Home school finding the balance - Alan Moran
22 April 2020
Posted by: Written by Alan Moran
Much like remote working, children across the world are having to adapt to home schooling.
Young adults and children have been brought up in a fast-paced technological world and are often quick to pick up the new and latest tech. These agile young minds are inspirational in the way they can adapt quickly and relearn new and different ways of getting things done.
Change is not always easy - especially when our routine gets turned upside down overnight - so how are families, working parents and students adapting to this change?
How are you stopping those distractions, encouraging that motivation and finding that work/school/home life balance?
We asked some working parents who have shared their challenges, techniques and tips on LinkedIn to see how they are managing the changes.
We asked Alan if we could run some questions by him after he shared his son using a Kanban board and an Agile chart to track his school work.
Senior Manager (Digital Portfolio and Innovation)
I am a member of the management board of educa.ch, the federal agency for digitalisation of the Swiss school system, with responsibility for digital portfolio and innovation. My job is to oversee national projects in support of the digital transformation of the education system such as the recently launched federated identity management system Edulog. I also actively research Agile and Digital Transformation and am author of several books relating to these topics.
How are you balancing work, school and home life?
In times of national crisis when the integrity of the national school system needs to be maintained, keeping life in balance can be extremely challenging. A great deal of flexibility and continual (re)prioritisation is called for, much of which has to do with deciding what not to do.
Challenges and mistakes
- One challenge is knowing when to pause for thought and when to act in the absence of information. Be ready for mistakes and treat them as reflective learning opportunities for actions taken in good faith.
- Overcoming any crisis requires social acts of solidarity – it is down to our networks and our ability to build new ones. In an age of social distancing this becomes particularly challenging.
- Whilst it is great to see how well our school system in Switzerland continues to function, it is easy to forget that teachers too need help. Reaching out and offering support will therefore never be a mistake.
Tools and techniques that are helping to motivate, engage and keep track of school work?
- Our first realisation was that we needed to make sense of things for our kids and give them structure to work within. We created a Corona-Virus Agile Chart (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/agile-going-around-circles-alan-moran/) that noted key events and tasks for the kids to focus on.
- Next, we made a Kanban to help the kids organise their own work – it was stunning to see how quickly they got to grips with the language (“Papi, I’ve moved Reading into Done!”).
- To remind ourselves that we are there for each other and that it is okay to ask for help, we put a “hug bell” in the hallway – simply ring for attention!
Key learning points and top tips for other parents.
- Looking after kids at home is one thing – trying to be a manager, teacher, conflict negotiator, sports coach and TV remote referee all at once is another. Prioritise. Be Flexible. Be Kind.
- Tension is a natural consequence of living under lockdown. As parents we have to learn to understand and empathise with the frustration of our kids when they don’t get why we seem to be busy all the time.
- A crisis will help us better see what we need to improve in our lives – those cracks are what let the light in. So, treat these circumstances as a unique opportunity to learn and consider what might have the change longer term once the crisis is over.
Read more on Alan's Agile Chart template here
and his previous LinkedIn posts below
Using Agile Charting - https://www.linkedin.com/posts/activity-6651039214219599873-sOwB
Using Kanban - https://www.linkedin.com/posts/activity-6648488036831117312-owrK