If your child has never been home schooled, you may not have a designated area for learning. Often times, homework can be completed at the kitchen table. However, this may not be an ideal space for your child to spend multiple hours. As we gear up for our children to start school virtually, they may need help staying focused while remaining comfortable in their workspace. Michele Harmon Team has tips to help you set your child up for a successful virtual learning experience.
1. Pick out a comfortable area
One of the most important aspects to learning efficiently is creating a comfortable area free from distraction. The goal is for them to be relaxed and focused. Try to pick an area free from the television, phones, and possibly even siblings. The most important thing is to keep an area that will keep them focused on their school work rather than their surroundings.
Although you may feel obligated to go out and buy a brand new desk, it may not necessarily be needed. A side table or a television tray can work as a great, budget-friendly alternative to a desk. You could also consider transforming a corner into a comfortable learning space by fluffing up some nice floor pillows next to natural light. If natural light is unavailable, a lamp or battery-operated light can be helpful.
To keep things organized, try keeping a box with everything that is needed during learning time. This will allow your child’s school equipment to remain together rather than scattered throughout the house.
Check out Michele Harmon Team’s ideas for a comfortable learning space below.
2. Create a schedule and routine
If your teacher hasn’t already, build a daily schedule with your child. Figure out how you can make virtual learning exciting for them. For example, you could schedule your child’s favorite subjects at the beginning of the day to help them dive into the day with the right mindset. Make sure that the routine you create is doable for both you and your child to stick to daily.
3. Don’t be afraid of rearranging the workspace
Every child learns differently. If your first virtual learning space is not working out, try shaking things up. Try to take the time to learn what approach is best for your child. It can be helpful to pick out a space together. In addition to being great bonding time, choosing a space together will also ensure that your child’s space suits both your needs. Children don’t want to work in a space they feel is boring and you most likely don’t want your whole living room to become a learning pig pen. Communicating about what space works best for both parents and the child will allow virtual learning to be less stressful for the entire household. Remember, like adults, kids can benefit from a change of scenery.
4. Encourage show and tell
Kids love telling you about the work they have done. Encourage them as they present their work to you. This can help them feel motivated to complete their lessons. In addition, you will be aware of the quality of their work and if they are putting in enough effort. Your child may be stressed about the challenges of the pandemic so, remember to be flexible and forgiving, but only up to a specific point. Remind your child that their school work should still be taken seriously.
5. Remember to allow breaks
It is important to allow your child breaks for snacks and play time just as they normally would in the typical school setting. Try setting an alarm similar to school bells to help them stay on schedule. After lunch time, allow them to get up, get some fresh air, ride their bike, or play with their favorite toys. It is important for your child not to be sedentary for the entire day.
6. Encourage social interaction via video chat
Children are used to having tons of social interaction at school and they may be disappointed that they will not be able to see their friends at the start of the school year. As we maintain social distancing, encourage your child to interact with their friends online through a safe, parent monitored video chat such as Facebook Messenger Kids. Through this app, parents can choose who their child talks to and every new friend must be approved by a parent through their personal Facebook Page.
7. Implement off-screen learning
Try mixing up screen learning with traditional learning methods. Hopefully, your teacher is able to provide hard copy packets to work from. Children often enjoy using their tablets outside of learning and overuse of screen time can have unfavorable impacts on young brains. Encourage your child to read books and try requesting textbooks from your child’s school.
8. Schedule time for fun
In addition to not seeing their friends, your child may feel discouraged that they are unable to participate in school activities such as sports, dance, or their favorite extracurricular activity. Although this isn’t a vacation, it is important to have fun with your child while they are home. It is the perfect time to bond and create lifelong memories. Try organizing a family tournament, game night, or get outside for a walk or bike ride together.
Overall, our new normal has been difficult for everyone involved. Although your children may not be looking forward to starting school this year, do what you can to make the best of it. Help them figure out a plan to help them learn effectively in their new educational environment. We are all in this together and MHT is here to support you in anything you may need.
As you continue to stay home, you may feel that your family has outgrown your current space. Michele Harmon Team can help you find a home perfect for your specific needs. Contact us at 713-818-1330 if you are considering purchasing a new home.