How to Manage Quarantine and Home Office

The Coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone around the world. Most children have not been able to go to school and many of us have been working at home for a while now. This prolonged time with your children can be a blessing, but it can also stress your relationship when not managed properly. How to manage quarantine? This is the question even you could be asking. To make things more extreme, even extracurricular activities that would normally separate parents and children have been cancelled as well.

This situation requires a lot of patience, creativity, and adaptability, and these most often than not have to come from the adults. We have prepared a small series of advice for everyone looking for inspiration on dealing with this unusual situation. The goal of these activities is to help you spend your time together and find tips on how to combine working with children at home and with their learning. In short, this article’s objective is for you to enjoy life during quarantine.

How to manage quarantine?

Prepare a work area for each person or have shifts

We all know that children are normally very active and their ability to concentrate on schoolwork seems to vanish with the smallest distraction. To minimize this, consider arranging your home so that there is a proper working space for you and for your kids.

When you work from home, it is essential that you set aside a special place for your work. It is the same with children and their schoolwork. Most families have already arranged a place for their children especially for homework, so if you already have that, half of the work is done. If you don’t, and your children have been doing homework on the dining table until now, it’s time to realize that the situation has changed. Try to find a solution so that children have a specific space for their work. Doing so will save you from having to clean up and arrange all their school supplies every single day.

If the only desk at home is the one that your child uses to do their homework, think about getting another desk. There are very inexpensive and practical small desks that you can buy, and if space is an issue you can even find small folding desks that won’t take up space when not in use. If you absolutely can’t fit a new desk at home, have a schedule for using the desk and stick to it. How to manage quarantine while working from home?

Working from home

So, where should you sit?

Trying to perform well while working on a computer placed right next to the kitchen sink or while sitting on your bed is not ideal. Don’t worry, I will not suggest that you rent the apartment next door or build a new room in your house. All you have to do is to arrange a work corner out of a quieter part of your home, such as the living room.

It is ideal if you have a wall behind your back and a good view of the room while sitting at your working table or desk. Also, make sure you pay attention to the light from the window, so that it does not shine directly onto the monitor. The glare produced by having a window behind you is very tiring for the eyes. With the wall behind you and the light from the side, you will feel calmer and concentrate faster. If you have small children, you will also have a better overview of what is happening around the house.

The right set for a laptop or monitor

Also, if your only computer at home is a laptop, consider getting a keyboard, a mouse and a monitor. It can help you solve the question on how to manage quarantine. These three accessories will help with your comfort and also improve your productivity. A 22 inch LED or IPS LCD monitor should not be that expensive and it will basically pay for itself. Consider talking to your employer about these expenses. Most companies pay for these kinds of accessories or at least cover part of the cost.

Another useful tool for working from home is a good quality headset with microphone. This is especially true if the space is limited and there are several people on calls or video conferences at the same time. Depending on your budget, preferences and needs, you can choose between wired and wireless headsets and even invest in a noise-cancelling pair so that you can keep your focus better.

Set a schedule for working from home

We all need to have at least a small dose of routine in our lives. If you have children at home, this consideration is twice as important. A predefined schedule will help you and your children work/learn better by creating a habit. Also, schools have a very structured schedule for their students, so even if your work is flexible, you will probably have to work your own schedule around theirs.

When it comes to the time for waking up your children and putting them to bed, consider that children normally need a bit more sleep than adults which can give you an opportunity to have some quiet moments. You don’t need to wake them up at the same time that you normally did when they had to commute to school, so their sleeping hours will be slightly more flexible. If you are a morning person, wake up early and enjoy some time before the children are up. If you are a night owl, the children will be asleep for a while before your own bedtime, so make use of this time. 

Don’t forget to divide your days into weekdays and weekends, and set stricter rules on weekdays. Also, consider that the added flexibility of working and studying from home might allow you to set your “weekends” to any day of the week. If you need, for example, one day to run errands like going to the bank, you can rest on Sundays and Mondays and work from Tuesday to Saturday. 

Consider your child’s learning style while working from home

There are three primary ways that people remember information most easily. No one belongs to only one type, yet there is almost always one that predominates, and learning in this way is more comfortable. The three types of learner are: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. The visual and auditory types are pretty self explanatory (they need to see the information or hear it, respectively), but the kinesthetic learners require all of their senses in order to easily absorb information. This is how to manage quarantine.

For the first two types, you probably have most of the things they will need at home. As it is for visual learners, a printer or a tablet computer might be the most important tool for you. For auditory children, the headphones I suggested earlier will be a must. The kinesthetic type needs more things though. They need to move, create things and lots of teaching aids. Most importantly, don’t force them to stay calm and in one position. Markers, scissors, paper, and various materials will help a lot, as well as, for example, a wireless speaker, through which you can play their online classes while they move around. This kid will need to mix everything up a bit.

Take care of the household together

Explain to your children that besides their school responsibilities they should do some housework. Most children do not like this type of work, but you should explain to them that you all live in the same household and that everyone has to contribute. Try to take into account the individuality of each child, so if there is a particular chore that they struggle with, maybe help them or simply swap it for something else. Working for others should not be a punishment but a normal part of life. This is how to manage quarantine.

This work should not be limited to tidying up their own rooms. A very important part of teaching children to do housework is to help them see how their actions will not only benefit them, but also the rest of the family. Depending on their age, maybe you can let them prepare food for the whole family once a week. It will probably not be the fanciest meal of the week, but I’m sure you will all greatly enjoy it.

If you follow the advice in this article, your life while working from home with children will undoubtedly be easier. They will learn better, you will be more productive and even your personal relationships will improve. I hope you found this information useful and wish that you enjoy these very different times and make the best of staying close to your children for a while.

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