Teaching from home and learning from home both need a dedicated space. Here are some tips on creating an efficient homeschool space in any environment or room, no matter how small. Whether you are an educator, a student, or a student's parent, your school-from-home spaces will benefit from these common features.
1. Choose a Quiet, Well-lit Area
Small children might need a flexible learning nook close to their parents, whereas older ones would better use a desk in their room. For obvious reasons, educators also need a separate room from the rest of the family members.
It is important for the designated schooling corner to be away from the hustle and bustle of house chores and receive as much natural light as possible.
2. Choose the Right Furniture
Wherever the school-from-home space is, it is important for the furniture in it to be comfortable and the right size for your children. If you cannot fit additional child-size furniture anywhere around the house, adjust the existing one with pillows and ottomans.
A dining table is too tall and might prove uncomfortable in the long run, especially if their feet are dangling, whereas a couch does not provide enough back and arm support and might also invite them to slouch.
Keep in mind that it is important for the space to be productive, stimulating, and creative, but comfort also plays a key role!
3. Eliminate Distractions
It is pretty obvious that the TV needs to stay turned off during classes, and so should mobile phones or tablets that are not involved in the teaching-learning process.
Social media and e-mails are also to be avoided outside clearly established breaks, and it might be useful to use productivity tools that maximize the screen and block external notifications.
4. Keep the Space Well Supplied and Organized
Whether a teacher or a student, make sure you have nearby all the supplies you need for your classes throughout the day. Keep everything organized in folders, trays, bins, or drawers, and don't hesitate to use color-coding and custom labels for each subject.
Shelves are also important, and they can be installed in a matter of minutes, while rolling carts can come in handy for moving supplies around without mixing them up.
Even if we have plenty of digital tools in this day and age, it might be nice and helpful to add a calendar to the wall, and why not make room for a whiteboard to write down important tasks, to-do lists, deadlines? Your homeschool room setup can be both functional and fun!
5. Pay Attention to Time
Time management is of the essence in both learn-from-home and work-from-home situations, and a physical desk clock or wall clock can do wonders, just as the physical calendar does.
As an educator, you can set alarms for breaks between classes but also for dividing the lesson into efficient time slots. This way, you don't risk running out of time and skipping the Q&A part at the end. As a student, alarms are helpful when studying after classes or doing homework. Allotting defined time intervals for various tasks helps better manage the workload and improves focus.
6. Customize and Decorate
If you are creating the space for yourself, it's not that hard to make it to your liking by adding a plant or a photo frame on your desk, but when you have to do it for children, always ask for their opinion.
Encourage them to include their arts and crafts in the learning environment so that it would feel more friendly and comforting. Including them in the decision-making process will make that space feel more “theirs” and thus motivate them to learn.