Optimize Your At Home Learning Set Up
I don’t know about you, but when we started virtual learning in March of 2020 I couldn’t have imagined that some of us would STILL be attending school from home. Though there’s light at the end of the tunnel with vaccines, some of us are still looking at more weeks or months of at-home learning. Even after this is all over, some students will choose to continue to learn at home because it works well for them. Others will still have to study at home once the school day is over. This means we ALL need to make sure the learning spaces in our home are working the way they should.
If your learning spaces haven’t been serving your child, or have downright fallen apart, now is a great time to revamp and reorganize. Here are our top tips for creating a space that helps your child learn, focus, and get done with their dang work while hopefully keeping you from going crazy.
Aim for function not flash
We’ve all seen the Pinterest perfect photos people have posted on Instagram of their child’s work stations. Though having an attractive space isn’t harmful, it isn’t the first thing you should worry about. Instead of focusing on decorations, color schemes, or themes, focus on the location, furniture, and items that will keep your child comfortable and organized while they learn.
Have a dedicated space
When you walk into your office, you know it’s time to work. The space is ready to go and you don’t have to worry about anything but sitting down and getting to the task at hand. Having a dedicated space for your child to do their school work is the same concept. If possible, find a place for your child to set up shop permanently instead of moving their materials around the house.
Make sure there’s room to spread
When learning at home, your child might often need to have their computer open along with a book and notebook. This requires the space to spread out and not have to frequently shuffle papers around. When creating a learning space, try to ensure there’s enough room for your child to work comfortably with all their materials.
Keep it organized
In a functional learning space, everything should have a place. Make sure there are spots for your child to put their materials, computer, and work when the day is done. This will ensure they know exactly where everything is, and that they don’t get distracted or bogged down moving around mess and clutter. To keep your child’s work area spic and span, have a dedicated day and time for your child to tidy up each week.
The ideal workspace provides as much distance from distractions as possible. When choosing a place, think of all the things in your home that might be distracting. If your child gets distracted by their things, it might be a good idea to not place them in their room to study. If your child gets distracted by the noise of the TV or chores, you may want to put them in their room so that they can close the door for quiet.
A note on digital distractions: Limiting digital distractions is difficult when your child is learning online, but not impossible. Think about turning off all non-school notifications on computers and making the learning space a “no phone zone” if possible. You may also opt to put browser restrictions on sites such as YouTube to keep your child from getting off track.
Have everything nearby
Make sure your child’s workspace has everything they normally need at their fingertips. Keeping materials at arm's reach reduces the distraction of having to look for supplies and keeps you from having to answer the “where’s my…?” question 50 times a day.
Post helpful information
If there’s wall or table space available, consider using it to post helpful, and time-saving, information for your child. This might be the login information for all their school sites, a calendar with due dates, a multiplication chart, or inspirational quotes. Again, these DON’T have to be attractive...just helpful!
Utilize sounds, and smells
Using the same sounds and smells every day in your child’s workspace can help kick start their productivity while keeping them calm and relaxed. Playing classical or instrumental music can drown out background noise and contribute to a relaxing environment. Using invigorating or calming scents such as lavender, peppermint, lemongrass, or citrus can help your child stay mellow while triggering their brain to get to work if they smell it every time they study.
Do you plan to revamp your child’s learning space this month? Let us know what you plan to do in the comments!
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