Organizing for Distance Learning
Whether your child will be going to school part-time or continuing to learn from home full-time, it’s a great time to begin thinking about how to better organize their study space before school begins. Last spring, everyone just had to jump in and make do with whatever they could to make the sudden work-from-home, learn-from-home adjustment. Now that there’s time to think about what worked and what didn’t, you can make improvements that will help your child (and you) have a more successful year.
Organizing for Distance Learning in Your Home for Multiple Students + You
If you’re working from home and balancing the needs of one or more students who are distance learning at least part of the time, you may feel like your house has suddenly grown two sizes too small. Be creative. If you don’t all have to be on calls at the same time, you may be able to have a single quiet space that each person can “book” when they need it – like a conference room in a corporate office. You may be forced to transform a space, like the dining room or play room, into a work area for your kids. One thing that will help them stay focused is to put toys and games in bins – out of sight and out of the way until the work is done.
Ideas for making it easier with multiple students:
- Create work cubbies, like cubicles, where the kids can share a room but have their own dedicated space.
- Give the kids creative control over the space so they are encouraged to spend time there.
- Don’t expect your kids to sit for 6 hours straight. Give them the opportunity to stretch, move, go for a walk, or learn by doing.
Recommended Distance Learning Equipment
Zoom calls aren’t just for corporations any more. Whether your child is meeting with their teacher on Zoom, Skype, or some other video conferencing tool, they need a few things to make it work right:
- Noise-canceling headphones. For younger kids especially, we recommend over the ear headphones and not earbuds.
- A laptop or desktop computer. Most students have been provided with a school-issued laptop for their school work. If you don’t have one from the school or you cannot afford to get one for your child, talk to your school. There are several programs around the country to help meet the need.
- A comfortable chair. Given the number of hours your child may need to be working online, it’s worth investing in a comfortable, ergonomic chair. You can find good student office chairs for around $50 – and they come in fun colors too.
- A work desk. You don’t have to go buy your child a $300 roll top desk, but they should have a dedicated space somewhere other than the dining room where they can focus on school work. While younger children may need to stay close by, it might be better for older children to have a space in their rooms where they can have all of their text books and supplies handy.
In Virginia and around the country, schools, teachers, parents, and students are grappling with another disruptive year. Even if school does resume full-time, having a great place to do homework can only help your child succeed.