Whether your children are taking a part-time online class or they are full-time homeschool students, an efficient workspace is needed to get in the right mindset for learning. This post will show you how to make the most useful workspace for homeschool.
A QUIET SPACE
If there is too much background noise, it can distract you from the task at hand. Create a space away from televisions, radios, barking dogs, and the hustle and bustle of homelife. Setting up a space in the kitchen might sound like the perfect place to keep an eye on your children, but it might also be a place with the most distractions. Will other people be coming in and out? Will you be moving around unloading the dishwasher or cooking? All of these things can get your children off task and it will take them longer to complete an assignment. Find a spot away from the distractions. Some parents have even turned their garage into an open-air classroom!
If you found the perfect quiet spot, now you need to focus on the lighting. If it is too dim, it may not be a productive environment. Good lighting improves attention span and productivity. It also keeps your eyes from getting tired. Natural light is the best light as long as the workspace has even lighting, not in direct sunlight or in a shadow. Studies show ambient light (light that is already present) provides an increase in performance. However, that space may not be available in your home. What would be your option? A 60-watt light bulb works well for reading, writing, computer work, and for detailed projects. Some say to stay away from the florescent bulbs. They can be harsh on the eyes and cause eyes to strain, which can cause tired eyes and headaches.
Most homeschooling requires digital learning and online tools. Make sure the space offers power outlets to keep computers, ipads, printers, or any other technology plugged in and charged. I like to use surge protectors with any expensive technology. You don’t want your children to get half-way through writing an essay for their screen to go blank! Especially if they weren’t frequently saving it. Not to mention, it would break their concentration! Also try to put your workspace in an area that has a strong wifi connection.
Having a desk as well as a comfortable seat is key to the learning environment. This will help students keep good posture and prevent them from fidgeting. A desk and chair is especially important when working on the computer or writing. If you have extra space in your room, you can certainly add other types of furniture. A bean bag or another form of seating is fun when students have a more relaxed assignment like reading a book. A table is useful for working on projects or spreading out assignments. Shelves can help organize books, notebooks, and storage bins. The possibilities are endless!
Just like having a quiet space, a cluttered space can be distracting. A cluttered space causes a cluttered mind. Neuroscientists at Princeton University did a study that found physical clutter in your space competes with your attention. It overloads your senses. When this happens, performance descreases and stress increases, which interferes with learning. If you are reaching for an optimal learning experience, then clean up the surroundings to offer a clutter-free workspace.
Every space should have necessary materials so the student doesn’t have to spend time looking for the materials to get their assignments completed. This can also cause students to get off task and getting them back on track can take extra time and motivation. These items can be placed in cubbies, shelves, storage bins, or carts. If you have more than one child, color-coding their storage is worth it! You can even put color-coded stickers on the individual supplies. Here are some things to have available.
- notebooks, printer paper, construction paper, poster paper
- pencils, pens, crayons, markers, highlighters
- pencil sharpener
- tape, glue sticks, glue
- dictionary, thesaurus, almanac
- extra ink for printer
This is optional, but classical music is known to have positive effects on the brain. Students can listen to it while working independently. If you have more than one child working on different tasks with one of them needing to focus on learning a new standard, have headphones available for the others who are working independently.
A bulletin board is a focal point to post teaching points, practice with your children, and place reminders and schedules.
EASEL WITH WHITEBOARD, CHALKBOARD, OR PAPER
An easel is a useful tool when teaching. You can draw out different things to give the student a visual. It is also an effective tool when a student is brainstorming or gathering ideas. SHOP MANY HOMESCHOOL IDEAS HERE.
A calendar can keep all due dates and assignments listed. This will keep both you and the students organized. You can color-code the calendar too!
THIS FREE CHECKLIST IS GREAT FOR PARENTS OR TEACHERS CAN SEND IT HOME TO HELP PARENTS CREATE A SPACE!
I hope you found some useful ideas to get your workspace rockin’!
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