There’s no doubt about it—this school year is not what anyone expected it to be. Like it or not, most kids are now learning full time from home. For many families this means rearranging some space in your home to create a calming learning environment for your kids. If you’re in this boat here are a few tips to help keep it all organized:
- Give them a work area that is all their own. Whether it’s a designated seat at the table or a new desk in their room, your child needs a work space. It’s easier to keep things organized and avoid distractions if it’s the same space each day. It’s also often helpful if a sibling is not too close by!
- Give them their own supplies. Invest in a simple pencil box and fill it with supplies that are meant for that child only. Not only does it create a special feeling about using those new materials but it will help keep everything they need within arms-reach. A utensil holder or craft caddy works well for keeping items separate and organized.
- Limit supplies to just what is needed. While it may be tempting to create a Pinterest-worthy space full of every colorful craft item in the house, it may lead to more confusion or distraction for young kids. Keep the space simple with just the basic items every kid needs to learn. This makes clean up at the end of the day a breeze.
- Write down the schedule. Most schools have some version of virtual lessons that require logging on at a certain time. Even older kids may have trouble remembering which meeting they need to be in on which days. Write all of these meetings and times down on a board or paper and place it in an area that’s easy to see. Keep it right next to a clock to make it even better! If your young children have paper materials to fill out, take some time to put them in order at the beginning of the day to make the transition between lessons easier on everyone.
- Decide where items go at the end of the day. Kids need rules and structure. Something as simple as following a ritual of getting supplies out and putting them away each day can help put your child’s brain into a learning mode. If your new learning space doubles as your kitchen table this is also important for making sure school supplies aren’t lost, broken, or taking over the home.
This transition to online learning is a struggle for most parents. Make sure as you’re making plans for creating a new learning environment that you’re also caring for yourself! It will not be perfect, but you’ve got this!