As Covid 19 begins to rise again across the country and in countries around the world, your student may be continuing some form of virtual learning at home. Whether home one day a week or five, full days of week in online learning, it’s likely that your school-aged children will need a space set up for them to learn without distractions.
Even if your space is limited, there are steps you can take to ensure an organized and distraction-free work space. Simply organizing supplies and materials into one area of your home, while making the learning space a designated area without any additional games, toys or devices will help your students of all ages to plug in and tune in to learning.
Virtual learning is not ideal for all children, and if your child struggles with sitting still or staying focused, it may be worth investing in an exercise ball as a chair or a wobble chair that will help them to wiggle and move as their day progresses. No matter what, try to use the materials you have in your home to set up a space that will help all of you to find a functional virtual classroom in your home this school year.
Set up a designated space for learning. Even if you don’t have much extra room in your apartment or townhome, try to find a quiet corner that can accommodate a small desk, good lighting, a comfy chair and your child’s laptop and materials. Choose a space that you can stay close to when necessary, but that is low traffic and quiet to give your student a space to focus.
Organize all supplies and materials in one central location. You don’t have to have a designated supplies closet or craft room to make this work. Purchase a rolling organizer or file cabinet, a small shelf with bins or other storage organizers that fit your specific space and set it up to store all materials and supplies when not in use. This will help you to keep your space from becoming cluttered throughout the day and as you transition from home classroom to home only at the end of each school day.
Design the learning space to be comfortable and relaxed. Your child needs the same comfort and quiet you need to work well. Create a cozy corner with plush cushions or chairs for reading or study time, add small plants or favorite stuffed animals to their workstation and ensure that the area is bright and airy. Virtual learning can be stressful for many kids, and the more you can make their space inviting, the more it will take the edge of their day.
Remove distractions. Avoid placing your child’s workstation in front of a television or near to a game closet or other technology. Try to separate spaces in your home as much as possible, designating a true “workstation” during school hours and a “playstation” during breaks and time off.
Add in furnishings to support optimal learning. If you know you have a wiggler in your home, provide them with an exercise ball, fidget spinner or wobble chair to help them learn without getting distracted. Sitting at a computer for hours on end can be difficult for many children, so try to provide items to help them get their wiggles out, like small trampolines for rebounding during break time and yoga mats for stretching and moving when necks and backs begin to feel stiff.