HOUSTON - By now, teachers and students have adjusted to the virtual learning format and in-person instruction, but the shift to online classes has been a challenge for parents working from home.
Many moms and dads are trying to manage family life, school and responsibilities at work.
Eirene Heidelberger, CEO of Git Mom, is helping parents find a balance that works during the pandemic.
She's a mother of three who understands the pressure all too well.
"We're challenged because our children are only in school, two days a week, and then they're remotely learning three days a week, so three days a week five of us are in these four walls," says Heidelberger.
When it comes to homeschooling and virtual learning, she admits there's no one way to do it, but says there are lots of ways to make it more manageable.
"Number one, just try to build in some fun, because this is really tough and I find that the whole family needs some type of incentive to get through the day."
Communication is key. Heidelberger says she's created a family group chat and tries to stay organized by keeping the same daily schedule for meals and bedtime.
"Children love routines they love to know exactly what to expect. and it just helps them flow a little easier in a day and it's great for mom and dad because they know when the kids will be occupied."
It's also important to have a special school space that makes them feel like they're in the classroom.
"Like who doesn't want to just be tucked away in cozy blankets and pillows and be not that's not the reality that's not the environment. Your child is used to learning and experiencing education so it's really important to designate a set space for your child. outside of the bedroom screen-free," says Heidelberger. Also, if you think your child isn't excelling academically don't be afraid to speak up.
"All you need to do is reach out, start communicating to your parenting village, it could be your extended family, it could be your neighbors, it could be tutors, or retired teachers, it could be your child's teacher it, all you have to do is just kind of, raise your hand and say, help me."
Finally, she says, don't forget about your happiness. "We are spending an unprecedented amount of time together and it's really taxing on our mental health. so it's really important to take some time away to get it together. We all just need to laugh and lighten our moods because this is all on us, and we don't know when it's going to end. and there is always someone out there who is feeling the same way."
Heidelberger shares more advice in her book and website.