July 22, 2021
With online learning happening more and more these days, it's important for us to actually take a minute and spend some time (and maybe a bit of money) to create a learning space that will help our teens be engaged in their learning as much as possible. And even when online learning is done, a dedicated work zone won't go astray for the later years of high school. Here are some things to consider to help you create the best learning space for your teen.
It's not the most fun thing to do, but probably one of the most important things to consider when setting up a learning space. Ergonomics is about ensuring that your work environment, from the height of your computer screen, to the adjustability of your chair, is just right. How can you tell? It's actually a whole topic of conversation in itself, but in short, you need to ensure that your child's feet are able to be placed flat on the floor and their screen is at a height that allows their head to be directly in front of them when they are sitting up nice and straight with shoulders back. Try and get furniture that is height adjustable (from chairs to desks, footrests to monitor stands) to allow you to make adjustments as needed.
Create a dedicated workspace
I'm sure as we have all discovered in 2020, learning from home is not quite the same as learning from school. There are so many more opportunities for distraction and sometimes, there's no one there to help your child refocus. To help combat this, try and create a dedicated workspace for your child so they know that when they are sitting there, it's work time. Of course, it may not always be possible for each child to have their own desk setup but even when you are working at the dining table or kitchen bench, it may be as simple as having a work box where they store all their school items. When the work box is out, it's work time. Make sure they have the equipment they need at hand and a place to store everything easily when it's time to pack up. You might even want to print out a timetable for them so they can see what's coming up - kids love nothing more than knowing exactly what's happening during the day. It really helps them to prepare both physically, mentally and emotionally for the day ahead.
It's important that there is enough lighting in the room. Natural light is always best, but if you don't have enough natural light nearby, try and have a lamp or light that will sufficiently light up the work area.
This means tv and smart phones. Try to keep these away if you can. With kids missing out on seeing their friends during online learning, I do allow them to chat with their peers once the school day is over and sometimes during lunch but I (as do their schools) don't allow phones when school is on and try to encourage them to take a break from all screens when they can, whether it's to read a book, take the dog for a walk or have a run around in the backyard.
Create a happy space
This is the fun part. Try and create an area that your child is happy to be in. It might be a magnetic board where they can write notes or beautiful storage boxes or maybe just a print with words of encouragement on there. Find something that will help put a smile on your child's face as they get through what can be a difficult situation.
One final tip
To do your best work, you need to feel good. And although there are many aspects to feeling good, being appropriately dressed for the occasion definitely helps to put you into the right mindset. That means, if your school doesn't require a dress code, encourage your child to step out of their pyjamas, as tempting as that may be, and to pop on something that makes them look good. We happen to know a place that has simply beautiful, seriously comfy stuff. 😉 You can check it out here!
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