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B.C. parents face double-whammy of working from home, educating kids. Here are tips to cope

Click to play video: 'B.C. parents face dual challenges of working from home, and educating their kids' B.C. parents face dual challenges of working from home, and educating their kids
WATCH: It's a double-whammy of new challenges for many parents. Not only are they trying to stay productive while working from home, they're also having to split their focus, and home-school their kids. It can be a lot. Catherine Urquhart reports. – Apr 16, 2020

Many parents are doing double duty right now, with their homes serving as both office and their kids’ classrooms.

Kristy Bell is a mother of four who works full-time and says she is now “adjusting to also being a teacher” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: B.C. teachers scramble to organize at-home learning as spring break ends

“That’s been a huge challenge for me, balancing working long hours and having to also assist them in everything they need.”

Some teachers are giving extensive guidance to their pupils, but it varies by school and district.

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Coronavirus outbreak: Horgan says preliminary talks underway to discuss reopening of schools – Apr 15, 2020

In an effort to help, the SelfDesign Learning Foundation, a B.C. charity that supports distance learning for 3,000 children, has been offering advice to principals.

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“We’ve been working very closely with our educators to put together some resources that we can share with other educators and parents,” SelfDesign president and CEO Amber Papou said.

Click to play video: 'Education in the time of coronavirus' Education in the time of coronavirus
Education in the time of coronavirus – Mar 30, 2020

They also offer these tips for parents:

  • Recognize that learning happens all the time
  • Get outside and into nature
  • Have your child set goals and then make them manageable
  • Use computers as tools to expose your child to new ideas and practice skills

Perhaps the most important bit of advice: be gentle with yourself.

“I try to get my energy out by dancing, resting, reading,” mother of three Edie Cheng says.

“You know, the usual things that most people have to do to kind of calm themselves down and cope.”

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READ MORE: Coronavirus: Resources to help kids learn from home

For most parents, distance learning is presenting challenges they never imagined. And all of us are trying to get through it as best we can, hopeful that schools will be back in session sooner rather than later.

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