While the world has been slowly opening back up again, not everyone is willing or able to send their children back to school just yet. Families dealing with medical fragility, the immunocompromised, and those who just found homeschooling was a better fit for their families are learning from home for the time being. Even families who are enrolled full-time now see that additional closures are possible, and distance learning has made sick days and snow days a thing of the past.
Keeping all of this in mind, Wonder Bunch Media wanted to take some time to research what makes a home study environment comfortable and conducive to learning. Aside from the basics, like a laptop, a curriculum (you can find some home-learning options on our blog) and your standard school supplies, what does your home need to get class in session?
Do you ever catch yourself walking into the kitchen to put something away and suddenly realize you definitely need a snack? Step into your bedroom to change clothes and your brain whispers “climb under the blankets and nap”? Your brain is triggered by certain spaces to begin the process required for the purpose you’ve given that space. Your brain knows it’s time to rest when you see the colors of your bedroom, and is already a step ahead of you in the falling asleep process.
Similarly, your child’s brain can be triggered into study mode by creating a designated space for them to take their Zoom classes, do homework, or study. In a perfect world, this space will not be in their bedroom, as it can create sleeping problems for them to have to relax in the same space they have to have their brain turned all the way on. We don’t live in a perfect world, and space may be limited in your home. Even offering the child a study space at the kitchen table, but at a different seat than they usually occupy to eat can create the connection for them that this space with this view equals learning mode.
Light, But Less of it Blue
Screens are creating a crisis for our vision, and it’s due in no small part to the blue light the screens are emitting. Excessive blue light exposure has also been shown to cause sleeping difficulties! Computers equipped with Windows 10 already feature a blue light blocking feature. Simply head to your settings and turn on “Night Light” mode. You can also purchase blue light blocking glasses, or a blue light screen filter for your devices.
Otherwise, be sure your child isn’t working in the dark. They will if you let them, but this can lead to daytime drowsiness, difficulty focusing, and make it harder to sleep at night. Keep your child’s workspace bright, using open windows whenever possible.
Children are simply not designed for stillness. They are wild, wiggly, wonderful little humans packed with energy! And when you try to get that energy to bottle itself up in such a tiny body, the results can be anxious, fidgety, and incredibly frustrating for the whole family. Meet children where they are, and plan movement breaks throughout their day! Take a walk outside together, hit the park, load an Outschool dance class as part of their curriculum, or invest in an under-the-desk peddler to give the energy a place to go!
You may also find that keeping a box of fidget toys can occupy busy fingers, freeing the mind up for learning! Experiment with stress balls, slime, fidget spinners, and clickers, or even bubble wrap.
Decorated for Success
You’ll want to keep the space clean, but fun! Find colors your child likes, but where possible, use muted tones. While bright colors are fun and high-energy, they can also be distracting and can overwhelm children who may already be struggling to focus. You can find toned-down versions of most of your children’s favorite characters online. We are personally pretty fond (and maybe just a little unbiased-ly proud!) of our Wonder Bunch prints in our unique color palette! You will find carefully designed prints, inspired by nature and approved by our team of kid beta testers! Check out our Print Shoppe to see the full line!
Lunch and learning go hand in hand, but mindless munching isn’t smart for anyone at all. Keep healthy, crunchy foods like carrot sticks, celery, and cucumber slices ready at hand to satisfy the need to snack and learn. The texture busies bored hands and mouths while providing a healthy dose of fiber and water. Peanut butter or a handful of almonds can pack a protein punch, without ruining their lunch!
You’re Doing it Right
You might feel like you’re all going crazy being cooped up together day in and out. Adding other families to your learning bubble, enlisting aunts, uncles, and cousins to help teach something they know and are passionate about can take some of the load off of you, while giving your child another face and voice that might help them feel just a little less isolated. The most important thing to remember is that however you’re making this all work, you’re doing a great job. We are all still figuring it out, and our children will be resilient and adaptable adults because of the lessons they’re learning right now!
Welcome back to another amazing year of learning! We can’t wait to see what this school year teaches us all!
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