Create a Learning Environment at Home

Back-to-school

Schools are back in session, but this new-school-year transition is the hardest among students. As a parent of small children, it's not easy to see them struggle educationally let alone emotionally during this time. The traditional excitement of a fresh start in a higher grade level has been squandered under the foot of COVID-19. The result: discouraged young students. For kindergartners, the experience of the first day of school has been robbed from their eager little fingers. As the uncertainty of reintegration plans linger in the season to come, parents will see a dwindling engagement in their elementary-aged children.

But hope is never lost! It takes a dedicated parent to create a learning environment at home where a child can continue to grow and develop. Your home is the new school and you ultimately decide what kind of classroom ambiance your child will work in. Set the tone right! Help counter your child's heartbreak over social separation by redirecting their mindset on positive aspects, such as redecorating to adjust to the current conditions. Encouraging your child to recognize this time as an opportunity to take on a creative project will give them an optimistic attitude. Children love being given control because so much of their lives hold protective barriers that apply limitations.

When they see Distance Learning as their work and home as the stage for their "big-kid responsibility," they will begin to see the importance and seriousness of the new expectations. Enforce structure by co-creating a work station in your home for your child. This may be in their bedroom, your home office, or in the living room. Some children find working in their own space rewarding while others prefer to imitate parent work ethics. Learn what your child favors.

We have a selection of fun kids desks that you can choose from. The Enrique Yellow Bus Inspired Workstation is the perfect start to recreating the traditional school experience. The yellow frame showcases the familiar "SCHOOL BUS" decal and features life-like wheels at the base. Colors have been known to be associated with triggering emotions. Yellow is a warm color that radiates energy. Much like the natural physical health benefits of sunlight, yellow psychologically revitalizes children. An open top shelf can hold school supplies such as Mason jars filled with pencils, erasers, and colors. Its desktop is built for online learning as it provides USB and power outlet access, so laptops and tablets never lose charge in the middle of a class. Included with the desk is a stool seat that easily tucks underneath to conserve floor space during breaks.

With the Beastie Contemporary Upholstered Youth Folding Chair your child will look forward to reading assignments. This adorable floor seat transforms from a lovable character to a cozy foam chair (And don't worry about any snack crumbs during lounging, because the microfiber and polyester blend cover is removable for an easy wash). Having a designated reading nook separate from a desk gives children flexibility. When different seating options are presented in the learning environment at home, children don't feel as restricted and confined. This freedom allows them to develop a desire to take on tasks. Apply this same approach when monitoring their time in front of their online class. Some children may need a parental watch, while others are stimulated and engage more when no one is hovering around. Be aware of your child's learning needs.

Although sitting in front of a lesson is a part of educating a child, it's just as important for children to get up and move! A mother, Sheila Goforth, illuminates on the topic. In her experience of homeschooling all eight of her kids in the span of 19 years, she has tried it all. What Sheila has found is that kinesthetic learning and lots of breaks offers a comfortable education. Her observations of learning needs took creative turns, "We had a mini trampoline (rebounder) in the room." Staying seated for long periods has been proven to be physically damaging to the body in an average adult. Now imagine the effects on a growing child. There is a reason schools have designated breaks for students. The constant feeding of information is wasted when we don't give students mental breaks (a teacher's digression during a lesson) and physical breaks. Kids especially need lots of physical breaks to exert energy that would otherwise distract them with discomfort when trying to stay still in their seats. During designated breaks encourage activities like taking a walk outside. The fresh air and natural light offer additional benefits in combination with the blood circulation that comes with walking. If you have a yard, spend quality time playing sports with your child. Or just have a mid-day dance party in the living room! Whatever you do, try to encourage activities away from screens to give your children's eyes a rest.

As with anything, organization is a huge determining factor in success here. Lucky for you we have a simple storage solution! The Jodi Modern Design Black Stack-able Bookcase is a modular design best suited for children's rooms. Three stack-able units create a versatile shelf. Each compartment can stand side by side against a wall to create easy access for small children. Low shelves are ideal for teaching children that there is a proper place for materials. Dedicate one case to art supplies, one to books, and another to puzzles. Space beneath each of these leaves room for other large items. As your child grows older, the stands can interlock on one another saving more floor space and making it an investment with long-term benefits.

Not only will building an area bring excitement to your child with the current school conditions, it will also give a sense of ownership to their work. Customizing the space to their specific interests will ignite a passion for everything they do in that learning environment at home. Newfound care will develop not only for their set-up but for the activities they conduct in that place.


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