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BEST PRACTICES FOR WORKING REMOTELY: Working from Home with Children

Resources to help manage the transition to working from home, work/life balance, working while parenting, and stress.

Working and Schooling from Home

Tips for Working at Home with Children

Create a Schedule -  it's Important to have office hours

•How many hours do you hope to work that day?

•What can you accomplish while your child is coloring in the next room?

•Be sure to have an agreement for how many hours per day  you should log while telecommuting.

To separate mentally from the rest of the house, set up an office/kid free area

If possible, create a 'kid free zone' that helps you detach from the rest of the house and focus on work

Do Not Disturb

•Give your child a nonverbal “Do not disturb” when you need quiet time.

•If you have an office door, tie a red ribbon on it when you’re not to be bothered.

Take advantage of nap time for staying productive

•Whether your kid sleeps for 1 or 3 hours, use this time to finish assignments that require your complete focus and concentration.

•If for some reason your child isn’t tired, they can have quiet time instead.

Try to integrate playtime into your day

If you give your kids a little quality time, then you may be able to get 2 hours to work.  Set aside a few cool toys that your kids can play with, or arrange playdates.

Access Resources for help with child care

Older kids, partner, aunt/uncles, or trusted neighbors.

•Pool your resources with several other working moms and hire one babysitter to watch all your children at the same time.

Learning Resources

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Do not forget to check this great course on LinkedIn Learning: 

Balancing Work and Life as a Work-from-Home Parent, by Andrea Benoir.

Distance Learning Resources for Children from the Massachusetts Department of Education

Family Guides to the Massachusetts Curriculum Standards  These guides to the Massachusetts learning standards help families understand what students are expected to know and be able to do by the end of each grade. 

PBS LearningMedia and WGBH's new online Distance Learning Center  PBS LearningMedia is a free digital repository of tens of thousands of high-quality media resources that are contextualized for educational use.  Here are just a few collections on PBS LearningMedia to explore:

  • Bringing the Universe to America's Classrooms: Earth and space science, created in collaboration with NASA. Grades K–12.
  • AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: History and social studies resources from one of public media's flagship broadcasts. Grades 4–12.
  • ARTHUR: Beloved characters keep the focus on community, civics, and social-emotional learning. Grades PreK–5.
  • Molly of Denali: The MOLLY OF DENALI™ collection offers videos, digital games, lessons, teaching tips, and activities with a focus on informational text. Grades PreK–2.
  • Math at the Core Middle School: Engaging media and integrated activities, all aligned with the Massachusetts mathematics standards . Grades 5–8.
  • Inspiring Middle School Literacy: Self-paced lessons include videos, interactive activities, note taking, reading, and writing to present students with engaging science, social studies, mathematics, and English language arts topics. Grades 5–8.
  • NOVA Education Resources: Authentic, real-world science learning. Grades 7–13+.

Digital Resources designed for remote learning and available free of charge:

English Language Arts and Literacy

  • CommonLit: A free collection of fiction and nonfiction texts for grades 3–12. Includes an annotation tool, guiding and discussion questions, translations in various languages, and texts read aloud.
  • Great Minds: Great Minds has daily lessons in Wit & Wisdom (English language arts) available for free for students in grades K–8 . These lessons will be delivered by Great Minds' own teachers and will be viewable on any device.
  • Heggerty: Free activities to build foundational reading skills. These are best for ages 4–6.
  • Hoopla and OverDrive: Many local public libraries use these two apps to allow users to borrow digital books for free. Visit your local library's website and look for the section on digital resources.
  • StoryLine Online: Hear quality children's literature read aloud and see illustrations.

History, Social Studies, and Civics

  • iCivics: iCivics offers free, engaging civics content, including lesson plans and games for students to play digitally, content about media literacy, and Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. Government and Politics prep.
  • EVERFI: Offers interactive financial literacy and social and emotional learning lessons. They have a bank of free digital lessons that can be accessed by registering as a student or a teacher.
  • Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: This website is geared specifically at preparing AP U.S. History students virtually. It includes primary sources, essays, videos, and study guides aligned with the AP curriculum.
  • National Constitution Center: In addition to the interactive Constitution tool, they host several educational resources and games.
  • Stanford History Education Group: The Reading Like a Historian curriculum is free with registration and offers ready-to-go lessons on world and U.S. history based on primary source investigations.

STEM [Science and Technology/Engineering, Mathematics, Digital Literacy and Computer Science]

  • Code.org: Provides learning resources that help students learn about computer science and programming on their own. Offerings include Computer Science (CS) Fundamentals for K–5 and online courses and labs for middle and high school (CS Express, App Lab, Game Lab, and Web Lab).
  • Great Minds: Free daily lessons available in grades 3–5 science and grades K–12 Eureka Math. These lessons will be delivered by Great Minds' own teachers and will be viewable on any device. In addition, access to the full K–12 Eureka Math program is available for free.
  • Khan Academy: Khan Academy has outlined support for parents and educators on how to use their resources during remote learning. Khan Academy is a free resource for students, teachers, and parents with a library of lessons covering kindergarten through early college math, grammar, science, history, plus AP?courses, SAT?preparation, and more. Available in 40 languages.
  • PhET Online Simulations: A library of online simulations that students can play with and explore to investigate scientific and mathematical models. Can be sorted by grade level.
  • Smithsonian Science How Webcast: These webcasts originally aired live from the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. They're great for students in grades 3–8 and are optimized for students in grades 3–5.

Physical Education

  • Cosmic Kids Yoga: Provides videos on yoga, mindfulness, and relaxation.
  • GoNoodle: Free movement and mindfulness videos.

Arts (Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theater, and Visual arts)

  • Media Arts: Pencil Madness: Students can use a dashboard of options to create a numerous layered effects similar to the concepts learned in Photoshop.
  • Music: Beepbox Music-Making On Your Home Computer: Support your child's music learning using this free online platform. No special equipment is needed to use this online tool for sketching and sharing instrumental melodies.
  • Visual Art: Get local! The Drawing Act Project is happening right now here in Massachusetts! Anyone can participate by submitting a drawing this spring. The full directions for the drawing lesson is outlined in this flyer. In addition, the Incredible Art Department's Art Teacher Toolkit, has engaging visual art lessons that can be delivered at home.