Discussion Thread

  • 1.  Working from Home With Kids

    Posted 03-25-2020 03:24 PM
    In the midst of the global pandemic, many of us are suddenly working from home AND trying to homeschool children or keep little ones occupied. What are some things you are doing that have been a success in helping you balance everything? Or, do you have a funny story to share about something that has maybe not worked so well?

    I'm working from home with 4 little ones, ages 7 months to 5 1/2 years. My oldest is in kindergarten, so she has daily assignments. Fortunately her workload is on the small side. Some days she works on her assignments in the morning, and her brothers (ages 2 and 3) either color or sort things. (a few years ago, I saved up a collection of those little colorful caps from the fruit/veggie pouches - they are great for sorting into rainbow colored cups or bowls. If you don't have colored cups/bowls, try cutting out a square of colored paper and taping it to a cup or other container.). Some days my daughter waits and completes her assignments in the afternoon while the others nap. Or, if she did her homework in the morning, she might work on a craft. If she does a small chore, I let her play on her tablet. 

    We've been doing our best to limit screen time, though we have been letting the kids watch a little Disney plus in the late morning some (let's be honest - most) days. We've been having gorgeous weather though, so we make up for it by spending lots of time outside in place of evening screen time. I've been enjoying playing in my garden since I don't have to commute now!

    Stay home and stay healthy, everyone!

    Kelly Farabee P.E., M.ASCE
    Savannah GA

  • 2.  RE: Working from Home With Kids

    Posted 03-25-2020 04:09 PM
    Just wanted to let you know that ASCE has a wide variety of materials that can be used with kids. We're beefing this up even more by creating a series "Everyday Engineering: STEM@Home" where we share how to do some of our Dream Big activities in the home environment. Our first activity "Foil Boats" talks about using the engineering design process as you build small boats from aluminum foil. How much weight can they hold? Can you try again and have it hold even more weight?

    I have a question for you--what materials are coming from schools to help you? How can ASCE reach out to schools and share our resources?

    Stay healthy!

    Jeannine Finton
    Senior Manager, Pre-College Outreach
    ASCE Headquarters
    Reston, VA

  • 3.  RE: Working from Home With Kids

    Posted 04-06-2020 02:43 PM
    Great thread, @Kelly Farabee! I have three kids: a 5 year old, 9 year old, and an 11 year old. I am so grateful that they play well together and can somewhat keep each other occupied when they are not doing school assignments.

    For a funny story: Our school district is doing Zoom calls for the classes, and we had a meltdown Friday last week where my 5 year old proclaimed she hated Zoom calls and she was NOT doing another Zoom call ever again. She had a full-blown temper tantrum, throwing herself on the floor, crying, the entire nine yards. Fortunately, this was early, before I had any calls myself.  But, I had to laugh because I think there are many adults who feel the same way about video conferencing.  

    It's certainly been interesting helping a 5 year old figure out how to navigate Zoom. Ironically, after just one call she now remembers to mute herself when not speaking, leading to less awkward moments than some of adults I've had calls with recently :) 

    I have been working from home for almost two years now, and started when my youngest was 3. I started to write a lengthy response to yours, and ended up with an entire blog focused on how to set yourself up to be productive when you are also supervising young kids too. I'm definitely not an expert, and it's definitely harder the younger your kids are....well except for nap time (we are too old for naps). 

    You can see it here: https://www.engineersrising.com/blog/workfromhomewithkids

    Stephanie Slocum P.E., M.ASCE
    Engineers Rising LLC