How to effectively work at home during the summer? Talk amongst yourselves.

Emma asked a timely question via Twitter:

Hey Asha, might some of your followers have ideas for how to work effectively from home during summer w/a 6YO around the house?

I've always found it easier to work at home during the summer. Lack of meetings + relatively short hours + kids who sleep in make the pace of summer ideal for my brain to do its thing. On her Babble Voices blog At Home With the Happiest Mom, Meagan Francis beautifully articulated how working at home and summer can mesh.

But I also know that Meagan and I are in the minority. If you need to keep reasonable hours and have relative quiet, working during the summer with kids at home can be tricky.

Depending on your work situation and your kids, there are lots of ways to go:

Define limits. Some kids respond well to knowing where the lines are. Try to create a loose summertime schedule that includes your work hours so your child knows when you'll be free.

Swap child care time. Summertime is a great opportunity to swap play date time with a neighbor or friend.

Employ a "mother's helper." A lot of older kids are looking for summer jobs. Why not hire one to entertain your kids while you're home? Ask around the neighborhood…you're sure to find someone pretty quickly.

Grab a couple early or late hours. Depending on your "morning person" or "night owl" tendencies, plan on working while the rest of the family's asleep. I love the fresh, early morning hours for working, and the feeling of having plenty done by the time everyone wakes up.

Make lunch ahead of time. Stick with the lunchbox! That way your kid can help herself to her lunch when she gets hungry.

Simplify meals, laundry, and housecleaning. It's summer! Shorts, t-shirts and flipflops are all the kids need. Get a bunch of cheap summer clothing so kids can dress themselves without your having to wash all the time. Plan on simple BBQ/salad meals and anything else that takes little prep. Clear as much of the rest of your time as you can. (This is a good rule for everyone, working or not. Summer's too short to spend it cleaning!)

@wickedcupofjoe suggested new crop of summertime toys and games. @hmaz76 entertained her kid with a painting project involving shaving cream and food coloring.

Let's help Emma out! What are your best summertime work-at-home tips?


  1. Jasi says

    play school. prepare a lesson plan with a boxed lunch and let her know that it’s quiet time, that you both have serious work. then when she completes everything quietly let her watch a half hour of tv or play her favorite game.

  2. Loran says

    This website (below) has a list of virtual summer camps, an hour a day, for all age groups if your child wants to sit in on a class. :) If you have older children, there are a TON of virtual classrooms available free of charge through Stanford, and others. Might not be their thing, but I remember geeking out at getting to go to graduate courses with my dad in the summer and try to learn above my grade level.

  3. says

    We have thousands of adults who are losing 20+ pounds per month incorporating Skinny Fiber with a healthy meal plan. Skinny Fiber, taken 30 minutes before major meals, leaves you feeling full before you eat so that you actually eat less but still feel satisfied. Throw in an exercise regimen and you’ll be well on your way to significant weight loss over the course of the summer. I recommend consulting your doctor and parent(s) about Skinny Fiber before using it. Have them watch the video and peruse the web site to learn more about it and what it can do for you.

  4. Amanda Frank says

    This is a great post, I really am glad that I stumbled upon it! These are wonderful tips that I plan on implementing in to my daily routine ASAP. I am a stay at home mom and I’ve wrestled with the idea of going back to work, but I really hated to put my little one in daycare just so that I can make a little bit of money. I’ve been talking about wanting to work from home for a very long time and finally was able to land my ideal at home job! I was talking to a friend of mine about how to juggle work, kids and home life all at the same time (and in the same place). She does a lot of work editing and she actually suggested that I read a book called “The Barefoot Executive” by Carrie Wilkerson and that it would be a great book to give me some great advice. She gave me her website too where I was able to order the book. It’s been great so far. Besides this article, has anyone else read any great pieces (books, articles, etc.) on this topic?