So Coronavirus/COVID-19 has you and your child quarantined. So why don’t we discuss the future, and discuss the challenges and discussions that often go on between parents when both or one has to teach your child at home. As always, I want to ask you to be rather introspective.
Are YOU really ready to homeschool your child?
Is YOUR life set up to teach your child?
Sorry, but now is no time to talk about whether you think your kid can handle it or whether your school system will rescue you and come up with a solution. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t, and why are you so trusting that their solution is the proper one? I want you to sit back and really think about whether you really want to make this commitment.
Exercise is a part of my life and no matter when, where and how much I have worked over the last 25 years, I made time to exercise. That meant training at 4am, 5pm (which is absolutely the worst time to train in any gym) or 11pm. It was a priority for me and to not exercise was far worst than whatever less than optimal conditions I had to train in.
This is the kind of commitment I want you to make with homeschooling your kids. If you have done so, let’s begin working on some strategies to get you ready now that you and/or your child are at home.
First, start with you exercising your freedom working from home.
What I want you to evaluate right now is your time. There are 168 hours in a week, so how many can you devote to teaching your kids? Flexibility is the key, and in the 21st century, this is your greatest advantage. The Wall Street Journal reported that people just simply do not feel they can exercise their freedom, and based on my experience, I’ve found this to be true. My main hustle has always offered tremendous flexibility and most do not take advantage of the opportunity. However, now that you are home on quarantine, you can take advantage of the flexibility as well. Here was my personal progression:
- 25 years ago I made a decision that I would not take a job that required me to work weekends
- Ten years ago, I began working from home one day per week
- Eight years ago, I started expanding this to two when possible
- Upon relocating nearly five years ago, I made the decision to work from home full-time.
My wife and I generally split the homeschooling years as follows:
– K – 6: She is the primary teacher
– 7 – 10 (actually 12th by high school standards) I am primary teacher
Therefore, as the kids get older, my role increases. Yes, as I move further in my career, this has added stress juggling my professional life and homeschooling life. But I would not have it any other way, as it is not her sole responsibility to teach while I just go out and kill something for a paycheck. I am so determined in my belief of teaching my own, I have continued to do so whether she assisted or worked outside the home as well. In other words, this is my quest with my kids, but she is more than welcome to come along for the ride if she would like. Over the years, she has chosen not to and that is fine, but the show will go on, and I want you to go on even if you must teach solo as well.
Now, there are some “old school” managers that do approve, or are not fans, and I’ll touch on that more in a moment as right now, COVID-19 isn’t giving them much choice. After all, it wasn’t your idea to close schools and work from home! But what I have found is that a vast majority of people simply do not want to use that flexibility and work remotely because they do not trust themselves. Now, if that works for you and you like it, well I love it. But don’t lie to yourself and say, “I’d love to homeschool but I just don’t have the time with work” especially if your job pays you to produce results, not just to be present and produce a product.
When life returns to normal, remember that some managers may not support you working remotely or outside the usual 9-to-5 because they don’t trust themselves in that same position or perhaps they just have a factory/cubicle mindset. But what nearly all of us have in common (and Reg touched on this HERE) is that we were taught in schools that were designed to train us for the factory. In the factory, you go to work at a specified time, take a break at a specified time, go home at a specified time and you follow orders, produce the widget, until you retire and die…and pray it’s in that order and that you have some space in-between the latter two to “enjoy life”.
So are you willing to now use your freedom to free your children?
Always Be Teaching Action Plan for today:
What I would like you to begin doing, if you can now work remotely, research your company’s policy and see what makes it possible in the future. The process may be much easier than you think and it means absolutely nothing if no one else is using the possible flexibility. You can start the trend as some of those old-school managers may now concede that you can work effectively at home. If there is one thing you will hear often on Teach Them Right (TTR) is that your family cannot be afraid to be different.
Next, right now if you are unsure you want to teach during this time, I want you to just start with one day a week, to prove to yourself that you can do this. Give them one assignment like I describe HERE. Then, when life returns to the normal grind, I want you to continue trying homeschooling at home for one day a week and prove again to yourself and management that you can probably be more effective performing your job exercising this flexibility. Why? Because you will be creating harmony between your family and your occupation, something that we have not had as a society in over 100 years before Industrialization.
The above advice goes for whether you are a single parent or have a two-parent household. However, perhaps it is not possible due to your company or perhaps you are in a blended household where your kids are with you only partially during the week. That means we will need to find another way in that 168 hours and we will look at that next time!
But in the meantime, check out what you can do and remember, just because it may be hard, you should Always Be Teaching!