Relationships | The Saturday Weekly Review

How We Juggle Remote Learning For Our SPD Son And Work : The SWR #320

remote education tips

Tips To Get Through Remote Learning And Working From Home

As I sit here and take a deep breath before shovelling my stress from remote learning and working from home. 

Telecommuting at home for work and trying to keep our son who has a sensory processing disorder is exhausting.

  • Sensory processing disorder (SPD) is a condition in which the nervous system is unable to properly process sensory input, and as a result, the patient can become easily overwhelmed (or underwhelmed) in the presence of ‘normal’ levels of sensory input.
  • SPD can lead to problems with attention, learning, behavior and moods (such as anxiety, anger, aggression and frustration).

Telecommuting Is The New Norm

What is Telecommuting?

From before the pandemic aspect, telecommuting is working from home outside of the office or facility.  

Now there are so many employees across Canada who have been moved to telecommute because of Covid-19.

Only essential service workers are allowed to be at work but those who stay at home do double-duty. 

Remote working and helping their children with remote education while the elementary school is closed. 

I had 5 weeks holiday from work over Christmas and I was already working from home. 

This was nothing I’ve done before so it was a process to get organized in my office.

Canadians Struggle With Remote Learning And Remote Career

I’m not alone as other Canadians struggle to work from home and juggle their children’s remote learning classes. 

After teaching elementary school online — while also parenting three young kids — Katie Armstrong is exhausted.

“I’m stressed. I’m frustrated. I’m overwhelmed,” said Armstrong, who teaches grade six and seven at Bellmore Elementary School in Hamilton. 

There were nights I was in the office until late and Mrs. CBB kept bringing me coffee. 

I was a stressed mess because no one knew what the heck was going on. 

The best part was having the work that I finished and they changed me to a new product instead. 

I’m still taking care of my work obligations but it’s taken me a long time to get to where I am. 

It was like rewriting a how-to book from start to unknown as if it was an open book waiting on the next chapter.

I try to get ahead also because I help our son with the remote learning. 

Remote Learning An SPD Child From Home

When I’m at work Mrs. CBB will take over but even she has her moments with the interactive remote learning. 

She suffers enough on her own that she can only do so much which is why we swap back and forth.

Our son is shy and he knows the answers but won’t put his hand up to answer unless he wants to. 

Well, that’s our son although after remote school we do another hour of math and spelling neater. 

Although our son enjoys the remote classroom set-up and would rather do that than go to school it’s hard. 

At the moment the schools are all closed so we have to motivate him in the morning to get ready for school.

Typically his first wake-up question is, “Is It A School Day?” because I know it’s hard for him. 

Then he says ok and gets in the shower while one of us makes him his chocolate coffee milk

Chocolate and coffee help him to focus at least in the morning of class. 

I add a few tablespoons of cold black coffee into the milk with chocolate syrup and water. 

Keep in mind he hardly eats so anything we can get in him is a winner.

All Children Need Interaction Inside and Outside of School

He misses his friends terribly and seeing his classmates on the computer often puts a smile on his face. 

There was plenty of tobogganing with his friends when we are allowed to go out but now that has stopped.

All the kids just want to put their mic on and talk to each other and do a show and tell.

You can sense that strong desire for all of them wanting to just play with their friends.

I notice some of the kids in our son’s remote learning classroom are working with limited parent support. 

Unfortunately, we can’t do that since our son needs guidance to keep focused on online learning.

Basically, our son struggles to sit still in most situations given he is an SPD seeker. 

How We Handle Remote Learning A SPD Seeker

School Schedule For SPD ADHD

An SPD seeker enjoys taking risks, tight hugs, cuddling, playing, so basically on the go every day. 

Our son tends to work well with standardized days when he knows what to expect so we always tell him.

When he was in SK at school we made this chart to help him get ready at home and school. 

He doesn’t need it any longer as he’s fine doing it but it was a huge help for him and us. 

Now that he is at home and remote learning I will make him a chart to regulate his getting ready for school.

There is no sit still with a seeker unless he/she has something they enjoy to focus on. 

Around his chair is an exercise stretchy band so if he is shy or stressed out he uses his feet to calm down.

We purchased a trampoline, wobbly chair, sensory sox and a hanging Tree Tent for his bedroom to help regulate himself. 

Engaging students in remote learning is tough whether or not your child has health issues. 

The only classes he focuses on are remote physical education, math, music, and science.

His reading skills are way above where he should be for his age so that’s not an issue for him.

Imagine reading a book and not knowing what you just read.

That’s him, most times. 

Rules For Remote Education

SPD ADHD clock

  1. Brush your teeth and wash your face before bed
  2. Be in bed by 8 pm
  3. Read a book with mom and dad before closing the lights 
  4. Dad gets out of bed to go finish his remote work
  5. Mom gets up at 5 or 6 am every day to prepare coffee, coffee milk and breakfast snacks
  6. We wake our King up at 7:30 am to shower, brush his teeth and hair. 
  7. This is when we will give him a rundown of what is happening for the day. 
  8. He does not eat breakfast normally unless we make crispy back 
  9. We set a 60-minute timer which we bought on Amazon. The timer works great with him so he can see how long he can play on his tablet. 
  10. When the timer goes off he gets his clothes on for school just as he would any other school day
  11. I look ahead to see what the kids are doing so I can work with him so he understands what the teacher is talking about. 
  12. Practice the Lords’ Prayer every morning which is on our garage door for him to learn for communion. 
  13. Then we sit and wait to start the school day. 
  14. No bothering daddy in his office when he works unless it’s an emergency.

Try Not To Get Overwhelmed In Front Of Your Children

He works far better with me than Mrs. CBB probably because I’m calm with him (most times) and she gets overwhelmed. 

We have to remember that it’s not his fault and he shouldn’t say things that would upset him. 

That’s pretty much his day going through his elementary teachers and the day ends around 2:30 pm.

When it comes to lunch sometimes he will eat and other times he just wants a big bottle of water. 

We don’t pressure him to eat but his nutrition is way off base and he needs help. 

He’d rather drink all day and eat once and won’t try anything new. I can count on 2 hands what foods he will eat.

The struggle is real for us since all renovations are on hold at the house, and we have work and school at home. 

Our lives are no longer what they were in 2019 and we are faced with massive changes at home and with the economy.

Preparing Financially For Health Situations 

He’s getting better now that he has support from an Occupational specialist who works with SPD children.

Each visit costs $115 but thankfully my employee benefits cover 85% or it would skyrocket. 

I remember blogging about being prepared for emergencies and building an emergency fund

Well, that’s our son although after remote school we do another hour of math and spelling neater. 

Although our son loves the remote classroom set-up and would rather do that than go to school it’s hard. 

At the moment the schools are all closed so we have to motivate him in the morning to get ready for school.

Typically his first wake-up question is, “Is It A School Day” because I know it’s hard for him. 

He misses his friends terribly and seeing his classmates on the computer often puts a smile on his face. 

Pros and Cons – Telecommuting From Home

home office

I’m DAD and a teacher when I’m home and that’s not too bad but I have to balance both my career and his education.

That’s the biggest setback for me however I enjoy teaching him, especially math as it’s a favourite subject of mine.

A CBB friend, Diane Edwards who has been working from home for 20 years wanted to shed some light on her process. 

  • Make sure all household chores are done.
  • If you leave dishes for example it will distract you.
  • Set up an office space away from the household and “go to work”.
  • My kids were very used to me working and knew not to bother me but kids are a tough one.
  • Set them up with independent things to do, arts and crafts, watch a movie, etc., where you only need to interact with them once an hour so to move them to the next activity or get them snacks.
  • It takes discipline at first but once it becomes the norm it’s easy to do.

Diane has also shared great ideas from her many years of working from home. 

  • I’d like to add that the pace is slower than the mad rush in the morning to school. 
  • Save money on gas 
  • More time to meal prep for the week. 
  • You don’t have to pack lunches and backpacks. 
  • The commute from the bedroom to the dining room table.
  • Make as many coffees as you’d like
  • Rush to the bathroom not worrying who will walk in.

Those few tend to take our stress levels down a notch as we’re always so busy. 

Cons for Remote Learning And Career at Home

  • My desk is a disaster because I have too much going on at work and at home 
  • Things don’t get done so we have to accept it and do it another day
  • Being interrupted by our son from time to time when I’m in a meeting
  • Email and meeting communication is horrible but at least we have it. Could you imagine trying to organize work over the telephone
  • Juggling chores
  • Making time to go to medical appointments
  • Keeping our son on track and focused
  • Finding something for him to eat that is crunchy to help him focus

Honestly, there are not many negative things to say about remote learning apart from one of us being there with him.

We didn’t have to be with him at school and now we’ve become his teacher whether we like it or not. 

Taking Care Of Yourself

If anything these can be either a pro or a con depending on how active you are. 

I am always mindful of making sure I move around the house and take that break. 

Let’s see what Diane shared:

  • Be mindful of taking care of yourself especially if you tend to not take breaks and sit at your desk all day.
  • Schedule breaks into your day and make sure that you take them. 
  • Go for a walk or do some exercise indoors or outdoors.
  • Prepare some healthy snacks like celery and carrots or an apple with nuts.
  • Something you can grab quickly that keeps you out of the chips bag.
  • And finally, enjoy your commute – it’s the best!

Discussion: How do you handle your child’s remote learning and working from home?

Leave me your tips and any comment down below as I enjoy reading your comments. 

Mr.CBB

Recent Blog Posts You May Have Missed

keto pizza crust

Below is a recap of the blog posts I’ve published over the past two weeks.

Subscribe to CBB to add your email to get my weekly blog posts and access to my Free Budget Resources Library.

If you have a blog topic you’d like to submit email me at canadianbudgetbinder@yahoo.ca

You may notice below that I’ve stopped adding the home and blog update. 

I’ve done this because it’s now in my bi-weekly newsletter only for subscribers.

The bi-weekly newsletter comes straight to your email, but only for subscribers.

You’ll find exclusive updates about the blog and CBB home life including photos and exclusive contests.

SEASONAL FRUGAL RECIPE BOX

Italian Gnocchi

If you’ve never tried Italian gnocchi with pasta sauce before you are missing out.

You can buy a pack at just about any Canadian grocery store down the international aisle or on Amazon.

There are inexpensive to buy with prices starting around $1.99 but I’ve seen them for a dollar. 

Heidi from Foodie Crush has a recipe for you that is so simple to make and cheap that it will help your meal plan. 

Another way we like gnocchi is to fry them with butter and then add all the toppings for beef Nachos or Poutine on top.

OMG, they are so good that way too. 

THOUGHTS CORNER BY MR.CBB

budget today

SATURDAY SEARCH TERM GIGGLE

kermit the frog

These are keywords that readers typed into their search engine and landed on this blog.

I get quite a few of these every single day and pick some of the best to feature right here.

  • Trespassing in a store after getting caught shoplifting – Let me guess, you live in the middle of nowhere and there are only a few shops and one of them is the town grocer. 
  • Are Meal kits economical – Nope. 
  • What food products say “if you don`t love it you get your money back” – Honestly sometimes I just don’t know what to say. 
  • Canadian Nuts – hahaha 

Thanks for your continued support of CBB and for listening to me ramble about our financial journey.

Mr.CBB

Similar Posts

2 Comments

  1. As a parent of a child with a physical disability, I am aware of some of the challenges that a parent must deal with. As my son has graduated school and is living independantly in Winnipeg, I no longer have to focus so much on the day to day issue. We still assist with the medical appts and some grocery shopping to make his life easier. I would expect that you have applied for the Disability Tax Credit through CRA and have that credit transfered to yourself to reduce your taxable income. In case you are not aware any tutoring that you pay for is a medical expense and should be claimed on your tax returns as such. I mention it as a thought of what you or followers may have missed

    1. Hi Richard, Thanks for the tips. It’s just in 2020 we were going through the process. He hasn’t officially been diagnosed with anything but SPD. We’re waiting for other tests from the Canadian Mental Health association. We want to rule out everything we can. They say he is a unique situation, whatever that means.
      Thanks for sharing.
      MR.CBB

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.