Last Updated on September 29, 2020
As students go back to school this fall, some may only be going as far as their own homes as virtual learning is becoming the new normal during the coronavirus pandemic. So, what are the best ways to make the experience a productive and enjoyable one?
This month, Granite and TREND Transformations offers some fun, functional and inventive ways to keep the home/school balance flowing smoothly while making the most of the virtual learning experience. We have even included creative ways to find extra space to help inspire the best experience for you and your family. Read on to learn more:
Creating a designated workspace when you’re short on space
Kids need their own space. Just as they have their own desks, cubbies, or lockers when they are attending school, it’s important to have a designated workspace at home to keep them focused and organized. But what do you do if you’re short on space? Here are some creative ideas for making the most of your space:
● Use a hallway —You would be surprised what you can do with this newly found space. Using the vertical space in the hallway allows for ample shelving and plenty of room to store books and supplies. Add a small desk (or two) below the shelving with a comfortable chair and you have the makings of a great new school station. ( Tip : Paint the wall a fun color or hang temporary wallpaper to give the space some pizazz. Add a cool rug and be sure to have ample lighting.)
● Bedroom wall desks— Most kids love hanging out in their rooms. It’s the one place in the house that is their “own space” with all their “own stuff” (even if they share a bedroom). Adding a space-saving wall desk in their bedroom is great for older kids who want their privacy while getting their work done. Plus, it frees up floor space!
● Acrylic desks— Does your room already look overcrowded? You may want to consider an acrylic desk. Its “barely there” look helps the room look less cluttered while still providing plenty of workspace to get the job done.
Creating a toddler and preschool play space
The little ones may not be studying at their desks, but they still need a nurturing and structured place to play, interact, and learn their ABCs. Regardless of whether you’re clearing a corner of a living space in your home or if you have an extra room to convert, making a fun and interactive space is easier than you think. Here are some tips to bring it all together:
● Place a small table and chairs in the room for coloring, crafts, and reading.
● Set up small cubbies to store books and supplies.
● Purchase a small chalkboard for interactive play.
● String a line across two points and clip artwork and classwork for display.
● Decorate the space and label each station with big letters—such as “READING” and
Maintaining a schedule and structure
Now that you have your child’s workspace in place, it’s time to plan a schedule to keep your kids (and your sanity) on track. Here are some key ways to keep the school day in check:
● Set a schedule —Kids thrive on schedules. Be sure to schedule a starting time and ending time of the school day. Don’t forget to include short breaks, lunchtime, and recess. Limit the amount of time for the breaks and be sure the kids get some exercise throughout the day. How do you track all of this? Write it all out on a white board for everyone to see.
● Move around the house— Kids need to move around throughout the day. Just as they would walk from classroom-to-classroom when going from one class to another, it’s important to schedule a class like reading, for example, in another room of your house. Changing the atmosphere is a great way to refocus their energy while keeping the day flowing.
● Set up a self-serve snack station— Kids need their energy throughout the day. Setting up a self-serve snack station is an easy and convenient way for kids to help themselves to their own healthy snacks. And the best part? You get to control the types of snacks you want for your family.
“Wall of Fame”
This just may be the most important thing you do when creating the ultimate virtual school experience in your home. Skip the refrigerator door and magnets and designate a wall to display and show off your child’s work. It’s one of the best ways to boost both their emotional wellness and confidence during these unsettled times.
Creating a study workspace and virtual learning setting at home may be new for most families, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Here are some essential things to do now to get you and your child ready for going back to school:
● Buy school supplies —Kids love to go shopping for new school supplies. Continuing this ritual maintains a sense of normalcy for the child while adding to the excitement of another school year.
● Virtual play dates— Half the fun of going to school for kids is when they reunite with their
friends. Having virtual playdates via a video conferencing platform such as Zoom, for example, is a fun and interactive way for your child to see their friends and have a virtual “hang out.”
● Virtual field trips —Going on a typical field trip may be on hold for now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take one virtually. In fact, virtual field trips can be even better, since you can visit virtually anywhere in the world right from the comfort of your own home. Check out some fun field trips.
We hope you enjoyed these helpful tips and ideas for getting back to school—at home. During these uncertain times, maintaining the social and emotional wellness of your family is a top priority.
Did you know Granite and TREND Transformations now offers virtual consultations? It’s true! You’ll receive all the benefits of our in-home design consultation right from the comfort of your own computer. And as always, it’s free! Contact us today to learn more about our beautiful etherium TM by E-Stone surfaces.