COVID-19 has impacted all of our lives, but beauty professionals have been hit particularly hard. In addition to the financial burden of salon closures, working parents are feeling a lot of pressure right now to balance work and home life, especially as we get closer to schools starting back in the fall.
If your child’s school has switched to remote learning, you’ll likely have to overcome some new hurdles while you learn to juggle work and homeschooling. Here, we’ve put together a list of tips that might help:
1. Set and Keep a Schedule
Synchronous learning is online distance education that happens in real-time. If your child’s school district is implementing synchronous learning, your child will be required to interact with the teacher and other students at specific times each day. If your child is old enough to work independently, make sure to post the schedule where they can see it. If you have younger children, you’ll have to set them up initially. Once you establish a routine, the goal is to eventually be able to set your child up with a Zoom class and then focus on other things. Since you can’t be in the salon, you could use the time to post to your Instagram account, create marketing pieces, email clients or watch an online education video while they're in class.
2. Create an Environment Conducive to Learning
Having a stable WiFi connection is extremely important if your child will be learning remotely. Set up a place in your home, preferably not in a high-traffic area, that becomes the designated “classroom.” Setting your child up at the kitchen table probably isn’t a good idea. Remember that smaller children can become easily distracted. Some parents have found that playing soft music in the background can help them focus. The idea is to find a quiet place where they can work with minimum noise and disruption.
3. Create a Daily Plan
It’s a good idea to go over your child (or children)’s schedule(s) the night before so they’re prepared first thing in the morning, especially if they have an early online class. Schedules may change weekly. Sometimes teachers have to change the time of a Zoom class due to scheduling conflicts. Post each updated schedule where you and your kid(s) can see it. Keep a list of passwords readily available.
4. Take Advantage of Your School’s Resources
Contact your school district to find out what help they can provide. This is critical if your child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 plan that requires additional support and services.
5. Keep a List of Contact Info
Ask for the teacher’s email address and phone number and keep it on-hand in case you have questions about homework assignments, class times or anything else.
6. Create a Schedule and Block Your Work Calendar
Once you know when your child will require your help with online learning, you can work around that schedule and book clients in your salon when you’re not required to be at home.
7. Encourage Age-Appropriate Independence
Experts agree that children in lower grades (1-4) can complete their schoolwork in a few hours. Children this age are the ones most likely to need close supervision, while older students can work independently. Take this into consideration when planning your work day.
8. Provide a Routine
Set aside time for online learning, snack breaks, lunch and intervals of time away from the computer.
9. Don’t Aim for Perfection
Remember that no one is perfect. You will make mistakes. There will be times when nothing seems to go right. Some days will be better than others. Try to go with the flow and not be so hard on yourself when things fall apart. Remember, the teacher will also be adjusting to this new virtual reality and may be more likely to make exceptions for overdue assignments and granting extensions. The bottom line: Don’t sweat the small stuff.
CHECK OUT THESE WEBSITES FOR HELP AND SUPPORT
- Childmind.org offers advice for parents struggling to balance work, child care and self-care while keeping worries—both your children’s and your own—under control. Download their Family Guide For Remote Learning
- Wideopenschools.org offers free, easy-to-use resources for families making the switch to learning from home
- Commonsensemedia.org helps parents navigate social distancing and school closures with quality media and at-home learning opportunities for their children. Listen to Parent Trapped, their new parenting podcast on Apple Podcasts.
- Pta.org (Parent Teachers Organization) has compiled resources, tools and information to support families and teachers. Check out their E-Newsletter.
- Families-first.org provides Covid-19 parenting tips and resources. Subscribe today and begin receiving daily updates Monday through Friday from your friends at PBS KIDS. Covibook is a free short book to support and reassure your young children in regards to Covid-19. Or check out the article inspired by Mr. Rogers, How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus.
- Cincinnatichildren.org offers coronavirus resources for families, including how parents can manage stress during the Covid-19 pandemic and take care of themselves. Think of it as the equivalent of putting your oxygen mask on first before attending to small children.