How to Keep My Homeschooled Child Occupied While Working from Home
If you’re just starting out on your working homeschool mom journey, you might be thinking about what to do with your kids when you’re working. It’s a good question! I also thought a lot about how to keep my homeschooled child occupied. If you’re a work-from-home mom who intends to homeschool, then this post is for you!
The Easiest Choice
Now I know you’re probably not going to like what I’m about to say. But I have to say it anyway. 😊 Screen time is going to be your easiest choice. I also know that using screens gets a bad rap. But there are ways to use them that can be beneficial to both you and your kids!
This is what I’ve discovered about using technology since I started my working homeschool mom journey in 2017:
- Not all screen time is bad. There are so many engaging, entertaining and educational apps and programmes out there. Very Well Family has a list of ideas, which we have used too.
- Kids learn so much when given the opportunity to explore. We allow our kids a certain amount of time every day on YouTube and I’m constantly amazed by what they learn. Just imagine how cool it is to have all that knowledge at your fingertips when you’re curious? If YouTube does stress you out, which I totally get, then you can use these tips to have a bit more control.
- Netflix and Disney+ are great teachers. Oscar loves watching wildlife programmes and has such in-depth knowledge about so many things. It’s the way he likes to learn and it works for him!
- The more you restrict something, the more kids want to do it! This has been a hard-learnt lesson because I grew up being controlled and restricted. But by loosening the reins, our kids have been able to make better choices. And learn in a way that really suits them too!
- Games like Minecraft are known to have many benefits for kids. I know that my kids have learnt so much from the game in terms of problem-solving and confidence. Check out what LifeHack has to say about it.
Managing Your Work Schedule
You might not need to keep your homeschooled child occupied if you’re able to be flexible with your schedule or are able to afford child care.
- Working at night or over weekends is an option, if you have the energy. And please don’t forget to include self care if this is what you choose!
- You could include your partner by sharing child care and homeschooling with them. This works really well for my husband and I.
- If it’s viable for you and your family, then you might consider some child care options. I have a very detailed post with lots of ideas for getting help with your kids while you work. Always remember there’s no shame in asking for help! Nobody can do it all!
Can I Keep my Homeschooled Child Occupied without Screens?
You certainly can! It’s not your easiest option but it’s possible with some planning. Let’s look at practical ways you can keep your kids happy while you’re working.
- Keeps lots and lots of books for your kids to read. Book are such an easy way to keep kids occupied, even if they’re not avid readers. (There are so many wonderful picture books for all ages). And be sure to make use of that library! Or buy books second hand!
- Gameschooling is another super cool way to keep your kids occupied. They can learn, have fun and interact with each other.
- Embrace the mess. Often kids are happy to just potter around and do this and that. If you allow them to make a mess, they’re going to love you for it! I know this isn’t easy! But if you have the temperament (and maybe the space) to allow for safe mess-making, then go for it!
- Encourage your kids to get a hobby. Another wonderful benefit of homeschooling is time for kids to get good at something. And if they’re going to have the opportunity to do what they really love, I can guarantee that they’re not going to be bugging you!
My dear friend Kelly from Curiosity Encouraged has a great post with lots of screen-free ideas. Here are some of my favourites:
- Don’t be afraid of boredom. Kids can learn so much when they have the space to get creative with their time.
- Try strewing. This is such a fantastic way to engage kids with what you already have around the house.
Final Thoughts on Keeping Your Homeschooled Child Occupied
It’s not always going to be easy to keep your kid happy while you’re working. I think all working moms have the same issue – if they’re homeschooling or not. I know I still struggle from time to time. But I think what’s helped me to make it all work is mindset.
- I’ve accepted that sometimes I’ll have more time for my kids than others. But what I try to do is be present when I’m with them.
- I started teaching them from an early age about boundaries. It’s not easy to set boundaries for your kids, but everyone benefits in the long run.
- I try to keep guilt at bay. I need to work and I want to work. I do it for me and I do it for my kids.
Let me know how you keep your kids busy when you’re working from home?