If your children are adapting to virtual school in Queens, NY, it’s reasonable that adapting to your home is one of the bigger challenges. From having multiple children on multiple Zoom calls to helping children stay active and engaged indoors, navigating back to school from home takes some creativity. However, managing the environment is a big step to finding success. Here are some ways you can make your home a better environment for learning.
Minimize Noise and Distractions Where Possible
The first step to getting back to school from home is to evaluate sources of distraction. If you live on a busy street, blackout curtains can provide a valuable barrier that reduces road noise and also keeps children from being drawn into watching what’s going on outside – just be sure you pull back the curtains during breaks and relaxation time so that everyone gets plenty of natural light.
As for distractions, it’s valuable to manage the environment by putting phones and televisions out of sight during the school day. While much of virtual schooling requires a computer, it’s possible to put limits on the sites that can be accessed and you can designate that no games or other distracting activities can be done on the school machine. It’s much harder to focus on school when constantly tempted by fun and games.
Consider Creative Partitioning
If you have more than one school-aged child, a small or even medium-sized home may feel a little claustrophobic when it comes to giving each child space for their schooling. A great plan is to partition a common room with noise-canceling partitions, creating smaller cubbies within a larger room. It also is easier to supervise two children who are working on their schoolwork if they are in partitioned spaces rather than in separate rooms with the doors closed.
Create a Dedicated Learning Room
If you can, however, it may be worthwhile to dedicate a room to be the learning room. Children really benefit from seeing a particular space as the location of learning, and if you make the room engaging, with lots of learning-based books, games, and activities, “going” to school becomes a positive experience. Some families opt to have children bunk together in one room and devote what used to be a separate bedroom to being a school room. At first, it may seem like an extreme move for virtual schooling, but children need to feel like school isn’t just something they do casually for a few hours and then go back to home life – learning is in many ways their job during this time of life, so a dedicated space can help.
If you shopping for a home during a season of virtual schooling, it could benefit you to consider homes that have either alcoves or a spare bedroom that could be used for virtual schooling as a dedicated space. If not, evaluate how you’d partition and use your new home’s spaces to effectively create areas for the school day, the relaxation part of the day, and all the other functions your family needs.