what does wfh mean for working parents?

WFH or wfh refers to ‘working from home.’ With the nation on lockdown due to Covid-19, more parents are working from home than ever before. For many, it will be their first time juggling a home-based role with childcare and homeschooling. So how can you be productive and keep your children happy? We’ll take you through it and share top working from home ideas and guidance.    

don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

Wondering how to work from home with school kids? After the Easter break, the pressure of homeschooling and managing your workload may feel overwhelming. Before you start Googling the UK curriculum and asking how homeschooling works, please just remember that these are exceptional circumstances and hundreds of thousands of parents are in the same position. To some extent, normal home education rules for school children simply don’t apply. The reality is that you can’t do both full-time, it’s about finding a balance that works for you, your employer and your family. 

flexibility is key.

One of the first questions on a working parent’s lips is how to find time to work with children? There are a number of options you can explore but it all starts with an open and honest conversation with your line manager or employer to understand what flexibility is available. Most organisations are happy to explore 

  • purchasing additional holiday to use during this period 
  • agreeing full or part-time unpaid leave  
  • extending work deadlines 
  • flexible workings patterns (evenings and weekends)
  • investigating additional temp resource to support you and your organisation.  

preparation and prioritising is key.

Many teachers will tell you that lesson planning is vital to success and that applies to wfh and homeschooling in the UK too. Spend some time at the start of the week and create a toolbox of activities and resources to keep your children occupied and engaged. If your children don’t need your help for some tasks, make a note to get these in motion when you have an online meeting, call or deadline. This will help you free up some time. 

You might want to check out our articles on learning resources or top homeschooling planning tips. Also, you’re not a superhero - you don’t need to teach a full homeschooling curriculum. Focus on English and Maths and then add a few other subjects across the weeks for variety. This can be anything from baking and gardening at home to online museum tours to watching Blue Planet!   

be honest and don’t be afraid to say no.

Being open and transparent with your family and employer is key. If you’re struggling, reach out for help. Don’t be afraid to politely restrict the number of calls and online meetings you commit to when working from home and homeschooling. Ask someone if they can take notes and share copies of the minutes with you so you can identify any actions that may be specific to you. You can also lean on the vast range of homeschooling resources, which are available online in the UK.

record and reward homeschooling wins.

Make a note of what does and doesn't work well so you can tailor your plans in the weeks ahead if you need to. You may also notice that your child needs more support with Maths over English or that they need more creativity to keep them engaged. It’s also something you can share with your child’s teacher when the schools reopen. 

When you’re WFH and teaching, remember that everyone (teacher and pupils) needs praise and encouragement….not to mention a reward. Whether it’s breakfast in bed for mums or a family film with popcorn, take time out to celebrate your homeschooling wins and achievements.