This year, going back to school looks a lot different for many kids in the Windsor-Essex County region, and throughout Canada. Many families have chosen to keep their kids at home and either follow remote lesson plans through their school board or transition into homeschooling. Other kids who are going into school may find themselves home more than anticipated, depending on how government and school board mandates change.
To encourage as much focus on learning as possible in uncertain times, many parents have carved out little classrooms and remote learning spaces in their homes. This is a great way to give kids a sense of normalcy, so they can learn, explore, and grow in a comfortable space.
As eager as parents may be to give their kids a great learning space, the truth is most of us have no experience with these types of transformations. You may have done a kitchen renovation or modernized your flooring, but it’s easy to feel stumped when you’re asked to create a classroom space in your home.
We hate seeing our friends and neighbours struggle, so today we’re bringing you a few suggestions for creating a great at-home learning space for your kids. You don’t have to be a home design expert to integrate these helpful tips.
Use These Tips to Create a Fun and Functional Remote Learning Space
Although the tips we’re bringing you today are widely applicable, the most important part of designing a great learn from home space is making sure it fits the needs of your children.
A bright, crowded, art-filled space might be perfect for one child, but a distracting mess for another. Ask for their input during the design process, and make sure they feel that their opinions are being heard. Creating a space that makes them excited to learn is the ultimate goal.
1. Find a quiet space
The best space for learning is quiet, away from distractions. If you have one available, you can use a separate room, or turn a corner of the living room or kitchen into a remote learning space during the day. Whatever space you choose, it should be well away from distractions like TVs, or areas that are devoted to play.
If you’re setting up a learning space in a shared room like the living room, consider using a movable room divider or screen to separate the student from the rest of the household during school hours.
2. Use lighting effectively.
Natural light has a positive effect on young learners. One study surveyed 21,000 young American students and found that those who were exposed to more sunlight had 26% higher reading outcomes and 20% higher math results than those who were placed in classrooms with less sun. This shows just how effective sunlight can be in improving cognitive performance.
If you can, place your young learner in an area with plenty of natural sunlight, and leave the window coverings open during the day so they get lots of sun exposure. If you aren’t able to use a space that gets much sunlight, you can use blue-enriched bulbs in your lights instead of regular LEDs, which have been shown to help processing speed and concentration.
3. Create an organized space
Even if your child loves bright colours and eclectic decorations, try and avoid making a space that’s too disorganized or cluttered. Instead, leave as much space as possible clear, so they can fill it with their artwork, assignments, and other decorations throughout the year.
A great way to encourage organization is to create one central space with all the information your kids will need to keep themselves on track. Post class schedules, passwords, as well as any reminders they might need. This will help encourage independence and consistency.
4. Make supplies accessible
Another great way to encourage independence and self-sufficiency is to make all school supplies accessible. Keeping an organized stock of supplies like pencils, markers, scissors, and paper need gives them the freedom to use what they need without having to ask your permission. Just make sure they know that their school supplies won’t be replenished if they’re wasted.
5. Choose educational or inspirational decorations
Keeping your kids’ learning space organized doesn’t mean leaving it entirely free of decoration. Take inspiration from many elementary school teachers, and fill your remote learning space with educational posters, photos, and decorations. Some great ideas include maps, the periodic table, math keywords, or photos of inspirational historical figures. That way, even if your child daydreams during a Zoom class, they can have something beautiful and inspirational to focus on.
6. Separate siblings
Even if your children get along well, it’s a good idea to separate them during school hours, just like they would be separated if they were in a real classroom. This helps both avoid distractions.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to use two or more separate rooms for your young learners. Just create unique working spaces for each child, preferably facing away from each other. If necessary, use movable dividers or furniture to put them out of each other’s eye line.
7. Banish hobbies and toys
To encourage your child to focus on learning, banish sports equipment, hobbies, and non-educational toys from the remote learning space. This helps them understand that this space is for schoolwork, not for playtime.
Establishing set breaks throughout the day where they’re free to run, play, and relax will also help encourage your child’s focus.
Get Inspiration for any Home Project at Duby’s
Transitioning from learning in a social school setting to being at home all day can be difficult, but with a bit of adjustment your children will thrive.
Want to learn more about small changes you can make that will really improve your home? We have lots of resources on renovation and home design on theDuby’s blog, so come check it out the next time you need inspiration.