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Herzing Staff

11 Ways to Keep Your Kids Busy While You're Studying at Home

As parents know, children and productivity don’t exactly go well together. Here are some ways to keep kids busy to allow for some productive study time.

COVID-19 has forced the closure of offices and schools across the U.S., leaving many working and studying from their homes. For students with children, this poses the challenging question of “How am I supposed to get work done with my kids at home?” As parents know, children and productivity don’t exactly go well together.

Here are some ways to keep kids of all ages busy to allow for some productive study time:

Babies + Toddlers

  • Rely on resources: Do you have a significant other or older child who can help watch the little ones while you study? Carve out 30 minutes to an hour where they can keep your kids busy to give you the time you need to complete classwork. If necessary, and if it’s within your budget, consider hiring a part-time babysitter to allow you to concentrate on studying for part of the day.
  • Use nap time to your advantage: While naps don’t always occur on schedule, plan to focus on any work that needs your full attention during this time.
  • Start early or study late: Start studying before your kids get up for the day, or choose to get most of your work done at night when the kids go to bed.
  • Have everything you need close by: Chances are, your toddler will need various things throughout the day – snacks, a diaper change, favorite toys, a change of clothes, etc. Have these items gathered nearby so you’re not running around multiple times a day, which can cut down on valuable study time.

Elementary School

  • Start a movie: Even if you’re trying to limit screen time, give yourself a break – screen time is OK if you need to focus on getting work done. Play your children’s favorite movie or TV show that will keep them occupied while you study.
  • Build a fort: Spend a few minutes building a fort with your kids to give them a sacred space of their own, then fill it with toys, books and games to keep them entertained.
  • Create a fun to-do list: When you’re planning your to-do list for the day, write one for your child as well! They’ll love that they have a list like you, and it’ll give them fun things to focus on while you get some studying done. Items on this list could include coloring a picture, playing with the dog, reading a book, doing jumping jacks, completing a puzzle, etc.
  • Offer incentives: Set goals for your children during your study time. If they stay quiet for a certain amount of time or get a set number of tasks done, for instance, they’ll get a reward. That reward could be ice cream after dinner or getting to watch their favorite movie.

Middle School

  • Write a schedule: Keep your children busy with a structured schedule for them to stick to while you study, which can include household chores and homework.
  • Set clear expectations: Communicate with your children, letting them know that although you’re home, you need a set amount of time to study without being interrupted. If they know what to expect, they’ll be more likely to respect those boundaries.
  • Schedule video chats: If you don’t have anyone at home who can help entertain or look after your children while you study, consider scheduling video chats with family or friends to give you some time to concentrate on schoolwork while they catch up with their loved ones. Win-win!

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Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography and degree field, affect career outcomes. Herzing does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salary.

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