Class Is In Session: How I Helped My Teens Do Their Best Work From Home

This post is sponsored by Staples Connect but the opinions are my own.

All three of my kids are going to school virtually, so every morning they get out their laptops and attend their classes. Then also they need to complete any homework assignments, and I need to stay on top of it all. As a mother of three, let me tell you this isn’t easy.

My teens are taking classes virtually and here are seven ways I helped them this year. (Staples Connect)

Because I work from home, we have no choice but to go to our separate corners of the house so that we can be as productive as possible. That means that my kids do most of their work from their bedrooms. Otherwise, we would end up on top of each other and our ability to concentrate would be sacrificed.

It was a bit of an adjustment at first, but we’ve made it work by making some tweaks. I also realized our local Staples is now Staples Connect. They make it easy for you to walk in and get the help and resources you need to make learning, and working, from home as easy and comfortable as possible.

  1. Schedule — I began by setting up a schedule of sorts which isn’t rigid, but we try to stay within its general parameters. I make sure that they don’t sleep in too late. Getting up early is one key to boost all of our productivity and help fit everything in. Once they get their work done, they can enjoy the free time knowing that they’d put in their best effort. This LED Charging light has been a super cool addition to their rooms. It lights up so it doubles as a light and tells time while keeping their side tables free of wires.
  1. Strong WIFI — My kids need their workspace to be comfortable and I want to do everything I can to keep them motivated and focused. Our WIFI couldn’t seem to keep up with our needs so I bought a new router. That way, I could work even when all three of my kids were logged into a Zoom meeting which happened all the time. That was a game changer. We also needed to get a pair of noise cancelling headphones and these are super comfortable and help us all stay focused. 
  1. Study Space — My daughter loves working from her bed. She uses her desk for makeup and jewelry. I made sure that she was comfortable working in bed and that she had everything she needed like an adjustable laptop stand and an extra-long charger for her phone. I also loaded her up with some comfortable pillows and blankets. At first, I thought this might be too much of a temptation for snoozing, but she’s been doing well while learning from home. I’m glad I took the time to make her learning space fit her needs.
  2. Study Snacks — My boys are snackers so I got a mini fridge to go in their rooms — mostly so they don’t make a dozen trips down the stairs disturbing me while I work. Speaking of disturbing my work, I had to start allowing them to eat in their rooms since I couldn’t handle the constant noise of the wrappers and containers opening. My kids eat constantly. Instead of fighting it, I picked out lots of snacks, got them all a trash can for their room, and let them have at it.
  3. School Supplies — I also bought them all the school supplies they needed to learn from home like sticky notes, folders, graph paper, anything that they felt they needed. It took a few months to get into a groove but now this whole virtual learning thing works for them and they’ve all managed to stay somewhat productive.
  4. If you are in need of some help to get started, Staples Connect also provides you with a Learning Checklist so you can make sure you don’t forget anything because let’s face it, as mothers that’s one of our superpowers. We need all the help we can get. 
  1. Motivation — I got them each a few things that brighten their days and give them something to look forward to. I believe that is one of the secrets to our success. Getting them something they think will be fun has given them the opportunity to explore some new hobbies. They love spending time with our family ducks and cooking. My youngest has recently gotten into candle making and photography. My oldest has spent many hours tinkering on his truck and teaching himself how to do small repairs. And my daughter has helped me up my makeup game by showing me tutorials like one on how to achieve perfectly sculpted brows from home.

As for me, I used to do a lot of my work from coffee shops or fast-food restaurants just so I could get out a little bit and get some much-needed caffeine. Staying at home made me appreciate the tiny corner of my bedroom that I’ve made into an office. I treated myself to a few new office supplies and I got really organized which helped me stay focused and motivated.

Now that we have this setup, I have a feeling my kids like staying at home (with me) a lot more than they care to admit. I’ll take it. Now, if I could only figure out how to get them to keep their rooms clean…

Your local Staples® store is now Staples Connect. Discover productsservices, and inspiration that help you unlock what’s possible in a new world of working and learning.

About Katie BinghamSmith

Katie Bingham-Smith lives in Maine with her three kids. She is a Staff Writer at Scary Mommy, shoe addict and pays her kids to rub her feet. You can see more of her on Facebook and Instagram .

Read more posts by Katie

Don't miss out!
Want more like this? Get updates about parenting teens and young adults straight to your inbox.