Work From Home Schooling – Don’t Panic
• You Can Do This! Tips for WFH School and Self Care •
Mid-day Margaritas are Not a Good Coping Strategy
This is one of the most challenging times in recent history.
It seems the more things change – the more things keep changing.
And we will get through COVID-19!
Spending time wishing things were otherwise is an exercise in frustration. Research shows that emotional resilience, mindfulness and acceptance are important traits in positive well-being and wellness.
Although it is very tempting to reach for a glass of wine or margarita to ‘calm down’ – alcohol used as the main tool to relieve anxiety can easily lead to functional alcoholism. Alcohol use disorder affects women and men equally.
Many schools in eastern North Carolina were closed at the beginning of the 2018-19 academic year because of Hurricane Florence. In spite of this, North Carolina DPI assessment data from the end of the school year showed that on the whole, schools affected by Hurricane Florence recorded “ongoing gains in student performance.”
Could Schooling at Home Actually Be Good for Kids?
While the vast majority of parents have no wish to school at home indefinitely – let’s put one anxiety to rest.
Yes – kids will learn at home. And they will probably learn faster than in a traditional classroom.
Also, there is no ‘rule’ that says learning can only happen during school hours or sitting at a desk.
While distance learning is not ideal for all – it is effective.
Low Stress WFH Schooling Tip #1
Don’t Panic! You’ve got this.
You are NOT ALONE.
As a parent, you are not responsible for your child’s educational curriculum. School districts are providing online learning.
If you are interested in supplemental learning (or providing low cost and interesting online activities) – see our Homeschooling Resources for families in California.
We are living in unusual times, but we also have a real opportunity. Being in close quarters during times of stress is a chance to step back and focus on connection. In stressful times, children will be protected if they are connected. When all this is done and our kids go back to their schools, we can have given them the gift of connection and some new social-emotional and problem-solving skills.
From Oak Meadow School, 14 Tips for Working from Home and Homeschooling
The resources at Home Schooling Answers are carefully curated for the parent who needs support fast and is created to be a simplified way to design your homeschooling journey and begin today. We will be regularly adding to and updating the site with new resources during the pandemic.”
Transition For Families
“If you are on this page, chances are you are new to homeschooling because current circumstances left you no choice. You may also have kids in different grades, and you might be working remotely. If you are overwhelmed, it just means you’re normal.”
Low Stress WFH Schooling Tip #2
Expect the unexpected.
Accidents will happen, work deadlines will loom – and the dog (or rambunctious cat) may chew up a needed paper.
Take regular breaks from your work to check on your child and assess how things are going. Expect interruptions and unanticipated shifts in priorities. Breathe, prioritize, give your child a big hug – and do the best you can. Some days will be harder; but some days will feel easier, too.
From Oak Meadow School, 14 Tips for Working from Home and Homeschooling
Your Mantra (after a deep breath): It’s all good!
You – and your child/children – are experientially learning how to manage real-world problems. Keep in mind that everything other than a direct asteroid strike is manageable. If you can manage this type of stress – you can manage anything. (And you will.)
Mindfulness is very helpful! See Mindfulness Meditation Benefits.
Low Stress WFH Schooling Tip #3
Basic structure is your friend.
Set a ‘start’ time for each school day.
Although the school day may no longer be dictated by school bus schedules – create a basic schedule that works with both parents and children. Structure is important.
Low Stress WFH Schooling Tip #4
Do not attempt to replicate an in-person school experience at home.
Schooling at home families often discover that working through a daily lesson plan is faster at home.
Older students may be able to complete a whole day’s school work in a few hours. They should be encouraged to look at – and work with – Learning Resources that interest them. All are online – many are no cost.
If educating your child at home – there will be opportunities to engage the child in self-directed learning.
Low Stress WFH Schooling Tip #5
Communication is key.
Calendars, planners, chore charts, and reminder lists can help everyone know what to expect each day. No need for nagging or constant reminders.
Plan relaxed (calm!) family meetings. Check in about the next day’s plan so that everyone is on the same page about what needs to happen.
Establish the times when an adult will be available to help your child – and when they will need to be on their own. Be clear about expectations and encourage suggestions from all family members about how to make things go even better the next day.
Low Stress WFH Schooling Tip #6
Go with the Flow
Learning can happen anytime, anywhere. There is no rule that says learning can only happen during school hours or at a desk. Focused, supported learning activities can happen before parents head off to work in the morning, after they return in the evening, or on the weekends.
Go with whatever each day might bring. Time often feels short when working and homeschooling. If things don’t go the way you planned, make the most of what you are able to accomplish. You can pick up any dropped threads the following day.
Low Stress WFH Schooling Tip #7
Embrace the Change in Rhythms – Trust Yourself
Most importantly, trust yourself. Remember that you are the most qualified expert on your child. You will not be able to figure everything out before you start, and that is fine. In fact, it’s normal. Keep your expectations flexible. Be willing to shift gears if the first things you try are not quite right. You will make it through this transition. You are in good company!
From Oak Meadow School, Transitioning from School to Homeschool
Low Stress WFH Schooling Tip #8
Learn – and teach your children – how to positively manage emotions.
Help children to become confident in their own abilities.
From Greater Good Magazine by UC Berkeley,
How to Reduce the Stress of Homeschooling on Everyone
Children (and, indeed, adults!) do not have access to their thinking and reasoning skills when they are flooded with emotions. If your child cannot focus on school tasks, or you are seeing them melt down, tantrum, or withdraw, it’s likely because they are having a hard time meeting an expectation while under stress.
The antidote? Empathy. Research shows that empathy can calm the nervous system and re-engage the thinking and reasoning side of the brain. When you are in the middle of a meltdown, you might remind yourself of this using the following mantras:
• My child is not giving me a hard time; they are having a hard time.
• Behavior is communication, and my child is “telling” me they need support.
• The teachable moment about behavioral expectations is never in the “hot” moment. I must calm my child through empathy first.
• Develop a list of calming strategies BEFORE you and your children need them. Post them on your fridge where all family members can readily use them.
• For research-based and easy-to-do connection activities that teach social-emotional skills, visit Greater Good in Education and pick a few to try with your family.
• Get support yourself by picking one self-care practice on the Greater Good in Action website so you can parent from a place of calm; and model for your child how to solve problems together. Kids learn by watching us, so taking care of yourself is teaching your child how to cope.
Low Stress WFH Schooling Tip #9
Set Expectations for Managing Interruptions
How can family members best communicate with you to minimize distraction while you are working? For older children, a spiral notebook can be turned into an “Ask Me Later” book, where questions and thoughts can be written and kept safe until work time is over and you are able to address them.
Teach your children the parameters for urgent vs. non-urgent situations. Give them a helpful way to remember when it is okay to interrupt you during a focused work period. Remind everyone of how you would prefer they get your attention if it is unavoidable. (Write a note on a slip of paper and hand it to you?)
Of course, in a true emergency, all rules go out the window. Help your children understand how to tell when it really is a true emergency!
From Oak Meadow School, 14 Tips for Working from Home and Homeschooling
Low Stress WFH Schooling Tip #10
Self Care is Extremely Important!
Physical exercise not only improves health – it improves mood and critical thinking abilities.
We know that exercise is necessary in order to preserve muscle strength, keep the heart strong, maintain a healthy body weight, and stave off chronic disease such as diabetes. But exercise can also help boost your thinking skills. “We know that exercise behaves like medicine to improve thinking skills. There’s a lot of science behind this,” says Dr. Scott McGinnis, an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School. See Boost Your Thinking Skills with Exercise
Anxiety Relief and Prevention are also critical skills for wellness and self care.
Whether in addiction recovery or not – these tools will help manage anxiety.
View or Download the pdf, Creating a Relapse Prevention and Wellness Plan
COVID-19 Self Care and Anxiety Relief
▪ Stop ‘doom scrolling’
▪ Structure Your Day
▪ Morning Journal
▪ Listen to Healing Music
▪ Stay Emotionally Connected
▪ Nutrition – Eat Healthy Meals
▪ Develop Sleep Hygiene
▪ MOVE – Yoga, Tai Chi, Walking
Drinking to Relieve Stress? How Much is Too Much Alcohol
Looking at Drinking Patterns
• NIAAA defines heavy alcohol use as more than 4 drinks on any day for men or more than 3 drinks for women.
• NIAAA defines binge drinking as consuming 5 or more drinks (male), or 4 or more drinks (female), in about 2 hours.
Drinking excessively, which includes binge drinking and heavy alcohol use, increases your risk of harmful consequences, including AUD (alcohol use disorder). The more drinks on any day and the more heavy drinking over time, the greater the risk.
From How Much is Too Much
Has Alcohol Become Necessary to Get Through Your Day?
When life pressures increase and stress coping strategies are not in place – it is easy to slip into drinking too much.
If continued for long enough – heavy drinking can become functional alcoholism.
Functional Alcoholics Do Not Hit ‘Rock Bottom’
• Functional alcoholics affects women and men equally.
• Functional alcoholics go to work every day.
• Alcohol consumption is an accepted ‘stress relief’ activity in our society.
• Functional alcoholics often feel ‘entitled’ to drink heavily due to career stress.
• High Functioning Alcoholics rarely seek help on their own. They see no problems with their drinking.
• Alcoholism is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using.
• Alcohol use disorder often causes other problems that are avoided by drinking; creating an ongoing negative cycle.
• Alcoholism affects everyone involved with the alcoholic – including the family.
We are committed to helping those in need.
We will continue to serve our community safely. Please be assured that we are here to assist as we navigate through this challenging time!
The health and safety of our community has been, and remains, our greatest focus.
Please don’t hesitate to contact New Start Recovery Solutions Admissions department if we can be of any assistance.
New Start Recovery Solutions Dual Diagnosis Addiction Treatment
• General Outpatient Services
• Men & Women ages 18+ for all services
• 24-hour on-site monitoring
• Residential Inpatient Rehab Treatment
• Conscious Recovery Whole Person Recovery
• Mindfulness for Recovery
• 24-hour transportation available
• Dual Diagnosis Treatment (Our Specialty)
• PHP Partial Hospitalization Program
• IOP Intensive Outpatient Treatment
• Veteran/Military PTSD Dual Diagnosis Rehab
• TriWest In-network (Proud to be Serving our Military!)
Dual Diagnosis Treatment at New Start Recovery Solutions
Individuals rarely want to take the time needed for residential rehab and addiction recovery. It is easy to use the career as an excuse to avoid getting help. However, the best chance for recovery is a permanent change in habitual behaviors. Time, education and therapy are required to make permanent behavioral changes.
Dual Diagnosis or Co-occurring Disorders is a term for people who have both a mental health issue (such as PTSD, depression, trauma, anxiety) and an addiction problem (substance use disorder, or SUD).
If you think you may be suffering from a substance use disorder – as well as PTSD, depression, anxiety, trauma or other mental illness (dual diagnosis) – please know that seeking help is the first step to addiction recovery and regaining control of your life.
We thank all the essential workers that continue to assist in these times!
We recognize the importance of continuing to serve our clients.
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