As COVID-19 has forced many around the world to adapt to a “new normal”, one that includes extra hand-washing, mask-wearing, and social distancing, most families have also now been told that their children must learn remotely via internet.
Pumpkin and Peanut are currently in this situation. We decided that in order for them to be able to remain productive, they would need a workspace just for them. My husband constructed desks for them, and we are slowly putting the rest of their space together.
A kid-friendly workspace is quite similar to that of an adult’s, especially now more than ever, with children on the computer for so many hours at a stretch during the day.
Here are some tips to boost productivity for young minds:
Have a bright source of light
This more or less goes without saying, but now with Zoom classrooms, having not only enough light, but proper lighting is important. Not only that, but a lack of light will strain young eyes, which is never a good thing. If your student can sit near a sunny window, even better!
Keep their timetable handy
Mentally, students are going from science to PE, back to their classroom and then off to the library. They are not, however, leaving their seats and physically walking to a different room, like they would at school. Sometimes younger students, at least at first, may be confused as to where they should go next. Even when they know where they should be, it’s also useful for us parents to know where our kids are throughout the day. A bulletin board hung on an adjacent wall is a great way to make sure their schedule stays in one place and doesn’t get lost.
Keep extra sharpened pencils nearby
As your student writes and takes notes, it’s now less convenient to get up and sharpen a pencil, taking the chance that information will be missed. So it’s important to have any and all writing utensils close at hand, ready to go, preferably in a caddy or pencil pouch.
Make space for a small plant
I love plants. Of any kind. They always brighten a space, making it more cheerful. For a child’s workspace, any plant they have should be low-maintenance and unobtrusive. It should also not get in their way as they do their work. Faux plants work just as well as their real counterparts and give a pop of color to any space.
Be supported in a comfortable chair
Sitting for a longer period of time can cause back pain as we all know. This is no exception for children, especially as they aren’t used to sitting in one place for long periods. A comfy chair with good lumbar support, that doesn’t sit too low or too high to be at eye level of the computer screen will make it easier for them to concentrate on their lessons.
Store supplies in bins
Bins are a cute and efficient way to keep school supplies in one place. That way they are easier to reach for during the day, and putting supplies away once school is over is a breeze. This is especially useful if a child’s workspace is a shared space and not a separate room.
Keep track of breaks with a timer
Teachers know how important it is for students to have regular breaks. It is also important for students to return to their virtual classroom on time. Timers are a great way to keep track of breaks and lunch periods in lieu of the school bell. If possible, parents can keep a timer or alarm on their phone, or have a simple timer their child can operate at his or her own desk.
We really are living in unprecedented times, as we have been hearing for months now. Virtual learning is only the latest change that we all will have to adjust to until we see the end of this pandemic. Hats off to our brave kids as they navigate this unknown territory. Hopefully the tips above make their lives and learning a bit easier!
What suggestions do you have for your child’s workspace at home?
Image by Tran Duc from Pixabay