As the reality of the next few months sinks in, more parents in Sunderland will once again face the prospect of home schooling and home working.
We caught up with Jonathan Ratcliffe, an expert office provider from Sunderland to learn how parents can cope with the pressures of working from home with kids (again).
Here’s everything you need to know…
Jonathan Ratcliffe with son Tom (4)
“Our hearts literally sank when the Prime Minister said those words “schools in Sunderland are to close” because we remember what it was like last time – seriously tough times.
Entertaining the kids whilst trying our best to keep working and the money coming in. Plus, last time the weather was nice, now it is awful”, explains Jonathan Ratcliffe from Sunderland Office Provider Offices.co.uk
“Home schooling is one of the hardest things we have done as parents.
The expectation and the stress, and at the same time we are trying to hold down jobs – it’s a nightmare scenario.
“You firstly need to take some time to come to terms with the change in lifestyle – and lower expectations, because the minute you try and do too much, is when the stress will hit you like a brick wall – life has changed for a few months and you need to accept that”. Ratcliffe added.
Top tips for Sunderland parents home schooling during lockdown…
SET A WORKING TIME AND STICK TO IT!
Routine is important for good sleep and mental health, for both you and your kids. School starts at a set time, so make sure you are ready and stick to the timetable moving forward.
GET DRESSED PROPERLY…
Getting showered and dressed is an important part of our routines and will help to add a degree of structure to your day.
CREATE SPACES FOR DIFFERENT ACTIVITIES…
You might set up a teaching room (kitchen), quiet room (spare bedroom) and a play area (living room).
MAKE A PLAN WITH YOUR KIDS…
At the start of the day ask them what they want to do (within reason) so they feel involved.
STRUCTURE YOUR DAY LIKE A SCHOOL DAY…
Teaching time, activity time, play time and lunch time – just like their normal school routine.
TURN OFF YOUR PHONE!
How are your kids meant to feel involved if you are checking emails? Screen time for digital devices will be soaring once again during lockdown, so turning your phone off or taking a break from your mobile device will hugely benefit you and your kids.
EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE!
Depending on where you live, if you have a garden or not – try and get some fresh air, this also allows you some headspace and to help keep you motivated throughout the day.
SET ASIDE BREAKS FOR TV, IPAD AND EXERCISE…
Use these times to schedule work emails or calls.
FINISH AT A SET TIME, BEDTIME AT A SET TIME!
By getting a routine drilled in early on, you can try and get the kids to sleep at a sensible time, thereby giving yourself some space to work if you need to.
DON’T BE TEMPTED TO HIT THE BOOZE TOO MUCH…
Evening time will be the only real time you can realistically work. If you drink, your concentration will be poor, sleep poor and you will wake in a grumpy mood. Try and keep drinking to a minimum and you’ll feel the difference in no time.