As summer winds down, parents and children are preparing their fall schooling plans. Unlike previous years when this meant stocking up on traditional school supplies, parents now have to navigate balancing their work with children who may not return to a classroom.
Finding ways to keep children engaged through remote learning can prove difficult, but the first step towards success in homeschooling is creating a focused environment. In our experience creating interiors for children we recommend...
Carve out a dedicated space for your kid’s desk. This is better than working on the kitchen table. We learned from parents that once their child got their own desk (especially if they participated in the selection of the furniture) they were able to concentrate more on their homework. The idea that this desk is designed specially for them, for their size, makes it very appealing to them. If possible one desk for each child.
Creating your makeshift school is tough during quarantine conditions. In lieu of a separate bed and desk, or homework room, consider a loft bed with desk underneath. This is a space-saving solution and helps the child remain focused.
Space is always at a premium in big city apartments so using the underside of a loft bed is almost a real estate investment. With ceilings of over 8' high, it is possible to get a good size desk under the bed.
Adjustable height is a great feature to have in a desk, especially if the child starts using it around 6 or 7 years of age and continues to use it until she becomes a teen.
A 6 year old will need a desk at 21" to 24" height from the ground. An adult desk is typically 30" height. A standing desk for an adult goes up to 41" to 44" height. A desk that can adjust in height will last many more years and it becomes a better investment.
Use a height appropriate chair or an adjustable one so that the child reaches the ground with their feet. If not the ground, at least a foot rest. A chair will not last as long as a desk for ergonomic reasons. Often an old wood chair with a cushion can do the job.
Some children are easily distracted, to mitigate this we suggest creating a "pod". A pod can provide more containment and less distraction for the child. Smaller, semi-enclosed spaces provide the child comfort and a sense of belonging, a feeling that their space/artifact was created specifically for them. In a home with several children sharing rooms, creating a low partition with wood and plexiglass is a smart way of giving them some independence, some privacy. The area under a loft bed can also give a semi-enclosed feeling.
When workings with siblings of different ages, try to keep them separated if possible in different desks. If you cannot accommodate more than one desk, have some kind of partition in between.
Based on our own experience and on parent's feedback, if siblings are more than a year or two apart, it is better to keep them in separate desks. Twins or siblings one year apart only can often share a desk and be able to concentrate.
Let us know how your tips for homeschooling in the comment section below!
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