Children around the U.S. are learning virtually this school year. Some districts are entirely virtual for the time being. Others are doing a hybrid approach combining virtual and in-person learning.
Parents are wondering how they can facilitate the best possible experience for their kids when they’re learning virtually. A lot of that has to do with creating a good environment that’s conducive to learning.
Choose a Space Separate From Living Areas
One of the most important things to keep in mind when creating a learning space is that it needs to be quiet and separate from the main living and traffic areas of the home. You want your kids to not only be able to focus but also to be able to separate the time they’re learning from the time they’re doing other things.
Transforming a guestroom can be an ideal option, but you may not have the space for that.
Look at creative options.
You may be able to design a learning space in your garage, in a nook under a set of stairs, or even in a closet. You could also think about designing a learning space in a separate shed or building if you have one. That’s also something a lot of people are doing for their home office.
You want a separate space not only so it’s quiet, but also so that kids know when they go to that space, it’s time to get in the mindset of learning.
Clutter is not conducive to learning, and it can be confusing and distracting for kids.
Start brainstorming about the different things you’ll have to organize throughout the semester and give everything its own space with a label.
This might include items like pencils and markers in one area, homework papers in another, and books that can be organized on a shelf.
Provide a checklist your child can follow when the school day is done to make sure everything gets back to its designated area.
Implement an Ergonomic Setup
Your child shouldn’t be participating in school lying on their bed or the sofa.
They need a place where they can sit upright to maintain good habits and also to help with their writing skills.
Choose a size-appropriate desk or table where your child can sit, and the desk will be just at their elbow height or slightly below. Kids’ feet should be planted on the floor as well.
Keep the Design Simple
In the learning space, keep the colors and the décor simple. You don’t want the space to be too distracting. The focus needs to be primarily on learning.
It’s easy to get carried away with the aesthetics when you’re carving out a learning area, but the real focus should be on what your child needs and its utilitarian purpose.
When you’re choosing colors, bright colors tend to work well for younger kids. Bright colors are stimulating. For older kids, you might want cooler colors that are calming and can help boost focus.
A learning area needs to be well-lit, and natural light is best. If the lighting is too dim, it can impact sleep cycles and your child’s attention. Natural light can, on the other hand, improve achievement and overall health.
Add a mirror across from the windows to reflect more natural light into the room or space where your child is learning.
Ask For Your Child’s Input
Every child is different and learns in their own way. If your child is old enough, ask for their input and what they prefer and would like to see in their learning area.
Finally, at the end of each school day, after organizing and putting away supplies, your child should completely leave their learning space. They shouldn’t play games there or chat with friends. It should be exclusively dedicated to education.