Abby Slutsky has a M.Ed., and has substitute taught and tutored for more than 12 years.
The Year of Virtual Learning
This is the year of virtual learning, and your child is home trying to master lessons in front of a computer. Creating the right workspace for your child is key, because, without a good space for virtual learning, your child might not be able to focus at all. No one wants to be uncomfortable while they are trying to do a task that they may not choose. These tips can help you create the perfect learning environment for your child while he learns at home.
Factors that can affect your child’s learning and attention span are:
- Adequate lighting
- Seat comfort and height
- Accessibility to materials
- Free from distractions
- Calendar or planner
Adequate lighting is essential to your child’s productivity. Reading on a computer screen is more tiresome on the eyes than reading a book. Therefore, you need to make sure that ample light is available. If the light in your child’s work area is limited, purchase a lamp or move one from another room to ensure that your child does not have difficulty seeing while he is learning online.
Seat Height and Comfort
Schools often have chairs and desks that are the ideal size for youngsters. A child may not be comfortable sitting for long hours on a chair that is so high that it prevents his feet from touching the ground. In addition, he may need a chair that requires appropriate back support.
Additionally, you should also consider whether you want your child to sit in a chair that turns or rocks. These chairs may provide distractions for some children.
Minimize Distractions by Choosing the Right Location
Some people like to work near windows because they provide a lot of natural light. Nevertheless, this may not be the best option for every child. Your child may be interested in the world around him outside. (For example, remember when you were a child, and it started snowing while you were in class. You instantly became more interested in the snow than the lesson and we're counting down until school announced early dismissal.) Even if it is not snowing, your child will watch walkers, joggers, and neighbors walking their dogs. There may even be other children playing outside to see. The potential distractions outside are endless.
Working in an open area such as a kitchen or dining room may not be optimal either. If other family members will be walking through the area to get food, beverages, or other items, your child’s attention may be diverted from the lesson. It may be best to let your child work in a quiet area that has a door.
Accessibility to Materials
Your child will need a work area that is large enough to comfortably fit his computer and other school supplies. There may be times when he needs to hear a teacher while he is writing or engaging in a project. Whether you have an L-shaped configuration, a long desk, or another set-up, it is essential that your child has the items he needs to learn at his fingertips. Gather pencils, notebooks, crayons, and any other supplies, so that they are easy to access.
Depending on the age of your child, a hutch may provide out-of-the-way space while making supplies accessible. However, for young children, who cannot reach a hutch, you may need to create room for supplies in other ways. If your child will be working at a desk that does not have drawers, invest in a pencil holder, bookends, and a basket that can hold supplies. I have the Melaner Desk Lamp Organizer. It is an excellent space saver since it provides ample light and has plenty of room to store pens, paper clips, and other items within easy reach. The light is adjustable, so your child can direct it if needed. You can also set up a snack or bridge table to hold supplies that take up too much desk space.
Keep in mind that if you decide to set up a learning pod for group instruction, you must have sufficient work space and materials for all the children.
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Calendar or Planner
Depending on your child’s age, a whiteboard or planner can help him keep track of his assignments. Ensuring that one is accessible will make your child more likely to use it.
Let Your Child Personalize His Space
Your child will be spending a lot of time in his work area. Creating the space together can help make your child like being there. Whether he wants a few favorite books on his hutch, a picture, or some other item, it is important to let him have some input. He may even want an extra chair, so he can read without sitting at his desk.
Taking the time to create a kid-friendly work area will help make your child comfortable while he learns. His environment should be functional, free of distractions, and pleasant for learning.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Abby Slutsky
Abby Slutsky (author) from America on September 14, 2020:
Thank you for reading.
Charlene Gallant from Cape Town, South Africa on September 14, 2020:
I need to constantly be on top of these for my kids, Good Read Abby thank you:)
Abby Slutsky (author) from America on September 13, 2020:
Thank you. Enjoy your weekend.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 13, 2020:
I think you suggestions are very good to keep your child involved. We have a granddaughter that is 6 years old and being homeschoole. I will pass along your article to them, Abby.