I hope you all are doing well and staying healthy amidst these turbulent times. Tomorrow is the first day of home schooling in the state of Washington to help protect everybody from the COVID19 illness from the coronavirus, and I have accommodated this change in our lives with some changes in my home because I’m a single parent and child care isn’t really going to be an option for me…so…I need a home environment that supports me and us in this transition. Thankfully, I have an eleven-year-old who is perfectly capable and who is a lovely human being. I’m confident that we will work together over the coming week and other future weeks that I have him and that we will get through this; but, I restructured my home environment to help better set us up for success in this process.
I know that I’m not alone in having anxiety about how we’re going to manage the coming weeks. Right? For myself…I’ll just speak for myself…it’s an intense time both in life and in work. I have a lot of things that I want to accomplish over the coming weeks, and I want to enjoy my time with my son. I also want him to enjoy his time at home. Helping all of us achieve desired outcomes seems to call me to defining a little more structure at home. I thought I would offer what I’ve done in my home with the hopes of opening up a conversation and perhaps getting more insight to what other people are doing, so we can share what is and isn’t working.
This is this is an opportunity for all of us to work with shifting circumstances, to make the best of them, and to champion this challenging time…but…I’m starting to go off on a tangent, cutting myself off….
All right, so this is my new office space. As you may be able to guess, I have a really small apartment. My dining room table is turned into a stand up desk. At first, it was setup without the leaf extended, but I realized, you know, that’s just not going to work for my child. I have a social child who likes to sit next to me when I work; so, I realized that I needed to extend the leaf and to create a space for him to do his schoolwork next to me. The important part being this, my old-fashioned egg timer. It is something that’s recommended for the Pomodoro productivity technique. I started to use it in the past with Ehren, my son, as a way of having a physical object that he can turn to in order to see when my work session is done. I’ll set this for a work interval of like twenty five thirty minutes (though I’m thinking 45-15 is a better interval for this circumstance), and he’ll know that it’s my focus time, not to interrupt me, and that I’ll be available when the timer is done. At that point, he can ask questions…and…questions is one of his things!
I’ll now take you over now to my idea for what if my son has questions while I am working. I created a space for him to ask questions while I’m working. By the way, this is this is my front door. I should have introduced it first. Front door. I have removed pretty much everything that was on there before to create these little sticky note spots that obviously show a concept still in development. If he has a burning question, and I am in a work session, he can put it on a sticky note and put it here. Sometimes he has anxiety around not being able to remember the question later if I tell him that he’s interrupting and that he has to wait. That’s been a frustration of his in the past; So, I’m giving him a space to put his question.
Over here is the little assortment of sticky pads and pens that he can grab and put his question up.
If he’s bored: Here are some things that I have in mind as options that he can do when he’s bored. I am going to invite him to put other things up here that he wants to do.
This is his little scheduler for him to fill out for his day.
I have an example of my day. In an ideal world, waking up sometime between five and six and doing my own practice and a brisk walk and then having breakfast and prep for the day, followed by some deep work and a little park time. I think it’s going to be a sunny week, so I plan to do some qigong and soccer time in the park followed by lunch and another deep work session. Then more soccer in the park. Dinner. And more work, on the lighter side. It’s just sort of a sketch out trying to figure out ways of managing it in a way that is useful for all of us and effective with what we need to do.
And that’s all I’ve got.
Copyright (2020) by Rachael D. Mueller according Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International