The new school year is upon us, and it’s shaping up to be unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. Pandemic-related school closures have forced much, if not all of our children’s educational learning to be conducted virtually, leaving many to face the unexpected challenge of turning living rooms into classrooms.
If you’re like most people, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to prepare your home to become a comfortable and functional virtual learning workspace for your child. Here are three great tips to help you optimize your home for virtual learning.
Virtual Learning Tip 1: Pick a Quiet Location
The house can be a buzz of energy just as easily as it can be a quiet refuge. To help keep your young learners on task, choose a location away from the high traffic areas or where other recurring noises might cause a distraction. You might try something like this:
- All in a row: If you have a free wall in a less congested area, organize a single homework zone with chairs, shelves and work surfaces that can do the job for several kids.
- Spaced out: Whether along a wall or at a shared table, make sure each child has their own designated area to call their own. This will also help boost concentration and eliminate distractions.
- Tucked in a corner: Corner spaces offer more privacy, as well as wall space for shelves and decorations. They also help keep any clutter from accumulating out in the main areas of the home.
- Notch out a nook: Awkward alcoves or barely used closets can make perfect workspaces. Add a couple shelves and a desk or work surface and you’ve got an instant homework hideout.
- Consider multiple spaces: There’s nothing wrong with having a rotation of spots for learning in your home. Kids do better when they take breaks, switch positions or get a change of scenery every now and then.
Virtual Learning Tip 2: Make it Cozy and Inviting
A comfortable, welcoming space can make all the difference in helping your child feel energized and upbeat in their home virtual leaning environment. Consider your child’s study habits and personal style to create a workspace that best fits their needs.
- Give them a say: Allowing your child to contribute ideas and suggestions will provide a sense of ownership and excitement for their new space. It will also help them stay focused and on task while working in an often relaxed home environment.
- Size it right: Sprawling out on a bed or couch may be comfy, but an ergonomic set up is still important for developing good study habits and skills, like reading, writing and typing. Experts recommend a chair and table that allow for the 90-degree angle rule: knees bent at a 90-degree angle with hips and posture at a 90-degree angle and feet on the floor.
- Store it tight: It doesn’t take long for kids’ areas to become a mess of loose worksheets, school supplies and art projects. The more cluttered a space gets, the harder it will be for your child to work and focus. Store papers and supplies in bins. Install pegboards. Use shelves to arrange books. And don’t forget to be creative in your organization techniques.
Virtual Learning Tip 3: Choose Appropriate Furnishings
Optimize your home or room to find the best way to layout and organize your child’s virtual learning workstation. In addition to a desk and chair, consider room for shelves, bins, books, lamps and other things that might be needed.
- Minimize your space: Space-saving furniture, such as a compact desk, vertical shelves or stackable storage bins are an excellent way to keep a room from feeling cramped and uncomfortable. Plus, the extra space could mean more room for a cool new chair.
- Maximize your place: If your space is tight in your home, look for unconventional office arrangements, like a side table in the hallway or a tray table with legs that can be moved around. And if a kitchen counter or dining table are pulling double duty, opt for a caddy or rolling cart that can be wheeled out of the closet for supplies storage.
Once your home is set up in a way that works for you and your child, let the learning and the fun begin. Not only will a little fun will help make the at-home schooling experience a little easier, it will ease the minds of youngsters who might not fully understand all the reasons for it.
If you’re looking for your dream home in a place that puts the unity in community, you’ll find it—and more—right here at Magnolia Green near Richmond, VA. Feel free to visit us online for more information or to take a virtual tour of our beautiful model homes.