As Old Navy HQ hunkers down at home with shelter-in-place orders, the challenge of working from home has proven difficult for those doing it alongside their little ones who are normally in school. Chris Martirossian, VP Design, co-founded Amana Homeschooling Co-op and she's sharing her wisdom on keeping kiddos' education running smoothly while school is out.
Read on to get her tips and find out what makes her #oldnavyproud:
YOUR ROLE AT OLD NAVY: I lead the amazingly talented baby & toddler design team in creating the most covetable, comfortable and functional collections for our little ON babies!
TELL US ABOUT YOUR HOMESCHOOLING CO-OP: I started the co-op with another mother in 2014 because the public-school system didn’t fit our vision for the type of education we wanted for our children, and private school was just too costly. Today, we have about 10 students of varying ages, grouped according to grade levels. Each of the mothers in the co-op has a job and we hire teachers to collectively teach our children at a location we rent where the children attend school each day. My job is organization, planning and managing our school calendar.
TIPS FOR PARENTS OF KIDS WHOSE SCHOOLS ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED:
- Scheduling is important. Wake up before your children and give yourself time to prepare for the day.
- Make a weekly checklist for your children so that as soon as they wake up, they have responsibilities – this will make them feel empowered and give them a sense of ownership over their day vs. feeling constantly nagged by mom or dad about what needs to get done.
- Purchase workbooks and art supplies so they can stay busy while continuing to learn. Some great resources for these are All About Learning Press, Well Trained Mind and Growing With Grammar.
- Set up a dedicated workspace for each child so they feel a sense of organization and ownership over their schedule and space.
- Post a schedule in the kitchen or in each child's workspace that outlines events for the day.
- Plan an hour to connect with your children – whether it's playing a game, doing an art project or baking, just take time to listen and hear them.
HOW YOU'VE SHIFTED YOUR WORK STYLE AROUND THE CURRENT SITUATION: I can't say it's smooth sailing WFH with kids, but having a daily agenda and giving the kids assigned responsibilities and tasks really helps. It's also super important to find a dedicated hour for yourself!
WHAT MAKES YOU #OLDNAVYPROUD: SO many things. First and foremost, working for a company that puts the health and safety of its employees and customers first. I'm also proud to be part of an organization led by a female CEO and a leadership team comprised of so many inspiring women, along with some of the most talented designers in the industry, all striving towards the goal of creating product that's accessible to everyone!