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Work at Home Tips for Parents: What to Do When Kids Have No School

written by: Nicky LaMarco•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 6/28/2011

I know how difficult it is to work when my kids have a snow day or half day or holiday. I’ve found some ways to make this work.

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    Benefits of Working from Home

    Working from home has plenty of benefits: creating your own schedule, being home when your kids are home, making more money, saving money on commuting, wearing what you want to, and being your own boss. At the same time though, many of those things could be seen as downfalls from time to time as well. For parents, working from home means being there for your kids. You can schedule your time around your kid's school and after school activities. That means you can be there when they head off to school and again when they return home. You can even go to school events, help with homework, and pick up your kids from school when you need to. You can even take care of them when they are home sick and spend time with them on school vacations! Right?

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    The Downfall

    The downfalls are nearly the same as the benefits of working from home. You will be there to pick up your kid from school if she's sick. You will be there when there are early release days, no school, holidays, and school vacations. The average school year, according to, is 180 days in the United States. That's 180 days you have (if your child never gets sick or needs a day off) to work while they are in school. In New Hampshire there are vacations during Christmas, in February, and in April. Then, in early June school is out for the summer.

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    My Experience

    As someone who works from home with two daughters I found these facts disturbing. People always ask, "You have two kids? How do you get any work done?" Good question. Sometimes I wonder that myself. However, I have found some ways to still work even when they are home from school.

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    Tips and Advice

    If you can afford to pay for child care when there is no school then find a nearby child care center and get on the waiting list ASAP. According to BabyCenter, child care costs range from $4,388 to $14,647 a year. If you can swing it, you'll be able to work easily while they have no school.

    Ask family and friends for help. Sometimes you just have to ask in order to get the help you need. Even if it is just once a while, you can get some work done during that time, and the kids get to spend time with their relatives and friends.

    Keep them busy. Have a stash of stuff to keep them busy if they have to be home. This should include their favorite movies, board games, arts and crafts, and toys. Take one out at a time and it will keep them busy until they get bored with it, and that's when you give them a new activity.

    Spend quality time with your kids. I have found that if I commit to some quality time with my kids every day, then they are less likely to bother me for attention while I am working.

    Take your work outside with you if you can. Take the kids to the park or just outside in the yard. Work while they play and get some energy out.

    Buy them a computer of their own and allow them some computer time. This will keep them busy while you work from home. Plus, they will need a computer for school.

    Take a trip to the local library. It is usually free and you can bring your laptop to work or do research while you are there.

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    Add Your Own

    Create plenty of activities to keep your kids busy when they don't have school so you can still work from home. Keep an arsenal of fun things to do so they don't get bored and you can continue to work. Now, get back to work!