Written by Vani Venugopal and published on 13 July 2021.
With most schools having shifted to online classes, remote learning has become the new normal. Read on to learn how to set up the perfect online schooling space for your child in your home.
Outings now come with the mandatory face mask, family get-togethers happen on video calls and our homes now double up as schools due to the pandemic. Many things have changed since COVID-19 entered our lives and turned it upside down... Literally! School learning is probably among the biggest readjustments we have had to make. Since schools shut down earlier this year with the lockdown, online classes and remote learning have become the norm. While they come with their own set of challenges, it was a necessary move to ensure the safety of our children.
With the prevailing circumstances, which has resulted in the emergence of online classes as an alternative and viable option in place of schools to educate children, teachers are not the only ones who have had to improvise. Parents have had to scramble to find space in their home to set up learning spaces for their children. This is often a challenge because with parents working from home as well, homes need to be turned into multifunctional spaces. However, it is important to create a designated study spot for your children. A well-organised study space can go a long way in helping children feel more grounded and focused, especially in the context of the overwhelming changes that are happening in the world.
If you are looking to create a remote learning space for your child or are looking to improve an existing one, we've got you covered. Read on as we share a few tips on how to set up the perfect study station for your child.
The first step in creating a study space for your child is to find the space. Even in apartments and smaller homes, it is important that the child has a designated space for online learning. This needn't be a separate room or even a separate table. It can be a dining table, a corner of a room, or a part of your study. You can use foldable tables and chairs to set up the space during school hours. Be creative and work with what you have. The only thing to remember is that the child needs a consistent spot where he can follow his study routine.
While setting up the space, it is advisable to take your child's age and requirements into account. With younger children, it is a good idea to have their study space in a central location, where you can easily access it, such as the living room or dining room or your work-from-home space. Older children prefer to have a more private space. If they do not have a room of their own, you can create this by cordoning off a part of a room or a common space, such as the living room, with a screen or curtains. This will help eliminate distraction and they will also feel more motivated to focus.
Once you find the space, make sure that it is functional and comfortable. The learning space needs to have comfortable seating and a table or a flat surface for writing. Ensure that the table and chair are an appropriate height for your child and support sitting for long time. While figuring out the seating arrangement, aim for the 90-90-90 angle rule. This is a recommended posture where the child is seated with her elbows placed at a 90-degree angle, knees bent at a 90-degree angle, hips postured at a 90-degree angle and feet placed firmly on the floor. While framing a functional study space, keep these three things in mind:
A preschooler will need a flat space for art and other activities. However, children this age don't sit in one spot for long, so a desk isn't really necessary. A play table or the dining table will serve the purpose. However, for older children, it might be a good idea to invest in a desk.
Lighting is another aspect you must consider. Make sure your child's workspace has proper lighting. If you child attends online classes, he will need proper lighting to be visible on screen. If there is not enough natural lighting, an inexpensive table lamp will do the job. Try to keep light sources behind the camera.
Make sure the workspace has easy access to a power outlet. A stable internet connection is crucial if your child has online classes. Without a stable internet connection, your child will find it hard to keep up with his classes. If the internet connection in your house is patchy, set up your child's study station in a spot that has the best connectivity.
Let's face it. Children are easily distracted. And the more people there are in the house, the higher the chances of them getting distracted. Which is why you will have to consider ways to minimise distractions while planning their workspace.
Try to pick a spot that faces a wall or window for their study spot. This way, they will have fewer distractions.
If your child is sharing a space with a sibling, try to separate their desks with a screen or a bookshelf. If there are sharing the same table, divide their separate spaces using tabletop screens or folders. Alternatively, you can also make DIY mini cubicles out of cardboard.
Many parents recommend using noise cancelling kid's headphones for online classes. This not only shuts out the noises of online classes for the rest of the household, it will also help the child concentrate on her educational videos by eliminating outside noise. When she does not have classes, you can also encourage her to listen to calming instrumental music while she works, as this will help improve focus.
Make sure you child has access to all the learning supplies that he will need. This will help him focus better and avoid time spent looking for supplies around the house. Help him organise his supplies using stationary holders or organiser baskets. Be creative and use things you find around the house. For instance, old tins and coffee mugs make great pen holders, old cardboard boxes are perfect to store books and other supplies.
Labelling the supply containers can make help make the study space organised. If space permits, hang a pin board where your child can put up notes. Make sure that this is at a height where she can access it. Your child can also use the board to personalise her space.
If your child is using a common area such a dining room as his study space, it is a good idea to use a rolling cart, a large basket or a storage bin to keep all his supplies. This makes it easy to store and access the supplies every day. You can even consider storing all your child's school supplies in a backpack. This has the added perk of making him feel like he is packing her bag and going to school even though he is only going from one room to another.
Once the study station is ready and organised, think of ways to optimise it to help improve your child's learning. Consider putting up his schedule on a pin board or somewhere he can see it. While most schedules are now available online, having a physical reminder will help him stay on track.
Place a clock in her study space and encourage her to set time limits for each subject and stick to her schedule. Time management is an important life skill that will serve her well in the long run.
Make sure there is a dustbin near his desk. This will encourage him to dispose of trash carefully and not leave it lying around.
Remind your child to keep all her books and other supplies in its designated space. If she moves it around the house during the day, remind her to put it back when she's done. Lost school supplies are dark holes that eat up everyone's time. Encourage your child to be responsible for her supplies and not turn to you when something goes missing.
These are some easy and effective tips to help you create the perfect study station for your child. However, the most important thing is to communicate with your child and find out what he would like in the space. Remember to account for his preferences while creating the space. This is an important step in creating a safe and comfortable space that he can learn from.
About the author:
Written by Vani Venugopal on 23 September 2020
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