Creating a Learning Space in Your Home
We’ve all faced a lot of changes this year, and many of us are working on building new routines as we adjust to new styles of living.
One area most of us have seen change is education. Whether you’re learning through an online academy, homeschooling, or even just looking to improve your homework habits, simple changes to the space you use for studying can have a major impact.
Here are some easy ways to make your own creative space and stay on track:
Use a designated space. Improve your focus, prevent burnout, and minimize distraction with a designated learning area. It not only helps to build a good routine, but it adds a separation from home and school, too. Use a bookshelf, curtains, or even plants to create a private study area and sense of space. Remember that every learner has individual needs, so be ready to adjust when necessary.
Minimize distractions with a visual signal to show when NOT to interrupt. This could be a closed curtain, sign, or even a certain light switched on! Get creative and work with your learner to find a solution that works best for your family and your family.
Stay organized. Help your student get the most from their learning time by making it easy to quickly find books, notebooks, pens, and other tools they need. A little bit of organization can go a long way to add a sense of calm to chaos.
Don't forget to shut off those distracting alerts and ringtones! Stay hydrated with a water bottle but save treats and drinks for break times! Yes, even designated break times help you stay organized.
Lighting is important. Natural light is a major mood booster! If you can, make sure there's a window in your learning area, and start reaping the mental and physical benefits. You'll also want to be able to control your non-natural lighting to prevent eyestrain—especially when reading or using a screen for long periods. Consider brightness and glare when finding what works for you.
Have a power source. So, you think you have the perfect space, only to discover a big flaw--no power source! These days, nearly every student is working on a laptop or other device, so be sure to set up near an outlet (or have an extension cord nearby).
Comfort is important too! But this doesn’t mean you should work lying on the couch. Ergonomic studies tell us that our workspace affects the quality of our work AND our health!
Make sure that your student has a chair that puts them at the right height for writing and for using a computer. Use a footstool (or box) if their feet aren’t flat on the ground and a cushion if their back isn’t supported by the back of the chair. Screens should be at or slightly below eye level, and tabletops level with their elbows. This will help keep you comfortable and prevent injuries!
Don’t forget to leave your space. Having the space is super important, but so are taking breaks and remembering to move. Work more movement into your day by taking a walk, having a stretching session, or dancing out the wiggles! In school, your learner moves between classes, meets up with friends, and has set breaks. Without the bell to break up your day, it's easy to forget to move. If you or your learner need a change of pace, it's ok to grab a book and read in the backyard. A change of scenery can be a great way to recharge!
There are some great resources out there for planning your space. You can find some of them through the links below. Good luck on your learning journey!