Tips for Building an At-Home Classroom for Young Learners
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, life has been turned upside down for millions of Americans. The most obvious issue, of course, has been the way that it has affected public health. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have died of the virus, and our healthcare system has been overtaxed to an extreme degree. Additionally, millions of Americans have lost their jobs or have had their hours cut significantly.
With that being said, perhaps one of the changes that will have the most long-term effects is the way that children are attending school. In some states, children have returned to school or will be attending school part-time. In others, they will continue to learn virtually, which means that their homes are essentially their classrooms. Parents are being forced to take on even more active roles in their children’s educations, and that means actually creating a classroom conducive to virtual learning in the household.
But what does that look like? For a lot of parents, it’s daunting to build a classroom at home. Nobody was prepared for this, and a lot of parents are understandably quite busy. That’s why we’re putting together a guide to creating the best possible classroom for your children at home. Being in a calming and centering classroom is important for a lot of children, and it’s crucial that they’re in the best possible environments for learning. Let’s find out what that’s going to mean as you build a classroom for your child at home.
Choose an Efficient Space
As you build a classroom at home for your child, think about exactly where in your home they are going to be learning, and don’t think so much about the way that it will look as you do the way that it will function. For a lot of kids, efficiency is key to learning, and that’s going to mean being in an efficient space in your home. Now, generally speaking, you don’t necessarily need to worry about putting your child in an office space or a “computer room” (the latter of which was once popular in many family homes but is now losing popularity). This is because your child will probably be equipped with the technology they need for their education by their school. Most school systems understand that children learning from home will not be guaranteed computers by their parents. Therefore, they’ve been assigned laptops and tablets. This means that your child can learn as they need to within any space in your home.
Think about where in your home would be the most efficient possible early learning center for your child. You should first consider how easily your child can be isolated from distracting sights and sounds. But, at the same time, you need to remember that you need to be able to efficiently check in on them as well. Unfortunately, even the most diligent of young students can get distracted and move off course when learning from home. This is going to mean keeping your child near you as much as you can when you’re home so that you can make sure that they aren’t surfing the web or chatting with friends.
Don’t let your child do their schoolwork in their room, where it’s easy for them to get distracted. It may be a better idea for you to make changes that will keep your child from getting distracted, rather than isolating them in an office or a bedroom. Perhaps you’ll have to give up some things for a while, like television in the living room, in order to make sure that your child is in as efficient a learning space as possible as you build a classroom at home.
Out With the Old and In With the New
Once you’ve chosen the place where you want to build a classroom at home, you need to start focusing on how you’re going to get rid of clutter and make that space the most efficient learning center possible. A lot of this is going to have to do with cleaning and decluttering. Now, in some cases, you’re going to want to reallocate your belongings to different parts of the house. This is a great time to get organized, after all.
In other cases, you may want to simply get rid of the things that you really don’t need or want anymore in order to make space for new things. Some of those new things may be important as you build a classroom for your child. For example, you may want to add in a desk that will make it easier for your child to accomplish their work while learning virtually. If you previously lacked a desk in your home, you may need to get rid of an older piece of furniture in order to make room.
Now, there are a lot of ways that you can get rid of those old things. If you’re interested in simply getting rid of the things you don’t want any more as quickly as possible, there’s still no need for you to litter or contribute to the waste in our nation. Instead of throwing the things you no longer want in the trash, you should go to a charitable organization like Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity. You can donate your unwanted items and do something good for charity. Of course, you may also want to make a bit of money off of your unwanted items, and there is nothing wrong with that. Consider using a website like eBay in order to auction your items online. You can also sell them locally by using sites like Craiglist.
Of course, if you’re really not sure about letting something go but want to make temporary or long-term space as you build a classroom for your child, a good option is a storage unit. A storage unit is a space you would rent from a storage company that would allow you to safely lock your belongings away until you wanted to get them back. Many of us don’t know exactly when our children are going back to school full time and when we can reclaim the spaces they are overtaking. But there are options for you, too, and a storage unit is perhaps one of the most efficient.
Clean and Organize
After you have gotten rid of your old and unimportant items and replace them with new, updated spaces you need to make sure that as you build a classroom you are making the space as clean and organized as possible. The reality is that a lot of children are just like adults in that they cannot get comfortable or concentrate without sitting down and concentrating in a clean and organized space. But if you’re a busy parent trying to work full time, it can be difficult to find the time to clean and organize your house fully. Schools benefit from having professional cleaning services and janitors ensuring that their classrooms are as clean and organized as possible. But this just isn’t something that you will be able to access on the same systematic level at home. That is, unless, you get in touch with professional cleaning services.
Until your child is back at school full time, it’s a good idea for you to have professional cleaners visit your home on a fairly regular basis. Obviously, you’ll need to do this with your budget in mind. But when you invest in your home and ensure that it is as clean as possible when you build a classroom, you will also be investing in your child’s education and your ability to work without spending too much time on maintaining that classroom. You don’t necessarily need to have a professional cleaning service over to your house every week. Once a month could help you a lot, especially if you do some supplementary cleaning yourself. Furthermore, this could simply be a great way for you to cut down on some of your own stress as your child goes to school at home. While not throw in some tile cleaning services while you’re at it, and really help yourself relax?
Add Comfortable Furniture
Your child isn’t going to be able to concentrate on learning and focus on their education if they don’t have the right furniture to relax with. We don’t often think about how to build a classroom when we’re designing our homes, adding in quartz countertops and other details that will make the house what we want it to be. But you don’t have to turn your home upside down to make a relaxing learning environment for your child. Simply adding in some comfortable furniture in their learning spaces can make a big difference for a lot of kids.
Of course, it’s not difficult to find comfortable furniture either. When you’re visiting a furniture store, focus on finding a desk with a chair that has the right amount of support for your child. Focus on supporting their backs and knees, as they’ll spend a lot of time sitting down. But be careful: if you choose furniture that is too comfortable as you build a classroom, your child might fall asleep!
Create a Calendar for Assignments, Projects, and Schedule Tracking
Yes, your child can benefit from the online calendars that their school will likely be following. You can utilize online calendars as well. But the fact that having a tangible calendar can make a big difference as well. It’s often easier for kids to remember what to do when they have to write their assignments down on a calendar. But how can you make an individualized calendar and schedule tracker for your children? Simply utilize some local printing services. Not only can this help you make the calendar that you need, but it can also help you personalize your calendar and perhaps even add in some details that will appeal to your child.
Hang Motivational Art and Posters For Your Kids
Speaking of personalization, why not think about how you can personalize the space as you build a classroom at home? There are so many ways that you can do this. But why not kill two birds with one stone and include some motivation posters and art for your child? Think about their specific interests, and what you can do to make the posters or art center on that. What are franchises that appeal to them? Do they like Star Wars or Marvel? This would make your child feel more included in the process of building a classroom, and you can include them in the process of picking out their art, too.
Make Your Backyard Accessible and Safe For Breaks
The best way for your child to take breaks and stay healthy as they learn from home is to simply utilize your backyard. You won’t necessarily be able to offer your child the same playground activities that they would have during recess at school. But there are so many things that they can do outside in their own backyard. However, you need to make sure that the backyard is safe. Even if you’re at home when your child is learning, you may be working from home and unable to watch them constantly. Therefore, you may want to have a residential fencing company stop by and inspect your fence before you rely on your backyard for free time.
Utilize Materials in Your Home for Real-Life Lessons
This is something that a lot of parents that homeschool their children have been doing for some time, and you can do it too. Consider having your child take field trips through an RV rental, where they can learn about everything from history to science. At the same time, you may want to consider starting small and having them focus on their wellness goals while at the same time learning about maintaining a healthy diet.
There are so many things that you need to keep in mind as you build a classroom for your child. It can be difficult to feel confident about what you’re doing, and it’s easy to worry about whether or not your child is getting the best possible education. But remember: we’re all learning about this together. Don’t be afraid of asking teachers for advice, and don’t be afraid of asking your child about what they need from their own classroom.