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happysmileylady

Homeschooling when your spouse is working from home

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We have had threads here in the past about how many of us struggle to do school when our spouse is home.  There are a lot of reasons for this.

In my personal situation...

Right now, we are functioning with SOP.  Nothing in our life has changed.  

BUT....that could change.  His employer is working on a work from home option and it's likely to change sooner rather than later.  I won't lie, THIS would completely upend EVERYTHING for us.  He works for an international company and all meeting are already over teleconference.  He holds multiple meetings at work each day.  We have no home office space and the home school space is already in an area of the main room.  Between me trying to go over work with the kids and his meetings online, trying to keep everyone focused and functional is going to be............................HARD.  And already tomorrow, he's going to work then going to be home like by lunch time.

I am  not sure what to do here.  DH and I have talked already and right now we are talking about him working in the garage.  This is straight up not good.  The garage isn't insulated but we have a kerosene heater and plenty of kerosene, and he has space and could hold meetings and do work separate from us.  The garage is the only room in the house that has a door that can be closed that isn't a bathroom or bedroom.  There are other spaces in the house that we could repurpose into office or homeschool space, but again, they don't have doors (and as renters, doors can't be added.) and generally, the garage vs the rest of the house are the only real options for enough separation to facilitate functional work environments. 

 

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I also wanted to say...no bedrooms are large enough for a home office desk.  DH working in the bedroom or the kids working in their bedrooms literally means sitting on beds to work.  Well, I think DS's bedroom might be able to hold a desk now that we have purchased a loft bed with drawers and shelves for him.  

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We're having the same issue so I can sympathize. Dh had almost 10 hours of back to back conference calls today, with less than 30 minutes non-phone time scattered total between them- it's been non-stop, and as I mentioned on Princess Mommy's thread, he's super loud on the phone. He also types loud. How do you type that loud!?!

I have given up on school for this week and am going to try to move the kids and I into the playroom along with our Art Table for school, and use that as a "school" room during the day for a bit instead of our dining room which is immediately next to our study.

It's full of distractions as far as toys I can't exactly get rid of, but they can focus better around toys than any of us can around my dh's booming voice- especially me and I matter most I think on the concentrating part to be able to teach. Our house is almost all hard floors except the kids' rooms, and so the noise really carries, even with the doors shut. Normally I'd go get some IKEA rugs etc. for the study to help buffer the booming voice,  but that's clearly not an option at the moment. 

My oldest is unaffected as she just wears her headphones all day anyway for online classes, but the younger kids and I- I have to have somewhere for the two of them and me in some sort of quiet. It would be fantastic to be able to go outside here for a few weeks, but we'd all drown in pollen. 

If we only knew how long this was going to last it would be a lot easier to deal with. 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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DH has been home all this week...and he works with university students, so it looks like he'll be home the rest of the school year. 

We have a 1000sq ft house. No garage, no extra spaces. All common areas are open/connected. He's been sitting on the bed for his online chats/meetings. It's not ideal, but he closes the door and has privacy. 

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How strict are your property managers?  Could you put up a couple of hooks and hang a duvet across the door?  Could you empty a wardrobe and put him in there.  Could you have the kids build forts and do their work in them?

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I feel for you. My DH's employer started having everyone work from home on Wednesday. They said it will be for at least 4 weeks and to plan for maybe much longer. Fortunately we have a spare bedroom that he's using, although it did require rearranging quite a few things. He's using a folding card table and a dining room chair as his office furniture. His job requires a lot of (now virtual) meetings and conference calls. Our house isn't large, and he has a big voice too, so DS keeps his earphones on much of the day and I'm going to have to start using earplugs. LOL. I am grateful that DH;'s job can do this though, to reduce our exposure. DS has asthma.

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My DH has been ordered to work from home. Given that our internet isn't good, this may mean he actually has to go up the road to the graveyard to do things that require good internet or our data will all be eaten up. I'll probably scale back my online use as well. Not a big deal, that.

But I am already thinking about if he needs my desk, and if I can use the kitchen or living room for my writing "office" as the boys work at their desks there or on the kitchen table. It's just going to take a little while to get every situated and working well, probably about three to four weeks to establish territory and routine. 

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Mr. Ellie is going to start WFH next week. Although we don't have dc around any more to disrupt him (or him to disrupt them), he's still going to work upstairs in a guest bedroom. He won't be that busy, though, because he's the IT guy, and all of his "customers" have gone home.

It's weird having him home, though, because even we empty nesters have routines, and he messes them up, lol. I guess I should get used to it as he'll be retiring in a couple of years. 😮

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Dh began working from home on Friday a week ago.  Monday morning he chirped, “Wow.  Youre really verbal in the mornings.”  By Tuesday I was mad about it.  🤣

We’re figuring it out, though!  The rest if the week has been far better.  

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DH asked me, "so, is the dining room table always this, um, full?"

Later I said to him, "you may need to wear an over ear headset, because we will need to start talking again on Monday when we return from spring break" 😂

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DH is working in our bedroom. We have no other option.  It is disruptive to the kids to have him downstairs because he's on the phone all day.  I have had to write out very specific schedules for my kids and give him copies also so he knows not to interrupt them.  Lunch is 12-1, no exceptions.  I can't have him talking to us during the day or it totally derails everyone.  

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Dh is working on a folding table with 3 monitors spread across it and on the phone all day long.  We are running fans as noise machines to block out our noise for him and his for us.  Doors shut and trying to not acknowledge his presence so we can stay focused.  Our college student being home is actually the bigger distraction b/c she is sitting with us doing school like "the old days" and we started talking and including her.  We all start talking too much. Not good for her either b/c she needs to be working on her own work.

Definitely have kinks to work out.  

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We are in a 600 sq foot apartment with 3 rooms (plus bathroom and tiny kitchen).  My dh will be working from home. I will now be tutoring online from home. My older son has returned from MIT and will be taking classes at home, and my younger is still homeschooling. I think the play is that everyone gets a room, and I will be tutoring in the HALL!

All things are possible!

Edited by lewelma
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Dh will start working from home tomorrow.  He brought home his stuff on Friday.  He created a desk in our walk in closet as we don't have an office and neither of us have a desk.  I offered to make room in our bedroom but he declined.  I did insist on him buying an air filter/fan though as I didn't want *my* clothes smelling like him in the very enclosed space.  Our youngest is 9 so they are all able to stay quiet for the most part.  He will be on the phone full time but his breaks and lunch will definitely throw our usual routine off.

 

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Dh works from home regularly and he has his own office. But we talk to him and he talks to us all day long. I never thought about it before reading this thread, but maybe that's part of the reason why it takes us ALL.DAY.LONG to finish our school 🤣

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DH works at home all the time. He is in our cluttered, cold, unfinished basement, so it's not an ideal working space, but it allows him to make calls without us having to constantly worry about being quiet. He's been working there for a few years now and it works well enough. 

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We've done this many times before.  Unfortunately, one of his techniques was to go work at Starbucks, which he can't do.

But in general, he gets the bedroom.  

If that doesn't work (like, your husband needs a table), you can move homeschool to the kids room or set up a table outside if it's nice.  

What does he do?   Does he make noise while he does it or just need quiet?

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Dh has been working with students and colleagues from the porch swing. Fortunately the weather's been lovely and only the occasional Fedex driver noticing too late the speed bumps in front of the house interferes. I hope the weather holds out because he has to use that elevated shouty voice one uses for teleconferencing, and the girls aren't yet quite able to ignore him.

This neighborhood is full of professionals working from houses cheek-by-jowl on tiny lots, and he's not the only one working outdoors. Our neighbor across the street works for NPR and shouts with a pleasant radio voice into his headset on his own front porch. From time to time someone walks down the street shouting into the ether (and for some reason, often gesticulating animatedly). It's like the neighborhood is filled with crazy homeless guys in nice exercise clothes.

OP, since you mention a heater, I guess outdoors isn't an option for you.

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DH has been working from home for two weeks and it's a non-issue here. He tells me when he needs to be on the phone and I make sure the kids are quiet during that time. Why can't your kids do school on the biggest bed in your house? Pretend to be camping, put some nature sounds music on, start your day with hot cocoa, then do school. Kids could use boards or oversize hardback books for lap desks and they can sit on the floor.

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DH has been home for two weeks now. He set up a narrow but long table in our bedroom. 
 

It’s been going pretty well. The last three days have been hard because we are also making the bedroom door wider for my wheelchair. The framing is done but the door doesn’t come until today! No door on the “office” and nine kids at home have been unique working conditions!

 

 

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On 3/19/2020 at 4:23 PM, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Normally I'd go get some IKEA rugs etc. for the study to help buffer the booming voice,  but that's clearly not an option at the moment.

If you're close enough to an IKEA, you can check to see if they're still doing "click and collect." I had to go pick up some mounting rails for the girls' room a few weeks ago, and they were already enforcing social distancing in the waiting line. It was a pretty smooth process.

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3 hours ago, SillyOldMom said:

If you're close enough to an IKEA, you can check to see if they're still doing "click and collect." I had to go pick up some mounting rails for the girls' room a few weeks ago, and they were already enforcing social distancing in the waiting line. It was a pretty smooth process.

IKEA stopped the “click and collect” on 3/28, because on 3/29 I went online to try to pick up two Billy bookcases.  My library overfloweth, but in the time of actual library lockdown, I’ll just be grateful.  And messy.

Edited by medawyn

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