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How to Create an Ideal At-Home Learning Environment

at home learning
At Home Learning

How to Create an Ideal At-Home Learning Environment

The abrupt switch to home learning has left many parents feeling stressed and wishing their student had a better at-home learning space. One size does not fit all, but each of these must-haves are a great place to start when effectively setting up your child’s home learning space.

Student Ownership

Students, like all of us, are plagued with a sense of uncertainty. An easy way to give your child a sense of control over the environment is to include them in the “setting up process.” Have a planning meeting and discuss the items your child feels he or she would like to have in order to make online learning a little more enjoyable. Type A moms, this is a chance for you to loosen the reigns and allow your home to become (temporarily) a bit more kid-designed (I know…easier said than done). This is also an opportunity for you to teach your child some valuable life skills, like how to create a budget and how to plan a space prior to execution. While the battle to get your child to stay in front of a computer for hours of online school is not unavoidable, there are definitely ways to make this season a bit less painful.

Visible Schedule

Humans are designed to thrive within predictability and structure, two things the pandemic has most definitely stolen. A visible schedule is one way to help meet this basic human need. Whether you write the schedule on a mini whiteboard, a giant post-it note, a notebook planner, or buy a schedule pocket chart from your favorite teacher supply store you will be amazed by how big of a difference this makes for your child’s daily success. Don’t forget to encourage your child to cross off each item on their daily agenda once it is completed. Everyone loves the satisfaction found in crossing off an item on a to-do list. Learning self-management is one of the silver linings this crazy pandemic has gifted our children. (you can cross this stressor of your to-do list)

Natural Light

Even though we reside in the land of sunshine, it is easy to forget the undeniable value of setting up your child’s work environment in a place with adequate natural light. Extensive research supports the health and focus benefits that this offers to learners. Whether it means temporarily transitioning the kitchen table to a school station or purchasing an IKEA desk that can be placed by a less distracting window, do not minimize this step when setting up your child’s at-home study station.

Easily accessible supplies

In the classroom, your child has a desk or pencil pouch filled with all of the necessary supplies. At home, we tend to think students can just grab a supply when it’s needed. However, when your child is in “class” and “at school,” it is so helpful for supplies to be stocked and available within arms’ reach. This teaches students how to keep an organized workspace and limits unnecessary distractions (running around looking for a sharpened pencil).

To me, each child’s work station should have several pencils, a handheld or electric pencil sharpener, pens, some type of colors (colored pencils/markers/crayons), tape, scissors, a stapler, binder clips, post-its, a calculator, notebook paper, and electronic device chargers. A successful at-home school space is all in the details.

With the craziness of this year, one way to help students feel more grounded is to have a great workspace for them. At our tutoring center, each student has his or her own office. In that office, there is an elongated desk, so both tutor and student can comfortably sit. On the desk, there is a computer, a caddy filled with the most commonly used school supplies, and an ample amount of notebook paper. As tutors, we intentionally teach students how to set up a successful workspace for themselves.

If you need support or to chat through a challenging moment, email us at [email protected].

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