These next couple weeks are going to be interesting. Starting today my daughter’s school is going to have seven straight minimum days due to parent-teacher conferences. Then a week off for Thanksgiving.

Life can certainly get interesting when kids are home a little extra and you want to get work done.

In my situation I look to the good side. Having my oldest home more means she and my son can play more together. And argue, of course, but let’s not focus on the hard part. They’re not too bad for me anyhow.

That means my son asks for less attention. He has a big sister to bother play with, not just a baby sister who mommy keeps warning him can’t play too rough.

When they’re in the right mood, that’s actually more working time, not less. So it comes down to getting that right mood.

Best for my kids is to get them outside. Leave them watching TV or playing on the computer, and they’ll fight more. Boot them into the back yard and they’ll get into some very creative play and only occasional mischief. And sometimes they’ll stay out for hours.

Of course more kid time at home should also mean more family time. Working at home only has so much benefit for your family if you don’t take advantage.

Then there’s making sure they get enough play time away from you. I’ve long been a fan of trading playtimes for the kids with other parents. My daughter insists on calling them play dates even when they’re spontaneous. Just what they call it now.

Take in a child for play time and earn a turn at having your child over to that family’s home for play time another day. Works great for any parents needing a break. Just get to know the families so you’re comfortable.

If you’re just not getting cooperation, talk to your kids about what you need from them. It really can work with some kids. Mine know quite well that I need to earn money in order to continue working at home, and sometimes that means they have to give me quiet work time. They can do it.