This year certainly has been a strange one, and one of the most unusual things about it is the way we’re educating our children. As schools remain closed because of the pandemic, many schools are offering at-home learning options, using online tools to meet children’s educational needs from a distance. Consequently, many parents are finding themselves in the position of trying to facilitate their children’s education at home. While supporting children who are completing schoolwork at home is a new experience for many of us, the tools needed to make this kind of situation work aren’t much different than those necessary for successful homework and study time. Whether your kids are participating at-home learning or they just need a good place to do homework, now is a great time to reassess and renew your child’s study space.
- Structure is important. Work with your child to create a schedule and post it in a place where it’s easily seen. You can tweak that, adding in wake-up, homework, mealtimes, bedtime, and so on. If you’re creating space for homework, it still doesn’t hurt to post a schedule. Studies show children thrive with structure-- when they know what’s expected and what to expect. If your child struggles to stay on task, he/she may find a timer to be a helpful tool.
- Workspace should be comfortable and functional. Involve your children in creating their school space at home, so it will be a place where they feel at ease. Choose furniture that’s the right size for kids to work comfortably. Pick a work surface at the child’s waist height when seated and a chair with a back and arm rests. Don’t let kids’ feet dangle: provide a footrest for kids whose feet don’t touch the ground. Consider offering different seating options, like a kitchen chair, beanbag and stool, so they aren’t stuck in one position all day. You could also provide a surface where they can stand to work. Remember good lighting is important to prevent eye strain and headaches. With the right lighting, your child will be better able to concentrate and work more productively.
- School furniture doesn’t have to look like school furniture. In fact, many children’s desks don’t have the space necessary for kids to spread out and do their work. A dining table might be a better option to give your child some elbow room. Think outside the box: a lift top coffee table that raises to the right height might allow your child to work from the sofa. As long as your child is comfortable, can easily complete the work that needs to be done and is able to focus, any configuration of furniture is fine.
- Providing a second workspace makes a change of venue possible. If you don’t have room for a dedicated school space, that’s ok! Take advantage of existing space by creating a mobile workstation with everything they’ll need for the day in a convenient container, and then designating where they can use it. A change of scenery can be beneficial, so even if you do have a designated school room, create a second area where kids can work from time to time to break up the monotony of schoolwork.
- Different workstyles necessitate different tools. A fancy desk and the “perfect” workspace will do no good if it’s not the right fit for your child’s workstyle. Consider the child’s personality and study habits before you design the workspace, thinking about whether he or she works better around people or in a more secluded space. Your child’s workstyle also will determine the type of chair, desk or work surface you choose.
- Help your child stay organized. Keep necessary supplies on hand and control the clutter. Encourage kids to put things away as soon as they’re finished and provide storage to help keep things in order.
- Remain as flexible as you can. Try not to let school become a struggle between you and your kids. If you’re doing at-home schooling for the first time, recognize that there are bound to be some bumps along the way. You and your child may both experience stress or anxiety, and that’s perfectly normal. Here are some tips for helping your children work through their anxiety.
Organizing your home to create a study space for your kids doesn’t have to be difficult. No matter what you need to do to create this space, FFO Home is the place to go to find everything you need. With FFO Home’s great prices on furniture and décor, you don’t have to spend a fortune to find gorgeous, high-quality pieces that will perfectly meet your needs. Visit our website to contact us and see our ideas for comfortable, stylish pieces that are also affordable, or call 800-635-8001 today to find a location near you.