March 30, 2020

Work, Learn, & Play From Home

We know that many of you are juggling working from home with students learning from home and keeping the whole household entertained. Thank you for your commitment to helping our community reduce the spread of illness by staying at home and only venturing out for essential trips. Here’s our guide to working, learning and playing from home.

Working from home

If you have a job that allows you to work from home, you’re probably already working there. Here are some best practices for working from home:

  1. Work in a space separate from the rest of your house. To concentrate on work, you need a space to work that is set apart from the normal bustle of home life. While family members, pets, TV, and other people and things are a part of your day-to-day life, they will probably make it harder to get work done. Ideally, your home office has a door that shuts—maybe even locks.
  2. Use a high-speed internet connection. As our customer, that won’t be a problem. If you’re working wirelessly, don’t forget these wireless router tips:
    1. Place the router away from metal, thick walls, or major appliances
    2. Put the router the main floor of your house
    3. Make sure your router is able to handle high speeds
  3. Take breaks. At home, you may be sitting for long periods that you normally would at work. Get up, take a walk, spend a few minutes with your family. Especially during this uncertain time, maintaining connection and taking time for your emotional health is vital.

Learning from home

If you have children at home right now, there are many ways they can continue to learn online—no matter their age. Here are some helpful resources for helping kids learn at home:

  1. For younger children:
    1. Daily, author Mo Willems holds a short (about 20 minutes) drawing class live on YouTube. You can connect to it here: https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/mo-willems/
    2. BrainPop offers all kinds of educational programs for small children. Visit them at https://jr.brainpop.com
    3. NASA has all kinds of online activities for kids in the NASA Kids Club: https://www.nasa.gov/kidsclub/index.html
  2. For older kids and teenagers:
    1. If your child studies a foreign language in school, they can keep their skills up on DuoLingo, which offers free language instruction in dozens of languages: https://www.duolingo.com
    2. Your child may want to keep a journal of their time at home. They can practice better writing skills by using Grammarly’s free writing help: https://www.grammarly.com
    3. Let your kids explore TED Talks (https://www.ted.com/talks) or take a course on Lynda (https://www.lynda.com) to learn more about a topic they’re already interested in.

Playing from home

Your internet connection puts a world of entertainment options at your fingertips, even when you’re stuck inside. Many services are streaming movies that would normally be in theaters right now. Others are offering discounts or free services for people who have lost their jobs. This is the time to make sure you have a streaming service to help you stay sane. Here are some of the most popular:

  1. Netflix. The first is still one of the most popular. Netflix provides movies and TV series to stream, with content varying over time. Netflix is also known for its original content, including popular shows like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Stranger Things. Netflix costs between $8.99-$15.99 per month.
  2. Hulu. Hulu focuses on the latest broadcast television episodes, as well as their own original content. Hulu costs between $5.99-$12.99 per month. Hulu also offers a service that lets you stream about 60 channels of live TV, and costs $54.99 per month.
  3. YouTube TV. As long as we’re talking about live TV… YouTube offers one of the most comprehensive streaming services for live television. It offers more than 70 channels of content, including local channels that vary depending on your location. YouTube TV costs $49.99 per month.
  4. Sling TV. Sling TV is another offering that lets you watch live TV. Sling has two separate packages—Sling Orange (30+ channels, $20) and Sling Blue (45+ channels, $30)—with different channel lineups.
  5. Amazon Prime Video. Like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video offers movies and TV shows, as well as some original content. The service comes free for users who already have Amazon Prime, or $8.99 per month if you just want the video service.

Most of us have more time at home right now than we expected. Whether you’re working at home, learning at home, playing at home, or some combination of the three, we’re here to support you every step of the way.