The global coronavirus pandemic has altered life as we know it for most of the population of the world. People’s lives have been changed dramatically, not only due to the virus itself but to the necessary measures put in place to try and slow the spread.
For many families, home schooling has become a part of life for large parts of the past year. As the UK settles in to the second month of its third lockdown, parents everywhere are trying to juggle work, family life and schooling. One way to help promote a positive learning experience when working from home is to establish the right learning environment.
For some families, there may be the option of renovating a room to become a temporary schoolroom. However, for most people, finding those small spaces that can be adapted is the only way to develop environments that are conducive to learning.
The set-up of a home school area will vary according to the age and needs of the child. Regardless of this, all children will learn better if they have somewhere comfortable to sit with the space to spread out their books. Furniture At Work stocks a wide range of children’s classroom furniture ideal for kitting out the corner of a room in a way that will encourage learning.
A home school area does not need to look like a traditional classroom, but it does need to be comfortable enough for a child to spend several hours a day in. A dedicated desk or table is ideal, as working at multi-purpose areas can mean projects need to be packed up regularly so the family can sit and eat or perform other activities, which can be disruptive.
The chair should be of the appropriate size and comfortable enough for sitting for an hour or more at a time. Having adequate storage that makes all the required supplies easy to access throughout the day can also be highly beneficial.
Learning Through Play
Children of all ages can benefit from learning through play and this is particularly important for younger members of the family. Home schooling does not have to be just sitting at a desk with textbooks.
Reading books together, playing games with letters and numbers, indulging in make-believe, or simply involving children in household chores and activities can all be beneficial. With smaller children, short bursts of activity are usually preferable to long periods of enforced learning.
Changing the aesthetics of a home school space could result in better learning outcomes. All clutter and distractions should be eliminated from the chosen area to help concentration. Background noises should be kept to a minimum, and the home school area should ideally not be in view of a television. If this cannot be helped, the television should always be turned off during learning time.
Peaceful colours help promote learning, so painting a wall in pale green, lavender or light blue may help. Having visual aids to help learning and reminders of achievements can also be a useful motivational tool. A cork board, blackboard, whiteboard, or other area where work and learning aids can be displayed is helpful, although experts recommend placing this away from the direct line of sight of the learning area.
Rest and relaxation time is just as important as learning, so home schooling parents should ensure their child gets regular breaks and plenty of outdoor time and exercise as well as education.