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Doing Online School

Doing Online School

Doing Online School

Doing Online School

In the continuing twists and turns of this pandemic roller-coaster, many parents face the new problem of meeting their children’s ongoing educational needs.  Whether it’s because the schools are still closed or because there are other concerns, jumping into doing online school can be daunting.

How do we do this?  Are there special supplies or requirements?  How involved will parents have to be? 

Educate Yourself

Try to remember what it was like when you attended school as a child. In the first few days of school, you became acquainted with your new teachers…and rules.  You were introduced to the basic curriculum that would be covered for that term and given teasers about some of the really cool things to look forward to.  Because doing online school is different in almost every school district, be sure to sign up for any webinars or information seminars that may be offered. Forewarned is forearmed.  Knowing class schedules and what teachers are planning can help your family stay on track and not be sidelined by unexpected deadlines and requirements.  This will also help you to gather the necessary supplies to be ready for the first day of school!

Setting Up

Okay, now that you know “what”, now you have to set up “where”.  Are your children varying ages? Would they be in class, or at the same school together?  Most likely not.  If your high-schooler would be distracted by what their elementary-aged sibling has on their computer screen, then it’s probably best to situate them in separate rooms.  Work with each child to make a dedicated school/study area if at all possible. Things to consider for optimal learning:

  • Make the area as much “like” school as possible
  • Have a desk and a chair. They don’t have beds at school, so don’t allow them to use their beds during their school day.
  • Have a place for everything. Keeping things tidy, especially in tight areas, are better for mental focus.
  • A solid meal before classes start, just like a regular school day, will ensure they don’t have grumbling tummies. Stick to the “school” schedule. Kids aren’t allowed to go get a snack when they want one at school, so don’t let them root through the fridge at home until it’s snack or lunchtime.

Ready, Set, LEARN!

The kids will not be the only ones learning this year.  This will be a group effort from administrators all the way through the student body.  Kids of varying ages will, of course, have different class requirements. Here are some suggestions for doing online school for helping all of your children do the best they can. As always, when taking on something new, be sure to be patient:

  • With teachers and school personnel. This may be the first time they’ve had to undertake online learning and may have limited resources to do so.
  • Your child(ren) as much as you can. In some cases, this may be like moving to another country because things are so different. If they’re unhappy or not doing well, try to find out why.
  • Yourself! If you’re not, or never have been, a teacher then do the best you can. You’re learning too!

 

Just know that this will be stressful for a while…for all of you.  You got this!  Maybe consider hiring a cleaning service while you’re doing online school.  Taking on the duties of “teacher” on top of your other responsibilities will be challenging enough!  Delegate the cleaning to someone else and enjoy learning with your kids.

The New Normal of Working From Home

The New Normal of Working From Home

The New Normal of Working From Home

The New Normal of Working From Home

Adjusting to the new normal of working from home and “Pandemic Living” has been abrupt and fairly confusing.  Every day there seems to be new guidelines and requirements.  It’s fair to say that many thought that this would blow over in pretty short order, but now it’s clear that …probably not.

So, you’re working from home now. Time to get settled in for the long haul.  How do you make that work?  Space needs to be carved out for you to do your job effectively while not overtaking some area of the house that everyone uses and disrupting the flow of things there.  So let’s look at where to set up shop, even if it won’t be forever.

Important Considerations

If you normally go to an “office” and work at a desk, many employers have internal requirements that can reduce injury or strain caused by poor ergonomics resulting from inferior desks and chairs. It’s important to take this into consideration for your working from home set up as well.  Being uncomfortable at your home desk, however temporary, will eventually take a toll on the quality of your work, not to mention your body.  If you anticipate that this will be even a semi-permanent thing moving forward, perhaps your employer will purchase a new desk and chair for you, or maybe let you bring some of that equipment home for you to use. You’re never worse off for asking, right?

So that everyone has their space, you also need a dedicated space for your work.  Something that you don’t have to take down, say, for dinner every night and one where you can function reasonably without interruption.  Ideally, a room or space with a door so you can shut out the noise and also have a visual barrier to the rest of the household.  The area should be as uncluttered as possible so there is “room” to think and do your job.  Cramming a tiny desk into an overflowing walk-in closet will have you picking up your laptop and moving to the living room in no time.  Be thoughtful about where you are going to work.  It may take a little planning and rearranging, but it should be as close as possible to the work environment you have at the office.

Working from home with the kids!

Having kids at home is another substantial consideration.  They may be thrilled to have you at home, but children, especially younger ones, don’t understand the meaning of needing to earn a living…while they’re at home….during a pandemic.  Adjustments have to be made on all fronts.  Kids thrive with routine because it creates a sense of security, so create one and stick to it.  This will block out time for you to work disruption-free, and your kids will know when you are available and when you’re not.  Be clear about boundaries…like when the door to your work-space is closed, or how long they must wait to talk to you.  This can also help kids to be creative problem-solvers on their own, or to not expect instant responses when they want something.

Be sure that the schedule for everyone is doable in these strange times.  Trade with another trusted parent on child-care, so if you need an extended period of quiet for a big project, they can cover you…and vice versa!  Kids get a change of scenery and you get your stuff done.  BAM!

How others cope with remote working with kids can forge new relationships for you and your children.  Being gentle with yourself until a routine is established is going to be the best way to adapt.

But the housecleaning…!

This may be a good time to consider hiring some help.  The myth that successful people do it all is exactly that…a myth.  Their secret?  They delegate.  Even if you hire professionals to come in and hit the bathrooms, dusting, and floors, you will be miles ahead of your stress.  And that is good for the family during these stressful times.

Keeping Your Home Clean-Covid 19

Keeping Your Home Clean-Covid 19

Tips for Keeping Your Home Clean in the Time of COVID-19  Keeping Your Home Clean-Covid 19

What we do (and don’t) know about how coronavirus spreads
Keeping Your Home Clean-Covid 19

If your social distancing routine has involved copious amounts of takeout and a few Amazon deliveries to your doorstep, you may have at some point wondered — What if the delivery worker is sick? Or the person who cooked the food? Is my stuff contaminated?  Keeping Your Home Clean-Covid 19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes the 2019 novel coronavirus is spread primarily when healthy people come in close personal contact with a person who has COVID-19 who is coughing or sneezing. (Hence, why social distancing is so important.)

But, they haven’t ruled out the possibility that someone could get the virus from touching something that’s been contaminated and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes. (Hence all the hand-washing advice).

So how cautious should you be? Family medicine physician Neha Vyas, MD, sheds some light on what we do and don’t know so far about how the 2019 novel coronavirus lives on surfaces, and what you can do to minimize your risk at home.

How long does the 2019 novel coronavirus live on surfaces?

A: A yet-to-be-published study conducted by scientists from the CDC, National Institutes of Health and other institutions suggests that the 2019 novel coronavirus can live for two to three days on plastic and stainless steel surfaces.  Keeping Your Home Clean-Covid 19

With that in mind, it’s a good idea to keep your home clean during this time. And if someone in your household is sick, it’s especially important to disinfect high-touch surfaces in your household every day. This includes doorknobs, handles, tables, countertops, keyboards and light switches.

The CDC recommends these tips for disinfecting surfaces in your home:

  • If a surface is visibly dirty, clean it with soap and water first, then use a disinfectant.
  • Wear disposable gloves.
  • Make sure you have good ventilation in the area where you are cleaning.
  • Use a diluted household bleach solution, or an alcohol-based solution with at least 70% alcohol. The Environmental Protection Agency has a list of cleaning products that meet its criteria for use against the 2019 novel coronavirus.
  • Follow instructions on the cleaning product’s label, and check to make sure it isn’t expired.
  • Wash your hands when you’re done.

Is my food safe?  Keeping Your Home Clean-Covid 19

A: The 2019 novel coronavirus causes respiratory illness, not food borne illness — meaning it affects the lungs, not the digestive system. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there’s currently no reason to believe that the virus has been spread via food or food packaging.

But officials still urge everyone to follow basic food safety guidelines that call for washing your hands before eating or preparing food, using clean utensils, and properly preparing and storing food. Restaurants and delivery services should also be following safe food preparation and handling practices.

What about that package that just arrived on my doorstep? Is it safe?

A: While that previously mentioned, not-yet-published study found that the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard, the CDC asserts that chances are low that the virus spreads from packaging that’s shipped over a period of days at ambient temperatures.

Can the virus be spread through water?

A: There’s no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread through drinking water or use of pools or hot tubs, according to the CDC.

Can the virus live on my clothes?

A: Specific research hasn’t been done on how long this virus can survive on clothes, towels or other fabrics. But it’s still a good idea to change and wash your clothes regularly — especially if you’ve just come back home from the grocery store or are still reporting to work every day.

The CDC recommends using the warmest appropriate water setting for your clothes and drying them completely. (And save the shaking for when your laundry is clean, as it could potentially disperse germs from clothes when they’re dirty.)

If you’re caring for someone who’s sick, you can wash their clothes along with yours, but wear disposable gloves and wash your hands with soap and water as soon as you remove the gloves. And don’t forget to disinfect hampers and the knobs on your washer and dryer.

Is it on my skin?

A: Germs can live on different parts of your body, but the main concern here is your hands. Your hands are what’s most likely to come in contact with germy surfaces and then touch your face, which is a potential path of transmission for the virus. So, while no one is suggesting that anyone take a hiatus from showers, you don’t need to scrub down your whole body multiple times a day like you should your hands.

Source: Cleveland Clinic

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