Back to School is feeling more like a challenge than ever before. Suddenly, we are faced with the reality that learning at home is happening whether we prefer it or not.
We put our heads together and did a bit of research to share some simple and inexpensive ways to prepare a functional at-home learning space.
Dedicate a space in your home. Many of us do not have tons of extra space so choose your “learning space” accordingly.
Designate the learning area. This could be bar-stools at the kitchen counter, a desk, folding table, kitchen table, picnic table, or even a lap desk. Once you set the location, don’t change it. Make it the foundational element of a daily learning routine. Pick a well-lit spot with easy access to an electrical outlet
Design the learning area. Once you have decided “where” your learning area will be, identify what you need to complete it.
- A clear, clutter-free surface is essential. And give as much consideration as you can to posture. Generally, follow a 90-90-90 rule. Knees and hips should be bent at 90-degree angles and feet touching the floor.
- Don’t skip good lighting! Either from a lamp or a window.
- Pick a spot with easy access to an electrical outlet.
- Pay special attention to minimizing distractions. The best learning environment would have zero noise from TVs, telephones, vacuuming, or whatever.
Organize the learning area. How will your student organize their materials? You could use plastic tubs, shoe boxes, or shelves to store learning materials and supplies. Goodwill always has a ton of different storage options.
Set the daily schedule. This timing might be different for every family. But, because children function best within structure, maintaining a routine will be super important. Start with setting a schedule that is similar to their traditional school day. If you want to be precise, while also offering a learning opportunity, try tracking time with an unusual wall clock or any clock with hands. You can also build a cheap activity chart with materials you find at Goodwill. An old frame glued onto cardboard makes great bulletin board!
Build in fun activities. Goodwill has so many items for arts and crafts it is overwhelming. Pick a project on Pinterest and we guarantee you can find 90% of the supplies here. Keeping them busy on a project will also, hopefully, give you some free time. It’s all about creativity, parents!