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Back to School 2020: Setting Up a Dedicated Study Space for Your StudentAugust 24th, 2020 by
There’s no denying it – going back to school in the fall semester of 2020 is going to look different than previous school years. Parents and students are facing a variety of situations, from 100% remote learning to hybrid learning programs to returning to the classroom under new rules and guidelines.
No matter what your child’s learning situation will be this fall, they can benefit from a well-designed study space at home. Here are four tips for setting up a comfortable, personalized workspace for your student.
1. Create a Quiet, Dedicated Study Space
Whether your children will be attending first grade or their first year of college, they will benefit from having a peaceful, well-lit area that is dedicated to studying. Many adults have created functional home offices from their kitchen table or dining nook during the COVID-19 pandemic, but this is not necessarily the right setup for a student who is trying to master difficult subjects like reading or calculus.
Also, consider the noise level in the learning space. While some kids prefer to listen to “study music”, others desperately need peace and quiet in order to understand their material.
Separate dedicated learning spaces for each student in your household are best, but if you don’t have that much space available then consider creative alternatives like turning a closet into a study desk or creating workspace dividers with science boards to help reduce distraction. Putting together a third-grader who is making a messy diorama with a teenager who is trying to study for a French exam may be a recipe for disaster.
2. Meet Your Student’s Technology Needs
Regardless of your student’s age, they will need a way to access their online classes and participate in remote learning meetings. Your school will hopefully provide a laptop for each student so they don’t have to compete for time on a shared computer or worry about conflicting meeting schedules – if not you can look into Chromebooks or refurbished laptops for sale in your area. Sign up for the fastest and most reliable internet you can afford. Also consider the smaller things, like a wireless mouse and a good-quality set of headphones with a microphone attached.
But your child is starting in virtual kindergarten, she doesn’t need a grand technological setup – does she? As a parent, you likely grew up attending computer class once or twice a week in elementary school. But children today often begin using computers very early on — even in kindergarten at some schools — and if your student will be attending virtually, she may need more than a few minutes on your tablet every day to do her best in class.
3. Increase Comfort and Productivity
Ergonomics aren’t just for adults. Back problems caused by uncomfortable chairs, neck cramps brought on by computers located too high for a child, and wrist pain resulting from typing for hours on a small laptop can be real problems for young people. It is crucial to start off the school year with your child’s comfort in mind.
Keep these ergonomics tips handy when setting up your student’s workstation:
- Make sure the computer is about two feet away from his or her eyes and level with his or her gaze.
- The child’s feet should be able to rest flat on the floor.
- Cute desk chairs are everywhere, but make sure you purchase a model that is designed for sitting for long hours and studying. Consider a kneeling chair for spinal alignment and comfort while working.
- If you have a student who spends a lot of time writing papers, look into purchasing an ergonomic keyboard and mouse.
- Blue light computer glasses can reduce eyestrain if your student is sensitive to computer light.
4. Special Considerations for Full-Time Remote Learners
If your student is at high risk for COVID-19 or is mandated to begin school virtually for the fall semester, or if you have decided to start your family’s homeschooling journey, you may be wondering how you will fit space for education into your home. Consider getting in touch with a contractor to discuss home remodeling solutions for creating a dedicated learning space.
- For older students, remodel their bedroom to include space for a computer desk with proper lighting for studying. Consider hiring a contractor to put in a wall that separates the study space from the rest of the bedroom.
- For younger students who need more supervision and interaction during the day, create a comfortable study nook within the family area where they can do their learning.
- Consider turning a closet into an office. This is a great option if you have multiple children who can use this room on a rotating schedule.
Whether your student is learning in person at school, virtually, or in a hybrid environment this fall, this much remains true – setting up a dedicated study space at home is the first step to their academic success. If you need help creating such a space consider hiring a professional, Best Pick Reports is a great resource for local contractors, electricians, and other home remodel professionals who can help you design the study area your student needs.