Whether your children are attending classes in-person or online, designating a personalized space will help foster their learning. There are tons of great ideas online but remember to keep it simple and plan for your child, not for your amazing Pinterest board.
Our APG&E team did a little research to help our employees and their families create successful working and learning environments at home, so we thought we would share what we discovered with our customers. Here are a few tips:
Sounds easy, right? Keep reading for a few more tips to get the most our of our discoveries.
- Create a designated space
- Use the right lighting
- Make sure you are comfortable
The Space - Find a designated space for learning!
- Designate an area solely for learning to help limit distractions. If your space must be shared, find a way to structure dedicated learning times versus other times (playroom time/media time).
- If you have more than one child, be sure that they are not distracted by each other. You might have to think outside of your room's four walls or even rearrange your space to create the ideal at-home learning environment. Get creative! Bookshelves make great room dividers and double computer workstations are also great solutions. If you are looking for something less extreme and more affordable, the old school science fair boards also work!
- When there is limited space, you can find a corner in the home or select a comfortable chair in a living area and use a lapdesk. Allow your learner to make their space feel like "school away from school." Let them decorate and personalize as much as they can to make it fun for them to learn at home!
- Eliminate additional distractions by having your child turn off all devices and log out of social media when they are learning. You can also get a little help with apps that will help manage or block distractions so that your child can stay focused. Here are a few that you can check out: Freedom, StayFocused, and Dewo.
- Consider your storage options to allow for easy access to school supplies. You can find a wide selection of bins and storage drawers at Dollar General, Target, and The Container Store. If you have a label maker, this is an excellent tool for reminding kids where everything goes, but scotch tape and a magic marker will also do the trick! Encourage your child to keep their area organized and clutter-free, returning items after being used.
The Lighting - Natural is best, but really, you just need to be able to see!
- Choose an area with lots of light. Natural light is best and will also help you reduce your electricity usage. However, be sure to plan for days when the weather does not cooperate (overcast or just too hot to have your blinds open)!
- Desk lamps or even a well-placed mirror can help to bring more light into a room.
- Lighting can positively affect a person's energy and attention span, which can help with academic performance.
- Use light bulbs that are designed to simulate daylight, such as these LEDs!
Comfort - Personalize the space with a few of your child's masterpieces!
- Try your best to make the space as comfortable as possible for your child.
- Keep the space learning-friendly and avoid eating or drinking in the space.
- Chairs should be comfortable enough for a child to be able to sit for an extended period. You might even consider an active seating option, such as a KidsErgo stool or an inflatable Wiggle Seat. Whether your child is sitting in a regular or active chair, they will need to take frequent breaks to stay energetic (reminder that parents need to do this too!)
- With a busy household where parents are working remotely, and siblings are also learning from home, it might get a little distracting for everyone. A noise-canceling headset for you or your child might be a great investment. Consumer reports generated a list specific for kids, but you might find something you like too.
- It never hurts to have a few fidget toys on hand that your child can grab. Here are some that you might want to check out, the Tangle, Thinking Putty, or the Fidget Cube.