The School Holidays–Work Juggle

School holidays provide an opportunity to have fun with your children, but if you work from home you’ll need to find the right balance of work and play – for everyone! Too much fun, and your work will suffer. Too much work, and you’ll have disappointed kids.
Here are some tips to help work-from-home parents to juggle work and play during the school holidays.
 

  • Write down a list of all your crucial work tasks at the beginning of the holidays (or the start of each week of the holidays if you prefer). Accept that you probably won’t complete everything you’d like to do, but of course be sure to meet any key deadlines during that period. Decide on the days and hours when you will need to work. If possible, delegate any suitable tasks to others.

 

  • Together with the kids create a plan for the school holidays. Get the kids to help brainstorm any activities they’d really like to do. Include on the plan any formal activities you may have booked ahead of time, such as holiday workshops or camps; any play dates or sleepovers; some exciting outings, such as trips to the pool, zoo or movies; some opportunities for a run and a play at your local park or favourite beach; and some fun things to do together at home, such as a particular art, science or cooking activity. To avoid cabin fever, try to ensure the kids get a chance to have some exercise and fresh air at least once a day.

 

  • Don’t forget to include your work times to the holiday plan. Explain to the kids at the outset that you will have to work at certain times, but that there will be plenty of fun each day too.

 

  • Once the plan is complete, put it up in the kitchen so the kids can see what is happening from day to day. Follow the holiday plan and tweak it as arrangements change or new things crop up.

 

  • You may find you need to carve out some work time during the early mornings, evenings or at the weekend when your partner or another family member is available.

 

  • Share the load. If possible, pair up with a friend or family member who also needs to juggle work or other commitments with looking after the kids. One of you can supervise the kids for a morning, afternoon or whole day while the other works; then switch roles. Otherwise call in a favourite babysitter or relative.

 

  • Prepare snacks at the beginning of the day. When you are ready to work, make sure you have a snack available for when the kids’ hunger strikes (always at the precise moment you sit down to work).

 

  • It may sound obvious, but do try to be as focused as possible during your work time. Prioritise the essential tasks. Don’t get distracted by unimportant emails, social media or that load of washing that you forgot to put on earlier.

 

  • Source some novel activities the kids can do for sustained periods either with each other or independently. These will of course depend on your child’s particular interests, but some possibilities include a new set of Lego, a science experiment kit, out-of-the ordinary art supplies and books by favourite authors. Another great activity is to ask the kids to sort through a heap of their old toys; they can rediscover forgotten favourites and you might even be able to convince them to part with a few to reduce clutter around your home. A movie afternoon complete with popcorn and a doona is usually a sure bet too.

 

  • Don’t feel guilty about the need to work. However, if you’ve promised the kids a fun outing somewhere, be sure to enjoy that time with your kids without thinking about work or being distracted by phone calls, emails, etc.

 
Best of luck with the juggle!
 
You might also enjoy:
A Big Shift: How Three Women Transformed their Careers during Motherhood
How to Encourage a Love of Art in Your Kids
How to Encourage a Love of Reading in Your Kids
Work and Play
 

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  • […]   Paper Rock Scissors Art Studio Paper Rock Scissors Art Studio in Rozelle is running half- and full- day programs throughout the July school holidays. Inner West Mum Prue Burnstein and the students will tackle a range of appealing themes including fairy gardens, dream catchers, unicorns and dragons, llamas, bees, super heroes, The Greatest Showman, Van Gogh’s starry night, outer space to produce stunning art and craft projects. Morning sessions are from 9 am–12 pm; afternoon sessions are from 2–5 pm; the whole day is 9 am–5 pm with extended hours available (8.30 am–5.30 pm). There are separate Kindergarten–Year 2 and Years 3-6 sessions as well as some open-age sessions. The full holiday program is available here. A half day costs $60; the full day costs $120. Book your child’s place at Paper Rock Scissors Art Studio’s website. For enquiries, phone 0423 206 090.   PCYC Marrickville PCYC Marrickville has an exciting holiday sports program for kids aged 6–13 on both weeks of the July school holidays. The schedule includes a ninja obstacle course, basketball skills clinic, laser tag, soccer challenge and multisports gala day (including basketball, dodgeball, volleyball, futsal and other court sports). The holiday program runs from 8.30 am–3 pm and costs $55. Extended camp hours (3 pm–6 pm) cost $25.  There is a 10% discount for multiple children. To book, call 9559 7722 or register online.   Speech and Language Sydney This July Speech and Language Sydney is running two holiday programs, Girls Social Skills and Lego Based Therapy, led by a specialist speech pathologist. The Girls Social Skills program, intended for girls aged 4–6 years, will be held at Studio You in Birchgrove on Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 July from 10–11.30 am. The girls’ social skills program will encourage the use of social thinking through a range of highly engaging activities linked to individual interests. The Lego Based Therapy Holiday Building Project will run on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 July from 10.30 am–12 pm, also at Studio You, Birchgrove. Each program costs $150 for the two sessions. The sessions are claimable on FACSIA/HCWA/Better Start/self-managed NDIS. To book email emma@speechandlanguagesydney.com.au or phone 0448 242 460.   Story Squad Story Squad is holding three holiday workshops that are bound to capture your child’s imagination. The Young Authors workshop, on Monday 9 July at Balmain Scout Hall, is for kids aged 8–12 who love creative writing. The Mystery at Glessner Grammar, on Tuesday 10 July at Drummoyne Guides Hall, also for kids aged 8–12 years, will have your child solving a crime then creating their own mystery story. And the Mini Spy School workshop, for kids aged 5–8 years at Balmain Scout Hall, will put your child’s secret agent skill into use. All three workshops run from 9 am–3 pm and cost $85. For more information about Story Squad’s holiday workshops and online booking, see here.   Sydney Tennis Coaching Sydney Tennis Coaching is running tennis camps during the school holidays in the weeks commencing Monday 9 and Monday 16 July at Burwood Park Tennis Courts. The camps are a great way for kids to stay active, improve gross motor skills and learn the basics of the tennis. The camps are from 9 am to 3 pm, with an optional early drop-off at 8 am. The camps are open to all children aged 5–12 years. The cost is $40 per day or $180 per week 0r $10 per hour when booked casually. To find out more, go to https://www.sydneytenniscoaching.com/holiday-camp   You might also like: The School Holiday–Work Juggle […]

  • […] Sydney Tennis Coaching is running fun and exciting tennis camps during the school holidays between 16 April and 20 April from 9 am to 3 pm at Burwood Park Tennis Courts. The camps are open to all children aged between 5 and 12, and costs are as low as $36 per day! To find out more, go to https://www.sydneytenniscoaching.com/holiday-camp Dance Domain School holiday workshops with a twist! The Active Arts April Workshop runs from 16–19 of April, 9 am-3 pm each day. Workshop attendees will get moving and creating in a massive range of active and arty activities including dance, rock climbing, trapeze and circus, jiujitsu, drama, outdoor Sports and Art. Our workshop program is designed as a four-day program but we also offer one-, two-, or three- day options. Drop-off is available from 8.30 am and there is FREE after care until 5 pm! For more info check out our website or get in touch with us at any time. http://www.dancedomain.com.au/active-arts/ hello@dancedomain.com.au Creative Writing during the School Holidays with Story Squad GET KIDS OFF SCREENS AND INTO THEIR IMAGINATIONS! Mysteries to solve! Gadgets to invent! Puppets to master! Spells to conjure! Stories to share! Games to play! Craft to create! Friends to make! And much, much more! Here is the link to the information and online booking: https://bit.ly/2hY7dDG Camperdown Tennis Kids will learn the fundamental skills of tennis and soccer whilst having fun along the way! This program caters for kids of all levels and ages 5–12, and will be a great opportunity to socialise with other children. Students will be divided into groups by age and experience. Book your spot here. Gecko Sport GeckoGAMES April Holiday Program – 3 hours of super fun games and activities inspired by the Commonwealth Games. Is your child excited by the arrival of the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast? For those that love a bit of everything, can’t decide what they want to do, or are not into any sport in particular, our GeckoGAMES holiday program is perfect for you! We break down individual sport skills and create simple but fun mini games and an obstacle course that kids love. Some of the sport-themed activities include athletics, basketball, netball, footy/ soccer, bowls & boxing (bootcamp). Suitable for kids aged 5-13 years old and of any fitness level, our focus is on making sure the kids are having fun while being ACTIVE! Your child will have a ball, make new friends and be exhausted by the time we’re finished. Book now for EARLYBIRD PRICING! Book your spot here. Paper Rock Scissors Art Studio is a place that taps into that sense of imagination, beauty and freedom that complements the creative spirit. We offer small group classes for children from preschool through to year 6 in an environment to explore and develop the inner artist in anyone. ​ All art materials are supplied. Paper Rock Scissors Art Studio offers half and full days of school holiday activities – make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment. You can secure your spot by clicking here. Jellybeanstreet holds children’s finger painting workshops during school holidays and turns their finger paintings into fine art to help support children’s charities. To have your own child’s artwork transformed into a modern masterpiece, please book a workshop for your child here. Begina Education is excited to introduce our school holiday program. Our school holiday program is running again for the two weeks of the school holidays (excluding the Anzac Day public holiday) and we have a number of workshops and activities that will both educate and entertain your kids. Forget the regular movie trips or park excursions as our program offers activities and workshops that will challenge and educate, all under the guise of a whole lot of fun! The program includes English and Maths workshops, Music Lessons, Art activities, a STEM workshop, a Chess workshop and LEGO fun time! Book here. Leap into Literacy is excited to be offering the following classes in the upcoming school holidays! For students in Years 1-2, we will have our creative writing and reading classes that will help your child to gain confidence and have fun whilst building their literacy skills. We are also offering a Naplan workshop for Years 3-5 to help students prepare for the reading and writing components of the upcoming Naplan tests in May. Reservations are essential as spaces are limited so email us now for more details and to reserve a space for your child: info@leapintoliteracy.com.au http://www.leapintoliteracy.com.au   You might also like: The School Holiday–Work Juggle […]

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