With Covid-19 uprooting the whole world and causing a dramatic change in how our kids will receive education for the coming months, possible years, we have to re-look at how our homes are setup to enable a productive learning environment for our kids.
We started with homeschooling (or schooling our kids remotely) recently. This is uncharted territory for us and I never ever imagined that I will be forced to teach my kids (schoolwork), I am a lot of things but a teacher aint one of them.
Most of our homes are not set up for an ideal homeschooling environment with homework stations normally on the dining room table or in a child’s room. Many of us will have to dedicate a part of the house exclusively for homeschooling for the next few months.
We are lucky enough to have a dedicated playroom that I now have made into a space for them to have a seating and table area to do work and crafts. I had to declutter a bit and did a huge tidy up of the huge mess from 3 weeks of lockdown holiday. Apart from normal schoolwork and crafts we have some extracurricular activities like A+ maths, music theory, piano lessons and acrobatics that we need to incorporate into our days and space too. With this our “learning area” is not bound to the playroom, but actually all over the house and yard, but we are based from the playroom and that is where our day normally starts.
There are no set guidelines for setting up a homeschooling area, the general consensus is that you have to do and follow what works for you and your family. Here are a few tips and tricks that I have picked up from my own research:
- Look at the space available. Choose a dedicated space or room that can be used exclusively for schooling. Even if it temporarily means you won’t have a dining room or your guest bedroom will be occupied for a while. For most of us traditional school will eventually resume again but if you decide to homeschool permanently a temporary space will not work for you.
- Note board, Whiteboard, Pin board, Blackboard: You will need to do some planning and printing out of class schedules and having an area to have it displayed is helpful. If you don’t have any formal board space, prestik against the wall also works just as well.
- Considering the age(s) of the kid(s) using the space is crucial. Will the schooldays be filled with video lessons and homework that needs to be done at a desk or will you need to use a writing, a crafting and a play area? It is also not necessary to do all the activities in one space. Crafting and play can be done outside if possible, and also helps to get rid of any cabin fever from sitting indoors most of the day.
- Tech free zone. Having a tech free zone would be ideal but realistically it is impossible because we are currently being schooled from online platforms. What we would suggest is a distraction free zone, ensure that there is no tv’s or radio’s that will distract learners trying to concentrate.
- Storage. In a more permanent homeschooling environment an area dedicated to storage for reading books, schoolbooks, artwork, educational toys and tools will be crucial. In a more temporary situation some kind of storage area just to keep the area neat and organised will work.
- Printer. You will need to print items sent from schools to use so make your printer easily accessible and a good perk is to have it setup on your wifi, so you can print it from any device. We often switch between a laptop, phone and tablet to look at assignments so it is easier for us to print from any device.
- Decluttering: Having a clutter free area is crucial in having a productive working environment. This is the main reason why storage and a system is very important in a home school and work environment.
- HAVE FUN!!! In this temporary situation we do not need to take schooling our kids too seriously, especially if your kids are small. A lot of learning takes place through play and do not feel too pressured to do everything at once. A lot of parents needs to do work from home too, so set your priorities, create some sort of routine for the family to include productive time for everyone to get some work done.
Here are some inspiring, real life interiors to inspire your space to homeschool during covid-19:
Here are some local printable that you can add to your activities if you feel you are up to it:
– Michelle from Mayalief has some amazing activities that she uses to keep her girls occupied. She was so kind to share some of her creations with us here.
– Mari-Louise from Justamamma created a COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR MOM on her blog with ideas to help the whole family with scheduling and loads of activities, the COVID-19 SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR MOM has more than 60 activities for your do keep your little ones occupied.
My Hero is you…
I found this amazing book to teach kids aged 6-11 a little bit more about covid-19 and how they can fight it.
A new story book that aims to help children understand and come to terms with COVID-19 has been produced by a collaboration of more than 50 organizations working in the humanitarian sector, including the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Save the Children.
With the help of a fantasy creature, Ario, “My Hero is You, How kids can fight COVID-19!” explains how children can protect themselves, their families and friends from coronavirus and how to manage difficult emotions when confronted with a new and rapidly changing reality.The book is a project of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings, a unique collaboration of United Nations agencies, national and international nongovernmental organizations and international agencies providing mental health and psychosocial support in emergency settings.
Read more here.excerpt from www.who.int
Download My hero is you here.
We have a few online interior design and consultation options available so if you feel you need some help during this time to setup your space with what you have you can make use of the discount available for the duration of the South African Lockdown.
During a virtual coffee date you will be able to chat online with our interior designer and do a virtual walkthrough of your space. We’ll supply you with all the tips and tricks to transform your space.
Our online interior design consultation is designed to offer you a full interior consultation from the comfort of your home. Your will receive a full design board and shopping list to complete your interior space in your own time.
Stay safe and thank you for staying home!