As a divorced or single parent, assisting your school-aged children succeed in school is no small feat. But having your home become the classroom due to the new remote learning environment is a challenge most parents have never faced. Parents are struggling to balance maintaining the household, being a newly single parent, managing their own workload to support the family (maybe having to go outside the home, or staying in the home), and now keeping their child’s educational progress on track. It can be a lot to manage, so be sure to take advantage of all California state resources and support available. Here are some tips to help maintain your sanity:
When you’re juggling this much, you must communicate with those around you. This includes your co-parent (whether you share a residence or not), your child, their teachers, your employer, your friends, and your family. Opening the lines of communication to discuss your schedule, your needs, and your priorities for each facet of your life should start immediately. It can be important, emotionally and logistically, to check in to share worries, needs, and any positive progress. You cannot be everything to everybody, so ask for help and flexibility.
Make the most of teacher conferences
Now that you are likely sharing the load with the teacher to make sure your child is doing homework and attending their remote classes (and paying attention to them!), make your check-ins with your teacher meaningful! Plan in advance. For example: check in with your child and understand how they feel about their remote experience. Also engage your co-parent, especially if you are a divorced family. Consider asking to use a platform that allows for screen-sharing with the teacher so you can share any notes, or give examples about certain homework assignments and areas of confusion. Ask directly for training resources on areas that have been identified for improvement. For even more guidance on this topic, check out these additional tips.
Meal Prep or Plan
Let’s face it, many families relied upon the school to feed their children during school hours. But now you are the school. It’s easy to walk out one day and see nothing but processed food wrappers scattered about your kitchen because your children didn’t know what else to eat. Take whatever time you’re able to during the weekend, or even mid-week, to stock the house with healthy, easy-to-grab food and snacks so no one has to spend the little free time they have worrying about what to make. Don’t feel bad about using a grocery delivery service to cut down on trips to the store (it also helps reduce exposure to groups of people!).
Take time for yourself
It sounds obvious, but very few parents actually make time for themselves. Especially as a single or divorced parent, time can seem so limited, but it’s all the more important. Perhaps this means having a phone call with your best friend or a glass of wine with your partner to discuss the day. Maybe you need alone time with a book, or a walk around the neighborhood. Whatever it is, block it on your calendar and do it. You need to be your best self to manage all the inevitable chaos involved in rearing a child and being a partner to your friends and family. Please take care of yourself and check in with your emotional and physical well-being.
SupportPay can help
Remote learning is hard on everyone, and it creates specific challenges for divorced families.
SupportPay is an app designed to work seamlessly into parents’ lives to share expenses and reduce conflict by keeping communication transparent. For more resources and information on how SupportPay can help your family, visit our resources page.