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Hybrid working and homeschooling: how to make it work

6 min read   •   October 21, 2021
Louise Schoonwinkel – Optimi Home MD

With the ‘new normal’ changing constantly, many parents are returning to the office after working from home for weeks or months. Balancing returning to the office with homeschooling can seem challenging but, thanks to the flexible nature of home education, Impaq can help you juggle hybrid working and homeschooling. With some planning, flexibility, teamwork and creative scheduling, here is how you can make it work.

Forget about the norm

One of the biggest homeschooling stereotypes is that you must be at home educating your children Monday through Friday – basically, you must follow the traditional school schedule. The truth is that every homeschool is different, and your schedule can be whatever works for you.

Depending on the hours you need to be at the office, you can fit in a lesson before going to work in the morning, in the evenings after work, or even on weekends. If you have to go to the office only a few days a week, make the most of your days at home and spend the time you would have spent in traffic or getting ready guiding your child through a lesson. The key is to take advantage of the time you have, no matter when that is.

Find the right curriculum

One way to make the most of the time available is to spend as little of that time as possible on planning lessons. You can do this by choosing a curriculum provider that includes a comprehensive lesson plan. Impaq provides comprehensive CAPS-aligned lesson material for learners and facilitator’s guides for parents that include a subject plan, timetable, and lesson guidance. These handy facilitator’s guides make it easy for you to know what to teach and take the hassle out of planning daily lessons.

Divide and conquer

If you have a spouse or partner, share the load with them. If your work schedules differ or you need to go to the office on different days, one parent can work on a few subjects while they are at home, leaving the remaining subjects for the other parent. If one parent loves History and English and the other excels at Maths and Science, it makes sense to ‘divide and conquer’.

Making use of extended family is sometimes also an option, even if they only keep an eye on the children while they are working independently. Splitting up the responsibility for homeschooling allows each parent to contribute and work to their strengths.

Hire a tutor

Hiring a tutor to teach certain subjects while you are at work can be a huge help. Calling in a tutor is also a great option when you have children in multiple grades or at different levels, as the tutor can work with one child while you help another. Additionally, tutors are also a valuable resource for more challenging subjects, especially in the higher grades.

Also read: How do I choose a tutor for my child?

Work smart

When you work and homeschool simultaneously, you may need to find inventive ways to sneak in learning during everyday activities. For example:

  • Let your children listen to audiobooks while you drive.
  • Allow them to watch educational documentaries.
  • Use prescribed readers as bedtime reading.
  • Invest in educational computer programs, such as Cami, to help your child practise their skills.
  • Practise financial literacy, estimation, measuring and rounding up/down by taking your children grocery shopping with you or getting them to help you cook with recipes.
  • Work on analysis, comprehension, and inference around the dinner table by asking them to describe the characters in a show or movie they are watching or a book they are reading, then discussing the genre, foreshadowing, etc.
  • Encourage critical thinking while driving by asking questions such as why they think stop signs are red or how life would be different if we didn’t have petrol stations at regular intervals.

Plan ahead

Working parents need to plan the homeschooling day or week ahead. Check in with your children daily, perhaps during dinner, so that everyone is on the same page regarding your expectations. Discuss what you expect your children to do independently and when an adult will be available to help. During this time, be open to suggestions from your family about how to make things run smoothly.

Also read: 10 tips for home education success

Trust your teen

Parents of teens may decide that their children can stay home alone while they are at the office. Obviously, maturity level and security concerns should be taken into serious consideration, but this is often a practical option for mature and self-motivated teens. Parents can also consider registering their teens (Grades 10 – 12) at Optimi Campus, which offers on-site learning support.

Get more support from Impaq

Impaq can help you homeschool. If your child is in Grade 7 to11, you can register them for the Impaq Online School. The Impaq Online School provides learners with a fully supported learning experience to help them flourish in an online environment while maintaining academic excellence. You would not need to worry about planning lessons as our qualified teachers present live, interactive online classes every day. Learners will also be able to interact with their classmates and teachers, allowing for an individualised and social learning experience.

Take care of yourself

While you will already be pressed for time with juggling work, homeschooling, chores, and all of life’s other responsibilities, it is crucial that you take some time for yourself to recharge your batteries, so to speak, and rest. As a parent, you need to be able to care for your family and the only way you can do that is if you are in good condition yourself!

Take some time every day (or every other day) to do something nice for yourself, whether that is a luxurious soak in the tub, reading a chapter of a good book, or even just having a snack you particularly enjoy. It is also helpful to connect with other parents in the ‘same boat’ as you – there are many homeschooling parent groups on social media platforms like Facebook.

Read more: Beware burnout: 10 tips to help you recover

Remain flexible

Even the best-laid plans often go awry, and this is especially true for homeschooling parents. Add to that the demands of a job and the ever-changing lockdown regulations, you will quickly learn that things do not always go the way you planned. If/when that happens, do what you can and try again the following day. And, remember that Impaq is there to help you homeschool like a pro in 2022. Register online today!