Here we are. The start of another school year – and one that is crazier than ever. COVID is still ever present, leading many of us to struggle with setting up home workspaces for both virtual schooling and parents working from home. We scrambled in the spring to make it work – just to the end of this school year, we thought. And what we did then, may or may not have worked. Now, the stakes are higher as we embark on a year’s worth of new curriculum with teachers who do not yet know our kids’ strengths and weaknesses. Employers may or may not be as understanding and may have different expectations about working from home, leaving parents scrambling to juggle work with homeschooling.
Ready to pull your hair out? Not sure what the optimal organizational spaces should look like and what you need to make them so? Read on…
- Time for a good ole family chat! One by one, each member of the family articulates what his/her schedule is and what he/she needs to be productive. For example, some in the house may need complete silence, while others actually work well with some background noise and movement. This will be the impetus for who is set up where.
- Weekly family meetings are now a must! What went well last week and what needs to be altered? Who has a crucial exam or business meeting in the coming week and when? Clean up all the workspaces, loose papers, etc, stock up on necessary supplies and start each week organized and ready to go.
- How is that technology working? Do you need a booster or up your data plan? How about headsets or other noise cancelling devices?
- The kitchen can not be a 24/7 cafeteria, especially if someone is using the kitchen for a workspace! Plan out meals and everyone needs to “pack their lunch” as if they are going to work or school, including healthy snacks for the day.
- Make sure to include the following aspects of wellness into each day’s schedule – nutrition, exercise, sleep, and social connection.
- Product suggestions – a trifold presentation board makes for a great barrier between people needing to work at the same table or workspace. Analog clocks and alarms are a must! Check out the Time Timer for a great visual tool (information can be found on the Home Page of my student organizing website, www.thestudentorganizers.com). A bulletin board located in a prominent place is a helpful visual tool to post everyone’s schedule.
- Praise, praise, praise! Create a reward system for kids adhering to their school schedules, respecting parents’ work times, etc. And definitely pat yourself on the back – this is tough stuff!