We are half-way through the summer school break! The kids have been off school for a while now, but you’re still working from home! How to work from home in summer with kids? It seems impossible!
But you can make it happen without pulling your hair out. It takes some organization and strategy – here’s how to do it.
Set aside reading time every day, even just a half hour. If you have a reluctant reader like I do, let them choose one or two books to read before the end of summer, and have them write up a book report afterwards.
While they’re writing their book reports, have them also write in a summer journal. Ask them to share their thoughts about their day, or vacation, or write a creative story about anything!
Create a craft bin
If you don’t already have a craft bin or creative/art area, go to the dollar store stat. Have supplies at the ready including construction paper, paints, markers, playdough, coloured pencils, and other kid-friendly art supplies so they can create and “work” right alongside you.
Workbooks and Colouring Pages
Most kids enjoy colouring workbooks and coloring pages as well. Have a variety available so you can pull out a different activity each day.
Create an outdoor play area
For younger kids, make sure to have some space in the backyard where your kids can play and explore while you work (and while you can watch them). A backyard playground, sand box, water table, lawn bowling, can provide hours of fun.
My kids are old enough to ride their bicycles and scooters outside on their own, and go to the park, and play basketball at our school across the street.
Look for activities
If you’re working from home, it might not make sense to enroll your children into full-day summer camps. Check with your town for half-day activities; some local businesses such as gyms and dance studios may offer lessons a few hours a day. Also check with your local community centre for half-day activities as tennis, golf, or swimming. My kids have done a morning basketball camp, and a two-hour hockey clinic during the summer break.
If you need a couple hours of totally uninterrupted work outside of naptime, consider creating a sort of babysitting swap with other moms. You each take a turn scheduling a play date with all the kids, and use that time to run errands or do something fun alone.
Take breaks to play with them
I find blocking time into hourly increments helps to keep productivity up, and kids busy. Say you block an hour or two in the morning, and warn the kids that that is mom’s working time; when you’re done, then you can do something fun together. They can then manage to find something to do during that time frame too, knowing that mom will be free soon.
Television or screens in small doses is okay, as long as they’re not watching movies or shows all day long. Putting on a movie or allowing your kids to watch a couple episodes of their favourite cartoon doesn’t make you a neglectful parent. Don’t feel guilty about some screen time, just as long as they have equal active time too. They’ll be entertained and you’ll be able to get things done.
Hopefully these tips will help you juggle working from home and taking care of the kids this summer! And if your kids utter the words, “I’m Bored!”, you can point them in the direction of cleaning their rooms or better yet, the toilets!
More fun ideas: 50 Fun Things for Kids to Do Outside