AMHERST, N.Y. — As schools in Western New York are about to resume classes, students will be spending some or most of their days learning from home. It’s crucial to create an organized learning environment to help children stay focused as they work from home.
Whether you're using a spot at the dining room table, or putting a desk and workspace in the bedroom, or you are lucky enough to have a whole room to turn into a classroom, there are some inexpensive things you can do to create order and structure in the home learning space, says expert home organizer Amy Wopperer.
“Now more than ever kids are going to need that structure, so setting up that designated space or zone where they can be in the zone and then out of the zone when they're done with school is going to be really key,” said Wopperer, owner of Simplify Buffalo, a professional home organizing and staging company servicing Western New York.
Wopperer offers three easy tips for setting up your child's learning space at home:
1. Remove clutter and distractions. Things like toys, games, electronics, even the other siblings, should be removed from the learning space to keep the space as simple as possible. Also, don’t clutter the space with excess school supplies. Hundreds of crayons aren’t necessary when a pack of 24 will suffice.
2. Make it comfortable. Consider investing in a comfortable and ergonomic chair option, especially for anyone spending hours at this desk daily. Make sure computer screens are raised near eye level to reduce neck strain. This can even be done by putting the screen on a stack of books.
3. Make it fun. If you can, give your child a small budget to pick out a few decorative but helpful accessories, like a desk lamp, cute trash bin, clock, etc. Just like how we used to decorate our lockers, they should help create their space, too.
"In the spring we were doing emergency remote learning, but at this point, we're in a semi-permanent remote learning setup. So let's start our kids out on the right foot, have a clear idea of what the school space looks like in the home and then we'll be ready to go," said Wopperer.
Wopperer says it’s important to remember that children crave structure. So just as in a classroom at school, every item should have a home, and you should teach your child to put the item back in its home.
“You don't need a fancy office, playroom or even desk for your kids to be successful at home. Be creative! Whether it's a spot at the kitchen table that's transformed into a workspace when you bring out the homework cart or transforming a closet into a homework nook - any dedicated, consistent school "zone" will work,” said Wopperer.
To learn more, visit Simplify Buffalo by clicking here.