What’s Working for Us: Balancing WFH with Teaching an Elementary School Student

By Melissa Chan

Melissa Chan is a Product Manager at Quip and a mother of three.

With schools closed, parents suddenly have the additional responsibility of teaching their children at home. For parents like me, managing our regular work schedule with our kid’s schoolwork has been a challenge.

I needed a solution that would allow me to work remotely and allow my elementary-age son to work independently on his school work. I figured I used Quip to collaborate with colleagues at work, so I could also use it to collaborate on schoolwork with my son. After creating this WFH Kids Schedule Template, I shared a screenshot of it with another parent, and they asked, “What is that app?” That made me think it might be worth sharing with others.


First, I created a Quip doc, inserted a table and added my son’s daily schedule. Here’s a pro tip: Format the table so it can easily be read on a mobile device. I then created anchor links to the corresponding sections in the document so my son could easily click on his schedule and see the details.


For example, I created one section called Homework, which contained a table for all his homework assignments. I linked all online materials on the table for easy access. I indicated handouts with 🖨 and blank paper with 🗒. I added a checkbox to each row so he could check off items as he goes along. Throughout the morning, I’ll get notifications when he checks off one of his assignments. I’m excited because I can track his progress within Quip, without having to ask him, “Have you finished your Spanish assignment yet?”


I also kept a running list of project ideas that my son could work on during his downtime. I indicated which ones he might need a bit of help on too.

I also created a section in the document where he can earn screen time by doing chores. I set up a simple spreadsheet formula that helps tally up his earned minutes.


So far, our system has been working well. My son is independently working on his academics, he likes checking his schedule throughout the day, and I’ve been getting solid chunks of time to work. I hope that this post can help other parents collaborate with their kids and tackle the long list of academic tasks.

If you think this is something you’d like to try, here’s the WFH Kids Schedule Template. If you’re already a Quip user and you’re logged in, just click the link and you can easily add the doc to your account. If you need additional information on Quip basics, check out our helpful learning content.

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