How To Create A Distraction-Free Home Learning Space For Kids
Guest post by April Meyers
Learning doesn’t stop when your child leaves the classroom. In fact, depending on grade level, your kids could have anywhere from five to 10 hours of homework a week, meaning they’re busier than ever before — and this figure does not include extracurricular activities.
With this in mind, it’s important to create a distraction-free learning space for your kids to concentrate on their studies and any other educational activities in which they participate. Here are a few ideas from Teach & Kids Learn on how to create a space that promotes creativity and concentration.
Educators say that the homework of today is all about quality, which means there are larger projects to complete. The ideal space for studying is one that’s separate from high-traffic zones within your home; for example, a defined area within your child’s bedroom is a great choice. It should be outfitted with ample lighting (a combination of natural light and a good lamp), a comfortable chair, a desk that’s large enough to serve as a work surface, shelving for books, all the necessary office supplies, and a computer (if age-appropriate). If practicable, consider partitioning off part of the bedroom with room dividers, and think about decorating the space with different paint, unique wall decorations, or even new wallpaper. There are peel-and-stick options for wallpaper that might add a touch of fun to your little learner’s study space, so consider that option as well. Today’s papers are far easier to manipulate than traditional wallpapers, and there are even recyclable versions so you can proceed with peace of mind.
The sooner your child starts taking music lessons, the more apt she is to be successful as time goes on–but it’s going to take a lot of practice to get her there, which is why it’s important to carve out a space in your home where she can focus. Try to make an encouraging space that contains a comfortable chair, music stand, metronome, and ample lighting.
If your child is just now learning about music and has an ear for classical music, consider joining workshops or Zoom classes that offer a fun and musical approach to classical music. You can even level up your child’s listening zone by investing in a soundbar with surround sound so she can become fully immersed in the music she’s learning.
Arts and crafts projects can help kids express their feelings, improve homework and self-esteem, teach them how to follow instructions, and improve fine motor skills. Since these activities can also be messy, you’re going to want a space that can be easily wiped down. Opt for non-porous working surfaces and high-gloss paint for walls. Ditch the carpet and install an inexpensive hard floor — you can also get a disposable floor covering. For younger children, handmade toys that inspire creativity, foster imagination, and improve cognitive function are excellent options to consider as well.
There’s no need to invest in pricey furniture (even used is fine), but make sure it’s conducive to your child’s size so she’s comfortable while working. You’ll need ample storage for supplies, so consider bookcases, bins, boxes and pegboards, but get lockable storage for any dangerous materials, including cleaning supplies and any chemicals related to their art. Don’t forget to designate a display area where your child can display her work
Jobs in STEM continue to see an annual growth of 4.6 percent, and many schools are designing STEM-friendly classrooms that can serve as a form of inspiration for a home working space, too. Consider what stem offers and design the room around a specific goal. For example, if science is of greater interest, you’ll want to furnish the room with supplies and a working space to conduct experiments. If it’s engineering, get a computer with CAD, a 3D printer and plotters. Just make sure to keep this space neat and organized, as clutter can actually cause people to experience increases in their anxiety levels.
Since a big part of STEM involves idea generation, problem-solving, teamwork and decision-making, be sure to incorporate a size-appropriate table and chairs where your child (and friends) can brainstorm and hypothesize.
While computers are necessary for many educational activities, make a rule to surrender any other electronics (like cell phones) when engaging in a project, practice, or homework time. This is no different from how it is when children are at school. Unnecessary distractions take away from the task at hand, making it more difficult for your kids to do their best work either in the classroom or in their awesome new home learning space.
Here is an online course that can help educators address this issue in their schools and classrooms.
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