As you prepare your children for home schooling and distance learning this Fall, you’re likely thinking about how to create a space where they can focus. It’s important to keep an open mind as your home school doesn’t need to look like a classroom. All you need is a reliable surface, comfortable seating, good light and some organization!
ESTABLISH A WORK AREA
If possible, dedicate an area of your home to learning and a table or desk where your child’s work can be spread out and left undisturbed. If your only option is to use a shared area, such as the dining room table, make it a habit of keeping that area clean and uncluttered.
Be sure that the space has lots of natural light, or at least a good reading lamp.
You’ll also want to choose a comfortable seat. Sitting for long periods of time will cause kids to fidget, so comfort is key!
HAVE SUPPLIES HANDY
Use shelves, stackable bins, or milk crates to keep different materials for art supplies, math manipulatives, science gear, stickers, and reading books. Keep these items close to your designated work area so kids can easily access them, along with folders or binders nearby to keep works in progress neatly organized.
Enlist the help of your child to decorate the space with a bulletin or white board to hang inspirational pictures, letters, or to show off their work. Getting them involved in the process will make the space feel special, plus it’s a fun way to spend time together!
MAKE CLEAN-UP EASY
Do your best to keep your school space free from clutter. For easy cleanup, keep a small trash can and recycling container near your child’s desk. For messy projects, keep a plastic tablecloth or shower curtain liner on hand. You can lay this down over the work space to instantly transform your surface into a proper arts and crafts area, then easily wipe down and remove when finished!
DON’T FORGET OUTDOOR LEARNING!
Outdoor classrooms are a great way to enhance learning and connect kids to their neighborhood and the world at large. Many of the same principles apply: comfortable furniture, shelter from the sun and a large flat work space.
Either way, ensure your children take breaks often for fresh air and physical activity. Getting outside will help relieve stress and increase their focus.
Remember to ask your children for input and include them in the process of setting up a homeschooling space. Be flexible as it’s likely the space will evolve as you discover what works best for you and your family. Reevaluate the space from time to time and make improvements as needed. Above all, don’t stress if it’s not perfect. Like most things in life, it’s a work in progress!