Creating a learning space at home
With all Indiana schools moving to remote learning for the rest of the year due to COVID-19 and parents now tasked with fulfilling the vital role of supporting at-home learning for their children, there has never been a more important time to have a dedicated space for learning in your home.
Beyond physical space, effective learning experiences begin with parents and children who view learning as positive.
Tips for a positive learning environment:
- Empower each family member to become a learning leader and make learning fun.
- Consider planning family learning experiences. For example, each month one family member selects something the family can do together, such as explore bugs in the backyard, take a virtual museum tour, do a science experiment or try a new recipe together. The parent then assists the child with planning for the experience.
- End the day with positive affirmations or compliments. After home learning ends, have each family member say something positive about another family member. Be certain each person receives a compliment.
- Ask each of your children to state one thing they did well during the day after the designated learning time has ended.
DESIGNATE A SPACE FOR LEARNING
Even in a small home, you can create a designated space for learning. This space can be the kitchen table, the corner of a room where you can eliminate distractions, or a desk if available.
Not everyone has a designated room for learning, so get creative and find ways to make your space mobile if needed, such as using a folding dinner tray or ironing board.
Learning spaces should include all the things your child needs to have a successful home learning experience, such as any workbooks/packets/materials your school district has sent home, a flat surface for writing and necessities like pencils and erasers. If your child is online learning, be sure the space is close to a power outlet and has a place for their computer or tablet.
Tips for creating a space for learning:
- Make creating the space a family project.
- Have the children join in choosing the space and decorating it.
- If your space is limited, keep a basket with all the learning materials in it. Use the basket to convert your kitchen table or some other area in your home into the learning space.
- You can even come up with a family name for your space. For example, “The Smith Learning Academy.” Put up the sign when it is time for homework.
- Once homework time begins, get rid of distractions. This includes distractions for you and your child. Turn off the television, cell phones and video games. Make this time special and focus solely on family learning.
Pro tip: Check out the IDOE recommendations for times and activities for student learning based on age in this PDF. We recommend at least this much time for learning per student per grade level but try to spend as much of the day in learning activities as possible.