit from structure in their day and knowing what to expect until it becomes routine. Make sure that the schedule is appropriate for the age level of your scholar. A first grader is not going to be able to complete a daily schedule as rigorous as a sixth-grader. You will probably have to do some work in the evening and on weekends, at least in the beginning.
~David Spink, Online High School Teacher

Give your scholars as much choice and ownership as possible. Children like to have control of their schedule just as much as we do, and they are more likely to behave if they have input in the decision making.
~Rebecca Jacobs, Educational Facilitator

Free and unstructured time is essential for scholars, so if they won’t listen, consider that they may need a break or to be redirected, or fed! I have found that reward systems and points work for many families.
~Abigail Terrell, Educational Facilitator

Be Organized

Train your scholars to be as self-sufficient as possible when it comes to accessing their schoolwork and submitting it.
~David Spink, Online High School Teacher

I receive all of the emails my scholars receive from their teachers, so I am in the loop, and so I can follow up with them about assignments and live sessions.
~Jason Bee, AVID Coordinator

I teach my scholars by setting an example; when I sit down to work they are doing the same, playing ABC mouse, doing workbooks, coloring, or reading.
~David Brasch, Director of IT

I work many evenings to be able to meet my scholars’ educational needs during the day. The Pomodoro, a time management tool, along with a productivity planner, helps me tackle important tasks.
~Abigail Terrell, Educational Facilitator

Create a Space for Everyone

I have a designated office area that I can close off from the rest of the house, which is helpful. Also, I let my scholars know when I have meetings or sessions and how long I will be in my office. I help them to organize their computer and workspace; make sure that they have all the websites that they use added to their favorites on the browser’s toolbar, and their usernames and passwords are written down and saved on their computer. This saves time and excuses for when my kids don’t want to do their work.
~Jason Bee, AVID Coordinator

For our older scholars, we have created a system in our home of using door hangers or signs “Busy – Do Not Disturb,” “Knock first before entering,” “Not busy, come on in,” to respect each other’s space.
~Barbara Johnston, Special Education Instructor

Stay Calm

Do not let obstacles stress you out when you are trying to balance working and teaching your scholars at home. It is not worth projecting anxiety, anger, or any negative emotions on your family, which will end up creating a negative environment in the home. Take deep breaths and know not everything is going to be smooth sailing, but you will get through it.
~David Spink, Online High School Teacher

Create a Teamwork Atmosphere

The key isn’t to get your scholars to listen; the key is for the family to create a teamwork atmosphere. One of the very best ways to do this is by creating a formal family meeting time. The classic book, Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen, has been my go-to since my twin girls were in preschool. They’re now 18, almost 19-year-olds. The name is a misnomer in many ways. This is about understanding the root causes of your children’s mistaken goals and creating a framework that reduces defeating cycles of frustration and anger on everyone’s side. The family meeting, where everyone has a role and has the opportunity to bring up issues, is one of the tools shared in this book. I highly recommend it.
~Angela Cloud, Educational Facilitator

Thank you to our incredible staff and educators for sharing this wealth of information. Our team is here for you – our scholars, our learning coaches, our staff, and our greater community. Be well, stay safe, and reach out if there is anything our team can do for you.

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