You spend thousands of dollars to get your home to look the way it looks now. You can’t believe you have to redecorate everything to make it conducive to learning since your kids will be homeschooled this year and probably, next year, too. But this is where the pandemic led us. Entertaining your kids during a pandemic is hard enough. Now, you have to share the same space where you play, gather, and unwind to teach them their academic lessons.
It doesn’t have to feel that overwhelming. It is a challenge, yes, but it’s not an impossible proposition. Think about what you need for homeschooling—from the proper flooring to the chalkboard wall to the individual desks the kids need. What will make a space conducive to learning? How can you promote education even when you have to teach them while sitting on the dinner table?
A Dedicated Space
A separate room or space is a luxury that not many families have. But if you do have a spare room, turn that room into your learning space. If you have a loft, put up dividers or temporary walls to block out the house. If possible, be away from the house as much as possible. You can convert part of the garage into a home school. If you have the budget, construct a granny flat on your yard so that you can have the homeschool area separate from the main house.
Why is it important to have their own room for learning? Children associate the rest of the house for something fun—snacks, playtime, movie nights, and time with the family. They still do not have the maturity to understand that they need to switch their minds into learning mode. So, if you teach them in the same room where they play or eat their snacks, it will be hard for them to focus on what you are teaching them.
You can even transform a hallway closet into a small but mighty study room. You can build a custom desk and shelves. As long as you try to make the area work for your kids’ needs, anything is possible.
Try to separate the room into different zones. One will be for learning while the other can be for creative activities like painting. You can also turn another corner into a music zone, though that should have its own room because the other kids cannot concentrate if one of them decides to play the piano or guitar.
A good idea to zone the room is to put up movable dividers or bookshelves. Every nook and cranny of this room is essential. So, if you are going to divide it into zones, make sure that you don’t waste space. The bookshelves can divide the room, but it can also hold an enormous amount of worksheets, binders, books, and many other things.
Make It Bright
Choose a room that has a large window so you can open the drapes and let the sunlight in. Natural light is essential if you want your children to learn. It allows their minds to focus on the tasks. Make sure that the room is light and airy. Stuffy rooms can cause health problems. Not to mention, they can often make kids feel lethargic. Learning about numbers is hard enough, so make sure that the learning space doesn’t make them want to sleep.
Let Them Decorate It
Why don’t you let your kids decorate the room? Ask them if they want to put up their artwork on the walls. Or, do they want you to put up learning charts there such as the multiplication table? You can dedicate a wall to display all their artworks. You can also use a shelf to display their crafts. Make the room about your kids, and not about you. They should feel comfortable in it. They should want to stay and learn.
Bring in Organisational Tools
While you let the kids decorate the walls and other parts of the room, you should also have a task of your own. That’s organising. Bring in desks, shelves, plastic containers, wicker baskets, and anything that will make the room more organised. Your kids are going to spend an enormous amount of time here. It’s not going to be easy to keep it clean and clutter-free. But bring in organisers, such as baskets and racks, and you’re off to a good start.
Teaching your kids this way is far from ideal. There is nothing ideal about this pandemic. However, that’s not reason enough to give up and wait for it to pass. As a family, you need to be proactive in dealing with this crisis, and that starts with making homeschooling as efficient and normal as possible.