Mother of four, Christy Rousey, is embracing the transition to virtual learning amid the coronavirus pandemic. Remote learning saves Rousey the time and effort of picking her boys up from school every day. Since the Ware Shoals, SC school transitioned to virtual learning, she is able to spend more time at work and get dinner on the table faster. Rousey and her children maintain a strict routine. She uses timers to remind them of meetings and works hands-on with her children when they need any computer- or assignment-related help. Best of all, she confirms “her children haven’t shown signs of regression since starting the virtual learning academy,” The Index-Journal reports.
For now, Rousey also prefers the additional security and lack of exposure promised by remote learning. Rousey’s father-in-law is high-risk, and Rousey herself prefers to limit exposure as she was recently pregnant.
The one drawback, according to her boys, is spending less time with friends.
With the right at-home classroom, you and your family can comfortably enjoy the perks of learning from home. What are the best tips for setting up Kid’s study room and workspace at home? Find out what it takes to make an at-home classroom comfortable and effective.
1. Find a Productive Room or Space
The first step to setting up a Kid’s study room and workspace at home is to pick an appropriate space. That does not look the same for everyone. To foster an educational environment:
- Keep it consistent. Whether you choose to convert an entire room to a classroom or designate a specific learning space, keep it consistent. “Not every family can dedicate a spare room to e-learning, but parents can create constructive ‘learning pods’ instead, which are segmented spaces within the home where children learn every day,” The Chicago Tribune writes. Establishing a designated area to learn will help your child focus on the task or tasks at hand.
- A “learning pod” works just fine. Again, as long as it’s a consistent spot, you do not need an entire room or even a significant amount of space. Instead, focus on creating a pod dedicated to learning. To section off a learning space for your child, get creative. Use a room divider, school-themed rugs, like rugs with the alphabet or rugs displaying the solar system, or designate a learning spot with maps, charts, or educational posters.
- Tailor learning spaces to your child’s age, needs, and personality. Is it appropriate to set up a desk in your child’s room? Will your child work best while you are in the room? That all depends on your child’s age, needs, and personality. Young children may need some extra motivation and supervision.
- If it is possible to set them up on the other side of the room — whether in your at-home office or in the living room — doing so may help them stay on task and hold them accountable.
Older children, on the other hand, may take part in more interactive, Zoom-style classroom time, and that means they will need some privacy to be able to hear their classmates and teachers.
- If your child completes assignments and homework on-time without much direction or insistence on your part, it may be completely acceptable and preferable to set up a desk in your child’s room. Limit non-school-related tablet and Internet use, and ask children to check in with you every so often to make sure their work is getting done. Only you know what is best for your child and their well-being. Choose learning pods or workspace that will meet their needs, suit their personality, and keep them focused and comfortable.
- Stock up on necessary school supplies and keep them close at hand. Not having what they need to do their schoolwork can easily be a distraction. “Kids will use any excuse to get up from their seat and wander away: a replacement pen, a pad of paper that’s gone missing, the wrong laptop charger.
- Make sure everything they need — printouts of assignments, books, pencils, pens, batteries, electronics, water bottles — are all within reach,” Movement.com suggests. Once again, choose appropriate supplies based on your child’s age. Very young children may only need a laptop, desk space, and basic supplies, like paper, pencils, scissors, and crayons. High school students may require a nicer laptop, wireless keyboard, notebooks, pens, pencils, and more.
Setting up a classroom at home starts with creating the perfect learning space. Do that by sectioning off a learning space, fine-tuning that space for your child and your child’s needs, and stocking that space with the appropriate supplies.
2. Consider Your Child’s Needs
To reiterate, setting up a Kid’s study room and workspace at home means carefully considering your child’s needs. Those needs extend far beyond the classroom, learning pod, or learning space. For effective learning at home, children need:
- An up-to-date eye exam and prescription. As with attending classes in-person, having an up-to-date eye exam can make all the difference when it comes to your child’s learning experience. Without a recent exam, he or she may struggle to see the computer screen they will likely be looking at for a good portion of the day. Moreover, the virtual learning environment and increased screen time may cause eye strain and headaches. Whatever the case may be, an open discussion with your child’s optometrist and a visit to your local eye care center can resolve the problem.
- A practical chair. A pediatric chiropractor can help young children with any number of problems — from digestive issues and asthma to scoliosis. For back pain or discomfort, think smaller. Start with a sturdy, ergonomic chair.
- Anti-virus software to safeguard their computer. “Consider installing a browser extension to protect the privacy and increase security,” The New York Times recommends. Install anti-virus software on all desktop and laptop computers in your household. Many programs or subscriptions enable you to download the software on multiple devices.
3. Keep the Workspace Cozy But Functional
When setting up a Kid’s study room and workspace at home, remember your goal is not to make it strictly utilitarian. It should be a comfortable and inviting spot for your child as well.
Start with the practicalities. Get children glasses or contact lenses for farsightedness, and make sure chairs are comfortable enough to sit in all day. That may mean purchasing an ergonomic chair, a height-adjustable chair, or creatively adjusting your child’s seat with pillows, cushions, and footrests.
Make sure learning areas are well-lit with plenty of natural light if at all possible. There are special lamps that mimic natural light if you cannot find a spot near a window or a room with adequate lighting.
Keep kids’ spirits up by maintaining learning spaces that are well-lit, airy, and fresh. Open windows in balmy weather. Put some potted plants in the room. Improve kids’ mood and focus by asking them to take short, two-to-five-minute breaks every so often to get up, walk around, and focus their eyes on an object at least 20 feet away to prevent headaches, eye strain, and eye dryness from staring at a screen too long.
Setting up a classroom at home should prioritize comfort and productivity. To strike that balance, remove as many distractions as possible. Set up learning pods in rooms without television or make sure the television stays off during the day. Ask children to put their phones on silent, and check them only during designated breaks, like during lunch.
4. Make Organization a Priority
To maximize comfort and learning when setting up Kid’s study room and workspace at home, keep their space organized and tidy. A messy learning pod or at-home classroom can be distracting and keep kids from finishing their work. If possible, designate a school bin or ask your child to return their supplies to their backpack at the end of each day. Whatever you do, keep it consistent. That way, your child will be able to find what they need.
Complete the space with a prominently displayed schedule, calendar, and corkboard, whiteboard, or chalkboard for your child to keep track of important notes, assignments, and dates. If you have any important meetings, appointments, or dates for your child to remember, make certain to mark it down where they will see it.
Invite your child to help decorate his or her space and school supplies, using color paper, posters, eye-catching printouts, and crafty methods, like screen printing.
5. Properly Set Up Electronics
Another essential when it comes to setting up a Kid’s study room and workspace at home is properly installed, properly placed, and properly functioning electronics. No matter what your child’s age, you are going to have to do some legwork here.
Installing electrical systems and making sure they are running smoothly is especially important with young children. Many will work on a tablet or a laptop. Make sure your child’s devices are fully charged. Download the appropriate applications or learning software. For tablets, invest in stands that will keep electronics securely in place while children learn. With laptops, your child may benefit from a stand that lifts their laptop up higher and prevents them from uncomfortably curling or bending their spines.
Make sure your child’s camera and microphone are working properly. If they are using headphones, speakers, or an external microphone, make sure all items are plugged in, installed properly, and doing what they are intended to do.
For older children, you may want to consider investing in a pair of noise-canceling headphones to help them focus when they are not on Zoom. These headphones will block out the television, noise from outside, and any noise from your own conversations or Zoom meetings.
Remember to ask about all websites, programs, or applications your child will be required to use on a daily or regular basis, and try these programs out with them regardless of their age. Apps that are not working or software or websites that are malfunctioning are a common hindrance to productivity. Test driving these applications or websites with your child helps root out any problems or misunderstandings from the start.
6. Make The Kitchen a Breakroom
One of the most important parts of setting up Kid’s study room and workspace at home is to pick out a breakroom, and the kitchen is the perfect spot. Take full advantage of the time your child gets for lunch, and make sure they are away from their learning pod or at-home classroom for the entire duration of their meal. This will help them recharge and break up their day. It will prevent burnout and discomfort from sitting in one place for too long.
Make the kitchen into the perfect breakroom by offering nutritious meals for lunch whenever possible. This may include protein and vegetables, fruits, salad, and homemade soups, like chicken noodle and clam chowder. If you do order in, opt for healthier options, like meals with fruits and vegetables as the sides or something simple, like really good sushi.
7. Enlist Your Child’s Help Decorating
When Kid’s study room and workspace at home, don’t forget to have fun. Remember, this is an unusual and challenging time for all of us — your child or children included. One of the ways you can help relieve stress and make learning at home fun is to enlist your child’s help when decorating.
Start by having your child help you pick out helpful charts and pictures. Younger children may help you pick out posters of the months and seasons, while older children may be more inclined to use maps and the periodic table. After getting the essentials underway, encourage kids to be creative. Invite them to add any embellishments they like as long as they are within reason. Your child may decorate with their own art, like drawings or decorative stones.
To keep it creative and fun, have them make custom-made mailboxes for you and your child to drop little notes and letters in throughout the day when one or both of you are otherwise occupied in class or in a meeting.
Setting up a classroom at home does not have to be an expensive or stressful endeavor. Make the space functional and comfortable. Purchase necessary supplies and test-run important electronics. Tailor learning spaces to fit your child’s personality, and invite them to help you decorate their space to keep it light-hearted and fun.