A pandemic hits hard and changes everything, especially how your kids are learning or, in many cases, not learning. Nearly all students across the country went to remote instruction at the end of the 2020 school year, and many are still in that digital world.
Whether your child is on campus or at home, you can give their learning some extra oomph by creating an educational environment in your home.
1. Design An Effective Space
Remote learners need a comfortable area where they can spend their school day. This means a comfy chair, maybe a colorful, cushy throw rug, and some pillows. Remember, the goal is for them to stay focused, not necessarily to follow strict etiquette rules.
Create good lighting in the space. If it’s too dim, your child will squint and strain to see what they’re doing. And be sure there are electrical outlets nearby to keep computers and tablets charged.
2. Stick To A Routine
Routines are crucial to learning. They help children feel safe and secure, allowing them to focus on learning. If your kids are in a remote class, make sure they’re in front of their computer screen at the right time each day.
Keep to the same daily schedule for classwork, lunch, breaks, and homework. Children work harder when they know what to expect and how long they’ll be focusing on each subject. Set a timer to avoid constant questions about when they can stop.
If your child is going to campus daily, a home routine is still beneficial. Give them an hour after school with a snack and some screen time. After that, divide the time before dinner into homework and chores.
3. Keep A Home Library
Reading is the foundation of nearly all subjects. Building a home library helps ensure your child becomes a strong reader. Kids who read daily increase their vocabulary and attention span.
Include both fiction and non-fiction to offer a variety of subjects. If you can’t afford to stock a home library, take advantage of your local library. Checking out and returning books also helps kids learn responsibility.
4. Provide Educational Toys
STEM is the name of the game in schools these days, and it’s easy to bring the concept into your home with educational toys. They teach kids to take a hands-on approach to solving problems, and introduce them to subjects with in-demand careers.
You don't have to spend a fortune on the latest gadgets. Blocks, Legos, plastic gears, and even cardboard boxes (to build with) spark imagination and creativity.
5. Don’t Forget Supplies
Keep plenty of pencils, markers, colored pencils, and paper on hand. Learning goes more smoothly when you don’t run out of supplies! Label a container for writing utensils, along with rulers and staplers, and keep it handy. Notebooks and dry erase boards are also vital for a learning space.
6. Get Outside
Greenspace has been proven to reduce stress and increase focus, so take breaks with your kids and get outside. If you don’t have much greenery or are a city-dweller, add some plants indoors or create a garden in your yard space and turn it into a nature activity.
And don’t forget recess! Playing outside, running, climbing, and just moving around burns off energy, making kids calmer when they hit the books again.
These tips work no matter if your children attend school on campus or in your living room. Regardless of the academic setting, providing a routine, learning space, and a variety of educational activities in your home ensures their growth and development at just the right pace.
Carmen Dexter is a former television journalist, mom, and teacher who enjoys growing her own organic food and recycling as much as possible.
A Note From ThinkFun
At ThinkFun, we love it when learning and fun collide. It’s why we do what we do. Every game, puzzle and brainteaser we create is aimed at igniting a spark in a young mind. Still curious? Check us out on the web, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram.