Many parents in the Chicagoland area are waking up to their children having a snow day, remote learning, or just not feeling comfortable sending their child to school in this weather. It is important to keep kids safe which is why many schools have been closed. This might mean that you are trying to figure out how to balance your children being home while still working. How can you make this work?
Depending on the age of your children helps to determine how this day is going to work for you. Younger children often need more attention and help during the day. For children of all ages, think about what they can do independently if you do need to work. The length of this activity will be determined by what it is. You will most likely need more than one activity for your children throughout the day. Think about which meetings you have, if you have them, and determine what your children are going to do during these times. While you may have other responsibilities that need to be taken care of, meetings are harder to accomplish with your children present.
For children who need more help, you can try to set up a few activities as well as make sure to have some snacks ready. This will eliminate the need for them to come ask for help with snacks. This may or may not work for lunch. The more that you can prepare, the easier your day will be.
Some schools have switched over to e-learning for today so this can present other challenges. How much help does your child need for e-learning? Do they know how to get to all that they need for their classes? Do they know how the different programs work? At this point, most children know how to work their device and how to navigate to where they need, but make sure that they do. Also make sure that they are doing the work as some may have a harder time focusing on the remote learning option.
This can be a day filled with fun activities, but are you trying to figure out what activities are going to work? Try to have your children outside for at least some of the day. Depending on schedules and your child’s tolerance for the weather, this activity may be longer or shorter. The fresh air will be good and it will also help to get some of their energy out. Children can spend time reading or being read to, complete some art activities, or play with toys inside. If you have more time available, you could maybe do a baking or cooking activity with them or play some games. Depending on the age of your children, there may be some screen time as well. If you have meetings today, this may be when screen time may be most effective. Remember you do not have to entertain your child for the whole day, but you may want or need to help them come up with what they can do during the day.
While you may not have planned to have your children home with you today, many of you now do. Communicate what you need from them and find out what they want to do as well. If you need help, feel free to reach out to me for more information.