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Teaching your children from home is a rewarding and challenging experience, but it is often much better when you create a comfortable remote learning space that is just right for the children. While the dining room table might seem like a top choice because of the space available on the table, these tables are often out in the open and may easily lead to unwanted distractions. If you are not sure what to do, but you know that you need a better remote learning space for each child, check out the ten tips below.
Tips for Your Remote Learning Space or Homeschool Room
While teaching our kids from home is becoming a reality for many of us across the nation, we realize that this can bring up unique challenges and some amazing benefits. The benefits of having our kids in the home are things like, staying healthy during this time, getting to spend more time together. Challenges include parents trying to work while keep there kids on track, and one that my family dealt with… trying to create a space that worked for distance learning.
Last year, we failed pretty miserably on that. We lived in a tiny home, and with our oldest having cognitive disorders (including ADHD) and preschool aged siblings, it did not go well. We recently moved to a bigger home, so I decided we needed to make sure to set up a distance learning space or a homeschool room, to make sure he (and I) can have a better experience this fall.
While in a pinch, you can work with what you have, many of us have realized that it may be in our kids’ (and our) best interest to create a remote learning or homeschool room. Setting up a dedicated learning space can help us feel organized, keep kids from getting distracted, and create a distinction between “school time” and “family time.” Here are 10 tips for those looking to create a learning space for their kids in their home.
#1. Use a Distraction-Free Room for a Distance Learning Space
Distractions can easily prevent children from learning and paying attention to the information in front of them because they are so concerned with what is going on around them. It is one of the reasons why you should not do remote learning at the dining room table where the children likely eat their meals. You need a room that is free of distractions.
You may have an office in the home or a spare bedroom that you can convert into a learning space for your children. No matter the location of the room inside your home, simply make sure the place is big enough for the children and is free of stuff like televisions, other electronic devices, and people walking back and forth.
#2. Make Changes to the Room to Create a School-Like Atmosphere
You will likely need to make some significant changes to the room before you begin your remote learning sessions. If a complete renovation is in-store, consider painting the walls of the room with a bright color that can help with the learning process.
You might wonder how the color of the room can have such a significant impact on your children while they learn. It is the psychology of color that can improve a child’s mood and make him or her feel more productive. Shades of bold blue, red, orange and even purple are perfect for learning areas.
In addition to changing the color of the room, you may want to purchase individual desks for each child to use. You can place these desks several feet apart from one another to give your children that feeling of being in the classroom with their peers. You can decorate the walls of the remote learning room with various educational posters of your choosing. There are dozens o great educational posters available on Amazon for low prices.
What I am doing: We are purchasing a desk for my oldest that is adjustable in height. Last year, the school OT pointed out that his desk was not the correct height. Once it was changed for him, his focus improved, his penmanship improved, and his teacher said it was night and day. We will be placing this desk in our home office or a school room. (We just moved so haven’t decided how we will be using each room in our home yet.)
#3. Keep the Remote Learning Space Bright
Make sure the room you are teaching your children in is not too dark. If the room is dark and gloomy, your children may end up feeling tired and sluggish while you are trying to teach them new things. Open the curtains and blinds to allow the natural sunlight to shine through. The natural sunlight can improve a person’s mood while brightening their learning ability and improving their memory.
If you do not have the ability to have natural lighting, placing some lamps throughout the room will be your best option.
#4. Create a Routine for Your Children to Follow
Children need to have a routine to follow. It makes children aware of what they need to get done and what they have to look forward to after completing their work. You do not have to follow a strict schedule to have success with distance learning.
However, setting up a routine for your children to follow that includes having breakfast, writing in a journal, and then completing classwork can work wonders. It is also believed that children who follow routines end up becoming well-adjusted adults.
What I am doing: Right now, in addition to whatever his teacher sets up, I am getting a one question a day journal for my oldest (and maybe my twins as well). The journal gives them a prompt and a starting point so they aren’t overwhelmed by a blank page. I will also be posting a schedule for my kids to follow. You can make one yourself, find one online to print at home, or buy a cute schedule board.
#5. Keep the School-Related Stuff in the Designated Learning Room
You need to keep school-life separate from home-life because you do not want your children to feel like they are in school continually. Once the schoolwork is over for the day, have your children leave the designated learning room for the day. It is then that they might eat dinner, watch a movie, play on their electronic devices, or even play outside to have some outdoor fun.
#6. Gather Assorted Resources to Use Throughout the Year
Whether you are new to the world of remote learning or not, plenty of resources are available to make the job easier for you. Look online for curriculum ideas and links to sites that your children can use to help improve their skills in math, reading, grammar, and more. The options are endless and are worth looking into because they can benefit your children in many ways.
What I am doing: Mid-Summer I ordered some workbooks for my kids. I will use these to help teach them. If you are doing remote learning, ask the teacher what materials will be provided and how. You may decide you want to make a workbook or order some to use in addition to what the school provides.
#7. Provide Hands-On Learning Tools and Devices
Do not be afraid to provide hands-on learning tools. Along with teaching your children different things, you may want to allow them to see these things for themselves by providing them with science kits, art supplies, and even tablets. They can use these items for a limited amount of time to help improve their tech skills while learning new things.
Check Out These Kids Science Kits
#8. Offer a Positive Environment
The most important thing to do when teaching your children remotely is to offer a positive environment. Many children struggle to learn when they feel like there is too much pressure put on them. If you create a negative, stressful environment for your children, it can do much more harm than good. Remain positive as often as possible, even when you do feel frustrated. If you are getting to a point where you are incredibly frustrated, taking a break is ideal.
Distance learning is hard. We get it.
#9. Be Present and Supportive during Distance Learning
While it is necessary to provide a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere for children to learn, it is just as crucial for you to remain present and supportive. During learning time, it is best to put your electronics away, too, if possible. It may be hard for your children to focus if they see you on the phone or playing a game on your tablet. You can set an excellent example for the kids by being there for them and avoiding any potential distractions during learning sessions.
Of course, many parents will be navigating working from home while helping kids with distance learning. This means you may need to set some boundaries of when you are available. To help your child(ren) be sure to schedule a time each day that you will be available to help them and be present.
#10. Make Use of Organizational Products
Now that you are the teacher for your children, you should make use of any and all organizational products that you can find to keep things in order. For example, you may want to purchase an adjustable bookcase for all the books your children will read during the year. Compartment cubbies come in handy when you need to have storage space for markers, colored pencils, magnets, and other items your children are using when learning. You will feel much less stressed when you can keep all the work organized for each child.
View Organization Ideas for Your Learning Area
Hopefully these tips will help you set up a space for remote learning or a homeschool room where your kids can thrive, you can keep your sanity, and everyone can have a little less stress during this strange time.
Have more tips for setting up a remote learning space? Leave me a comment below!
What are your recommendations if you don’t have a spare room or you have an open floor plan? I am struggling so much with finding the best space. Right now we are at the kitchen table because they get too distracted in their rooms at their desks. Also our living room and kitchen are all open floor plan.
This was seriously our issue in the spring when we lived in a small 1000 square foot apartment with 3 kids and 2 adults all learning and working remotely. What we found worked for us was 1) all 3 of our kids bunking in the same room to make an office space for my husband and oldest to work from 2) We set up a folding table for my twins (they were pre-k but through the public school system so required to attend) with small chairs. We put it so it was along the island so they faced some sort of “wall” while at it (looking at their ipads but a wall behind that), which helped keep them from getting distracted by other things in the house.
I am very grateful we were able to move over the summer to a larger place where we can spread out and close doors more, but it is still a struggle.