dad and child working side by side
This picture is so sweet! Not realistic though, I suggest that you have your child's workspace in another area or room

Today Governor Newsom dropped a bit of a bomb on working parents in California. Students will be attending virtual schooling until their county is off of the monitoring list for 14 days. Those of us in Orange County know that we will most likely be on that list for a long time.

Last time the kids attended virtual school, it may not have been the best experience. The good news is that this time virtual schooling isn't a surprise and your teachers have had some experience already. This time the curriculum and instruction will be more suited for online learning. The difference between virtual schooling and home schooling is that virtual schooling "should" not require a lot of parent participation. Kids should be able to log into their classroom and be able to navigate through the curriculum with their teacher.

Running a business is challenging on its own, but babysitting your kid(s) to make sure that they are on task and completing assignments .......... well it can be distracting to say the least. I was a teacher for 20 years and now I am a mom of two who is working from home. Here are my suggestions for helping your kids have a successful fall semester while you are working from home:

  1. Design a "workspace" with your child(ren). Let them be involved with picking things out and placing them. Make sure they have a desk or table with a chair, an outlet nearby to charge their technology, paper, writing and coloring utensils in a special spot, an easy and safe pencil sharpener, and a comfy spot to relax in while they read. Sometimes we all need a break from the desk.

  2. Take a picture of their workspace, print it out, and post it somewhere so they understand your expectations in regards to what the area should look like at the end of the "school day".

  3. Create a system with them for when they need your assistance. If they have a phone or tablet maybe have them text you that they need help, then you can go to their workspace and assist them, or you can text them back that you are on a call and let them know when you can walk over - maybe have them work on something else for a bit. Or if you have an office with a door, they can come in and ask for help when the door is open. Or have color coded signs. Let them help you come up with ideas.

  4. Talk about rules and expectations. Almost every teacher creates these with the class. Do the same with your kids. Discuss when it is appropriate to have breaks for snacks or exercise. Talk about what are some rewards and consequences for not completing tasks. Write them out and put them somewhere near their workspace. Also prepare them for changes if their teacher has his/her own schedule for them. It is important to teach them to be flexible during this pandemic, things are changing constantly.

  5. Dress rehearsal! Put together a list of tasks for your child to complete - videos to watch, a math work sheet, a for PE, a book to read, a coloring page, tracing letters, whatever is age appropriate. Have them get up with an alarm and get dressed for school, meet them downstairs for breakfast, and then you go to your home office and they go to their workspace. Do a little parent spying when you get a chance, let them know you will pop in every now and then and it will usually be a surprise. I highly suggest once school starts you look at their schedule and show them how to set up Google alerts with links for Zoom classes, due dates, etc...

  6. Determine if the rehearsal was a success, can it be improved upon? Was anything distracting them? Was technology used during school time for Roblox? Together discuss what worked and what didn't, then make alterations to your system. Was it a total disaster? Is your child too young to be able to navigate this on their own? Sometimes we just have to admit that we can't do it all. Contact their school and/or district to see if there is any kind of child care or assistance you can use. There is no shame in asking for help, the best leaders know when to delegate things to others.

There are many charts circulating the media in regards to activities and their risk of contracting COVID-19. I know that this blog primarily focuses on businesses, but today I want to address you and your family's mental health. Being stuck home can get tedious and boring, the good news is that camping is considered low risk! Camping is a great activity because it involves, planning, working together as a family (challenging to pitch most tents alone), brings new experiences, and fun adventures.

Step 1: Figure out where you would like to camp and reserve a site

•What would your family like to do during the day? Hike? Kayak or play in a lake? Ride dune buggies over sand dunes? Relax by the ocean?

•How far do you want to go? Do you want to stay near home or take a drive upstate or even into another state?

•What kind of weather does your family like? A little cooler and in the shade? Enjoy the warm summer sun?

Since there isn't a lot to do right now during the pandemic, campsites are filling up quickly. Look through the following sites and see if there is a campsite with availability that has what you want:

If there are multiple sites at a campground available and you can't decide which one to choose, I suggest finding one near a water spigot and close enough to walk to the bathroom/port-a-potty without being "too close", learn from our mistakes haha. You can also see what they look like on one of my favorite sites:

Step 2: Check your camping gear and pack

Here is a free printable packing list to help guide you with packing for your camping trip. Camping gear can be expensive and add up, see if you can rent or borrow some equipment from friends.

PDF • 923KB

Step 3: Meal plan and shop for food

Check out Pinterest for some delicious camping meals. Make sure that you pack all of your ingredients and the tools that you will need to make each meal. Add them to the ERM packing list above.

ERM tips and tricks:

•Pre-scramble eggs and put them in a zip lock bag

•Pre-marinade meats and keep them in a zip lock bag

•Put snacks into individual bags so they are easy to grab and toss into your backpack for a hike

Step 4: Have fun!

Don't forget to double triple check that you have everything on your list packed and in the car, drive safe!

Can't get reservations? Nervous about Social Distancing at a camp site? Want to do a quick practice run? Camp out in your backyard! Kids love it

Previous deadline for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) - June 30th, 2020

New deadline for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) - August 8th, 2020

If you need help applying for this loan please contact ERM Insurance Brokers.

What is THE PPP?

In response to the debilitating effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on small businesses across the country, the federal government funded a program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) called the PPP.

The PPP is designed to get cash in the hands of suffering small businesses quickly, with less stringent eligibility requirements than the existing U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs. PPP loans are designed to incentivize business owners to keep employees on payroll. These loans provide 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses. In addition, provided that small businesses use their PPP loan funds appropriately, the loans may be eligible for forgiveness.

What are the eligibility requirements?

According to the SBA, the following entities affect by the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible to receive a PPP loan:

  • Any small business concern that meets the SBA’s size standards (either the industry-based size standard or the alternative size standard)

  • Sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed persons

  • Any business with a NAICS Code that begins with 72 (Accommodations and Food Services) that has more than one physical location and employs less than 500 per location

  • Any business, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, 501(c)(19) veterans organization or Tribal business concern (sec. 31(b)(2)(C) of the Small Business Act) with the greater of:

  • 500 employees, or

  • That meets the SBA industry size standard if more than 500

What’s next?

Eligible small businesses that wish to apply for PPP loan funding should reach out to their bank to discuss applying for the loan. In addition, borrowers should direct any questions regarding their PPP loan to their lender.

*We will continue to monitor any additional developments regarding the PPP and deliver updates as necessary. For more information about the PPP, contact ERM Insurance Brokers.(949) 222-0444