So many families around the country are facing choices about the start of the school year, whether that means in-person learning, distance learning, or a hybrid solution. These decisions often mean deciding how to create a space at home that fosters focus and education. This will look different for each family, as it depends on how many children you have and their ages (from pre-K to university!), whether parents are also working remotely, as well as the indoor and outdoor space you have available at home. The following tips may help spark an idea that works for your family!
The classroom doesn’t just have to exist within the home! Your outdoor space, whether it is a balcony, a yard, or a nearby park, provides an essential change of scenery for a school day. An outdoor quiet reading spot, a scavenger hunt walk, or a mid-day recess may entice students of any age.
Picking a spot! Some children may have a desk in their bedroom and can work independently. But that is often not the case. Choosing one set location in your home for classes and homework can help the whole family adjust to this new routine. Some things to keep in mind are choosing a spot that adults can easily keep an eye on, as well as a spot that has limited distractions.
Reducing distractions! Once you have the best spot chosen for your family, try to set expectations that it is a device free (or reduced) zone. Obviously, this does not apply to computers or tablets that are needed to attend classes. But cell phones, hand held gaming devices, or TVs can all be extremely distracting. Even pets and other family members can be distractions, so try putting together a family game plan now to deal with these distractions!
Sharing is not just for your pre-K children to learn! Sharing workspace between multiple children and adults can take planning and patience. Try to be courteous of noise levels, let others know when you have a video meeting or class, and use earbuds or noise cancelling headphones for some peace and quiet if needed.
Students are used to having a daily schedule, no matter what education level they are. Mimicking this routine at home will be crucial to everyone's success. Wether its setting up a weekly family calendar for classes, assignments and meetings, or just monitoring time spent on activities each day, sticking to a routine will help students who are distance learning (or in a hybrid back to school plan). Make sure to schedule in times for naps, lunch, 'recess', and relaxation breaks for a balanced day.
This school year is bound to look different for all families. Try to have a plan, but also know that you will have to be flexible with each other at times. It may take some time to work out what is best for your family. And, if you find that you simply do not have enough space, and looking for a new home is in your budget, know that a Norcom Loan Originator is available to help you! Call to discuss your financing options, and get pre-approved. This will give you a leg up when putting in an offer on the perfect home in today’s competitive market!