Helping families create a solid connection between Montessori learning in the classroom and at home.

Working from Home with Children

Many of our families are currently finding themselves working from home with their children. While working from home can be a fantastic experience, it is not without its challenges. To help you navigate this new ‘normal’ we’ve compiled a few tips to help you strike a good balance between work and family life.

Plan Your Day

  • Plan your day the night before and think about how you can weave your work tasks into your family’s typical routine.
  • If you have a partner at home, take it in turns to look after the kids, so you can both get work done.
  • Experiment with completing urgent or high priority tasks in the early hours before your child wakes or after they go to sleep. 
  • Embrace technology and work from multiple devices to provide greater flexibility i.e. answer emails from your phone, use dictation services and blue-tooth ear pieces, and opt for a laptop over a desktop.
  • Make the most of nap times for younger children by completing time-intensive tasks while your child rests.
  • Where possible schedule important calls for when your child is asleep.

Routine and Consistency

  • Establish a routine and keep it consistent. This doesn’t mean creating a similar structure to the Montessori Daily Routine. Instead, it means setting consistent meal times, setting aside time to get outdoors, and establishing quiet/rest time at a consistent time each day. Children thrive on routine as they know what to expect and when. This helps them to prepare themselves for the day ahead.
  • Set up regular times to connect with friends and family via video services to provide opportunities for interaction and practising social skills.
  • Remember the importance of positive interactions and work to stay connected with your family. Plan a sit-down, no media, mealtime for the whole family once a day.
  • Get active and get outside every day. Make time to go for a walk around the block, play in the yard, and get some fresh air and exercise. Even 30 minutes, twice a day, is enough to improve your mood.

Blend Work and Family Time

  • Embrace the non-linear work day and break your day into chunks of work time and family time. It’s unlikely that you will be able to get an 8 hour work day done between 9-5pm, so create a routine that blends work and family time in a way that works for you.
  • Don’t feel guilty if you need to spend time working when your child wants to play. Make a simple statement: “I am doing my work now. When I am finished I will be free to be with you.” Remember that children need your love and support, not your constant undivided attention. Carve out bursts of time throughout your day when your child has your complete attention i.e. reading a story, going for a walk, or completing an activity together.
  • Switch video off in virtual meetings, when you aren’t presenting, and listen in while you’re playing with or feeding your child.

Follow Your Child’s Interests

  • Start a project that your child can work on independently such as creating a veggie patch, papier-mâché, or a progressive art project.
  • Save boxes from deliveries and convert them into a cubby house, car, or train for soft animals.
  • Collect any old clothes, scarves and bags to create a dress-up box
  • Explore online resources available such as virtual zoo tours.
  • Keep in touch with your child’s campus by writing a letter, sending an artwork, or tuning in to story time.

Make it Montessori

  • Use the items around your house to create Montessori activities at home by following the video tutorials for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
  • Give your child age-appropriate jobs or ‘family work’ such as helping with food preparation, dressing themselves, feeding a pet, or watering the garden. They will love being your at home assistant!
  • Set up a Montessori space at home. This might be a few containers filled with infants, toddlers and preschool activities and printables.
  • Get some inspiration from our Pinterest Board.

Create Child-Friendly Work Spaces

  • Create child-friendly work spaces or ‘yes spaces’ around the house so that your child can do their ‘work’ close to you.
  • You may choose to set up a child-friendly work space in each room of the house i.e. a small table and chair, a rug or a cushion, with a container of age-appropriate activities.

Simplify

  • Be honest and explain your situation to your colleagues and clients. You are not the only one. Most people will be understanding.
  • Prepare meals and snacks in bulk. You may want to fill your child’s water bottle and use their usual lunch box to provide consistency and simplicity during meal times.
  • Simplify and organise toys in a logical way i.e. in containers and tubs so they’re easy to pack away. It’s also a good idea to limit your child’s everyday toys and rotate them to maintain their interest.

Give Yourself Grace

  • Remember that the most important thing to do is to set realistic expectations.  Don’t try to be the perfect home school parent and the perfect employee. Give yourself grace, do the best you can, and just take each day as it comes. 
  • Make time to look after your needs. Don’t skip meals, make exercise a priority, and taking time out to simply breathe. Check in with your family and friends and make time to do the things that you love and make you feel at ease.
  • Don’t over stress about your child’s learning while at home. An infant given a wooden spoon and pots from the kitchen cupboard will learn through sensorial exploration just as much as they would through any expensive toy.
  • There will be days with meltdowns when nothing gets done. And that’s ok. Give yourself and your child a pat on the back for getting through the day and having a perfectly normal reaction to unprecedented circumstances. Deep breaths. You are doing the best you can.

Infant Tips

  • Multi-task by baby-wearing
  • Establish a set work space for your child where key learning and play time takes place
  • Set up a ‘yes space’ such as a rug with a basket of activities to create child-friendly workspaces around the house
  • Create treasure baskets of activities 
  • Work in different rooms around the house to vary your work environment
  • Go for a walk and get fresh air and exercise every day
  • Use the infant resources available and keep an eye out for new activities each week
  • Take inspiration from our Pinterest Board

Toddler Tips

  • Establish a set work space for your child where key learning time takes place
  • Set up a ‘yes space’ such as a rug with a basket of activities to create child-friendly workspaces around the house
  • Give your child jobs or ‘family work’ that is appropriate to their age i.e. watering the garden, making a simple snack, and dressing themselves (with a little assistance)
  • Set up containers of sensory and practical life activities
  • Use the toddler resources available and keep an eye out for new activities each week
  • Go for a walk and get fresh air and exercise every day
  • Take inspiration from our Pinterest Board

Preschool Tips

  • Establish a set work space for your child where key learning time takes place
  • Set up a ‘yes space’ such as a rug with a basket of activities to create child-friendly workspaces around the house
  • Start a project together
  • Give your child jobs or ‘family work’ that is appropriate to their age i.e. watering the garden, making a simple snack, and dressing themselves (with a little assistance)
  • Give your child jobs or ‘family work’ that is appropriate to their age i.e. helping to prepare dinner, feeding the family pet, and watering the garden
  • Set up containers of practical life activities
  • Use the preschool resources available and keep an eye out for new activities each week
  • Work in different rooms around the house to vary your work environment
  • Go for a walk and get fresh air and exercise every day
  • Take inspiration from our Pinterest Board

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