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Working Parents: You’re Not Alone! Tips for Back-to-School Season

Sep 22 2020

It’s back-to-school season … and though that time comes every year, it’s never been quite like this. 

Rather than hopping on the bus each morning, many school-aged kids are staying home to learn remotely, to be homeschooled, or to do a hybrid model of half remote, half in school. 

With any of these methods, the pressure is on parents to get their youngsters where they need to go – whether it’s to the kitchen table or across town to their classrooms. 

Whichever model or combination is on your desk this fall, we’re here to help you adjust as seamlessly and easily as possible.    

Prep the night before 

Phew, the kids are finally asleep … as tempting as it is to melt into the couch, consider accomplishing just a few more tasks before you sit down. It’s rough, we know! But you’ll thank yourself in the morning: 

  • Pack lunches and snacks (or plan a few meals based on what’s in your fridge) 
  • Set the coffee maker 
  • Tidy up the kitchen 
  • Set out kids’ clothes for the next day (or have them pick them out as part of their evening chores) 
  • Lay out your own clothes

Get those kids to bed 

Whether your kids are going to school in person or at home, your mornings will be a lot smoother if your children are well-rested. 

If quarantines made bedtime routines kinda-sorta disappear, now’s the time to bring them back into your routine.  

Create a space for online learning 

This space should be free from distractions and specifically designed for remote schooling. Make it fun and get the kids involved by asking them what they want to have in their own at-home workspaces. We have more tips for at-home schoolrooms in our post on home décor during COVID-19 (and heads up — this rainbow corkboard will brighten anyone’s day!).

Organize your email inbox 

Before COVID-19, many parents felt their kids’ schools didn’t communicate enough. Now, we can’t seem to go 5 minutes without getting an email update. 

We get it, teachers and administrative staff are winging it just like we are, and they’re doing the best they can. Rather than getting frustrated, set up a new folder system in your email inbox to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed. 

Lean into what works best 

You may notice your child is more productive with math in the morning and more creative with art in the afternoon. If your remote learning plan is asynchronous, then consider tailoring homework to each child’s individual needs and peak focus times.

And maybe your child prefers to lay on the floor or stand by the kitchen counter … let them try out different working stations. Even better, make a theme out of it. Fort Fridays anyone?

Be good to yourself 

You know that whole “self-care” thing we keep hearing about? Well, turns out it’s extra important during a pandemic. Who knew? 

Be patient with yourself and give your family time to figure out what works best. Feeling alone? Reach out to school staff and other parents for support.  

We’re learning, too 

Keep and its parent company, Framework Homeownership, are committed to being thoughtful and creative as we support the parents on our team.  

We surveyed our staff and host weekly listening sessions to learn about the challenges our working parents face and are testing different methods to make them feel supported. 

Our meeting times can be adjusted to fit varying schedules, or recorded when team members can’t attend, and managers are patiently making new schedules and timelines work. 

For those who want someone to talk to, we have a Slack channel specifically for the parents on our staff. Our team members have children of all ages with a diverse array of needs.  

For more support during COVID-19, check out these posts: 

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