Millions of youngsters will return to school this month and next. Stores are crammed with school supplies for K-12 pupils and dorm room items for college students. There are few goods in the big box aisles to prepare your home for back-to-school. However, a proper setting influences how successful students, even career professionals seeking further degrees and industry certifications, will be this term. What does setting up a study and homework zone in your home take? Furthermore, where should you put it?
Your study place will most likely be at your home office if you are pursuing or maintaining a professional degree. (Ideally, it is ergonomic and movement-friendly, significantly if you extend your workweek.) You will also likely not have a separate home office for each household member, particularly your youngest learners. They require both space and technology.
“A portable computer, such as a laptop, is excellent,” says Nabeel Ahmad, a learning technology consultant, and Columbia University professor. “A laptop with a touchscreen is perfect for lower elementary school pupils (K-2), as youngsters need time to become used to a keyboard and mouse,” he says. Ahmad also suggests using spill-resistant keyboards to save money on replacement prices. He suggests that laptops include USB drives for transferring data from home to school and back and that a digital stylus or pen is a valuable tool for younger pupils who are just starting to connect with technology.
“A wireless keyboard and mouse are essential for high school students to have flexibility because they frequently work away from a desk or table,” Ahmad suggests. When used in a specific location, a keyboard tray helps to free up the workspace.
“A larger screen tends to be preferable for video conversations and having numerous programs open simultaneously,” Ahmad notes for the professional or college student. He adds that fast internet networks are becoming increasingly vital, especially for families with numerous Internet users who are likely to be online simultaneously.
Although study activities can take place everywhere in the house, from the bedroom to the kitchen counter to the dining table, it is preferable to have a designated area if feasible. According to Houston-based interior designer Mary Patton, the first step is deciding where to put it, depending on how much room is available. “That will help us decide where to locate the designated homework station.” She says her ideal situation is the student’s room, but if there is not enough space, she and the customer become creative. “A clean, quiet environment with an area of organized supplies and a pin board to exhibit art or special schoolwork, etc.” is a must. According to the designer, the planning process involves both parents and children.
Tim Seldin, president of The Montessori Foundation and author of How to Raise an Amazing Child, believes that distraction-free learning is critical for older kids. He also emphasizes the need for good lighting. “There is nothing better than natural daylight, but the essential thing is that the space is adequately illuminated.” Layered lighting, such as task and ambient room lighting, helps reduce eye strain.
Lighting is essential in online schooling. “Be sure to have decent lighting and a distraction-free background for video chats,” Ahmad recommends. “Avoid sitting in backlit areas, such as in front of a window. Furthermore, attempt to be somewhere no one can stroll behind you.”
Patton explains that older pupils frequently want more space. If there is enough space, she recommends a home office setting. Assume that due to space limits, this is not possible. In such a situation, a converted closet may be transformed into a bit office suitable for a high school, home-based college, or adult education student.
“Make sure each participant has the ‘tools’ they will need: a computer, book, notebook, pencil, and so on,” regardless of location. Seldin suggests. He imagines an ideal standard room for “family learning time,” with one person reading, another conducting computer research, a third working on measures, and so on. This enables parents to supervise their children’s internet activity, with the older ones occasionally mingling instead of studying behind closed doors.
Organizing for Success
Both pupils and parents can benefit from the assistance of organizations. “Encourage your children to put schoolwork and books into their backpacks when they finish a piece of work or as family study time is ended, so they are packed for the morning,” Seldin says. “If your children bring lunch to school, they can prepare it the night before, with or without your help. Your youngsters can also arrange their attire for school and after-school activities.”
A family landing zone near the main entrance of your home can contain bags ready to head out the door. Lunch bags can be stored on a specific refrigerator shelf. Valet hooks near clothes closets can be used to store the following school day’s attire. These strategies might make going to school on time more accessible in the morning. Seldin claims that these ideas may be applied to people of all ages.
Academic progress is harmed by clutter. Get rid of it, Patton says, and she means it for the whole family, not just the student. “Clutter is distracting for everyone!” argues the designer. “You want your house to feel peaceful and secure.” This is very useful during test and deadline periods.
The Montessori method considers the entire kid and his or her surroundings, which includes well-organized dining areas, relaxing, socializing, and duties. “Create a feeling of order,” Seldin adds, “so youngsters know where their socks and underwear go, how their playroom is organized, where toys and books are housed, and so on.”
School projects may entail dirty labour with paint or glue, especially younger ones. This may include your basement, kitchen, utility area, or garage. “When you live in a small apartment or house, you have to think outside the box,” says the Montessori instructor. This may need to cover the table, desk, chair, or floor with a protective plastic covering.
“The epidemic was a one-of-a-kind experience,” Seldin explains. “Every family learned to use internet communication and learning tools to a degree they could never have dreamed before.” He recalls that some students had Zoom fatigue. Others thrived in the online learning environment, and some families want to retain their children in the online learning environment even while others return to traditional classrooms.
One change Patton shares are the videoconference effect. “Having space for computer monitors is mandatory now, as well as creating a nice background for Zoom calls. Since the pandemic, I have done many Zoom rooms for clients. Even though it is a weird world we live in, this is an opportunity to have fun and be creative.” Why not? There are going to be some long months until winter break.