When a child makes the plunge to online learning, parents should consider upgrading their home’s study station. Since your child will be using it full time for school work, it’s important for the study station to be easy to use, comfortable, appropriate for all types of learning, and of course, appealing.
Creating a Home Study Area for Your Kids
My kids do not attend school online full-time, but my daughter Vayda will be enrolled in summer school virtually this year. Since she will be attending summer school online, I wanted to make sure I could provide her with a good study area to focus on her work. I partnered with Connections Academy, a provider of full-time online public school for grades K-12, on this sponsored post and together we developed a list of a few things to do to support learning at home.
1.) Cut Out Distractions
My daughter Vayda is easily distracted, so this is often one of the first areas I work on. Kids are easily distracted from the things they see and hear around them, and may find it difficult to concentrate if they are in a high-traffic area of your home. To avoid distractions, find a perfect spot where your kids can take the time they need for their work, making sure that the study space is located in a nice quiet area of the house with no clutter on the walls or on the desk. A quiet study space will allow your child to efficiently focus on their school work.
2.) Think Storage
Don’t forget to think about storage areas around your child’s study space. Your child will need space to keep all their school supplies — from notebooks and calculators to pencils and textbooks. Supplies should be located around the study space, where they are ideally out of the way, but still easy to access. I have tried several different storage ideas, and so far, wooden crate shelves (pictured below) are by far my favorite. Not only are the shelves appealing to the eye, but they also hold a decent amount of supplies, can be easily rearranged, and fit just about anywhere in the home. Oh, and they are affordable and super easy to make!
These wood crate shelves are super easy and a storage solution that you can put together in no time, without any tools. A huge plus for me, as I can never find my tools!
DIY Wood Crate Shelves
To make the wood crate shelves, you’ll need the following:
- 5-6 wood crates
- Wood glue (optional depending on how you stack them)
- To assemble, just rearrange the wooden crates however you like, making sure they are sturdy. If you choose to stack the crates high, you might consider using wood glue, just to be on the safe side.
As you know, the right tools are a necessity as far as learning is concerned. Because your child will be taking advantage of online learning, they will need a good computer. A helpful tip is to make sure all software is up-to-date and updated regularly.
I like to have a chalkboard or dry-erase board on hand. My kids love working problems out on the chalkboard, so my husband and I created one for the kids. All we did was use chalkboard paint to paint one wall, and the kids now have their very own chalkboard! It’s been used a lot too. I recently added the dry erase board, and while it hasn’t got much use yet, the kids are going to love using it this summer.
4.) Keep Comfort Top of Mind
Sitting for extended periods of time not only isn’t good for us, but it’s also hard to do. That being said, you may want to consider a standing/sitting desk for your child’s study space. Styles vary from stationary surface areas to floating standing desks that can transition from sitting to standing easily. The desk that we chose is great! It moves up and down so that your children can stand or sit depending on their mood. I’ve noticed that my children like to stand up most of the time, which is great for me – they seem to be more focused when they are standing.
5.) Stay Flexible
It’s nice to change things up now and then, rather than have your child work solely from a computer monitor. As an alternate option, you can use an e-reader or laptop if you have one, so your child has a little flexibility. It can also be helpful to print some assignments out so your child can work using a pen and paper.
There are so many things you can do to make sure your child’s virtual learning area meets all of their needs. I’m sure I’ll be making changes, but I think our current set-up will work great to get us started. I’m excited to see how Vayda does with her online summer school … if she does well, we just might consider New Mexico Connections Academy, Connections Academy’s online public school that serves students in grades 4-12 in New Mexico, for the following school year.
A balance of work and play is essential for virtual learning. Since Vayda’s favorite subject is art, I couldn’t help but to move our old homework table into the new virtual study space for her. The kids love this DIY Chalkboard Homework Table, and it serves as a nice break throughout the day. Instructions to make the table can be found in the link below.
New Mexico Connections Academy
For families considering virtual school, New Mexico Connections Academy is a tuition-free online public school that serves students in grades 4-12. The school gives students the flexibility to learn at home while helping reach their academic goals through an individualized online learning program.
I’m excited for Vayda to start summer school online! In the past, we have had to cancel trips and work our schedule around summer school, but not this year. Online school gives students who need an alternative to the traditional classroom the flexibility to learn from home and on the road, so we can enjoy our vacations with no interruptions.
Connections Academy provides high-quality curriculum for students to explore and master core subjects such as math, social studies, language arts, and science. Students have the opportunity to discover a range of electives, courses for the gifted and talented, and customized learning plans. Oh, and not to worry, they are committed to meeting the state’s standards for academic achievement and accountability. The school uses a variety of tools to track students’ progress and meet public school testing requirements such as online and offline assessments, parent interviews, as well as regular follow-up evaluations during the year. Additionally, Connections Academy involves parents in their child’s learning, as it can lead to improved grades, better test scores, greater enrollment in post-secondary education and better graduation rates.
I love the customized learning children can get with Connections Academy and I think this is something Vayda needs. I mean, let’s face it, students do their best when they get to do things they are interested in and able to do. To learn more visit ConnectionsAcademy.com.
This is a sponsored post written by myself for Connections Academy.