Just when we thought we had settled into our new family routine, another curve ball was thrown our way with remote (virtual) school, for us parents to wrestle with our kids via Zoom. With this added challenge to our already chaotic homes, I wonder where to begin? As a former Language Arts teacher and now a seasoned home decor and online designer, here are a few ideas to make your child’s study space a calmer, quieter and more inspiring place to stay focused, be organized and engaged in the school tasks each day. Both you and your children are in this together, for better or for worse, as many of us parents and even grandparents are tackling this along with you and your family.
Creating an area free of distractions, stocked with age appropriate school supplies: pens, pencils, markers, highlighters, scissors, glue stick (you know the drill), a comfy chair and desk, secluded in a place dedicated to learning is the first step. It can be in his or her own room, or in a make-over closet, tucked away under a stairwell or carved out in a unused corner. It might even be at the kitchen counter or a tiny space in the laundry room. A rolling cart to store all the myriad above items is easily accessible and portable for organizing all of the needed materials. Just as important is making the study area full of items complementing the interests and subjects of the moment-posters, poems, wall hangings and displayed art projects to highlight your child’s personality to create independence, pride and ownership in this new virtual classroom space. A tip from my daughter who has been doing Zoom school for three weeks with one of my grandsons, is to have all of the passwords and id# readily available for everyone.
If your new study space is isolated or in his or her own room, I am reminding you that window treatments are indispensable for safety and added importance now as sleep is even more essential with the added stress of learning from home without all the visual cues, input and collaboration from the other kids and the teacher. Your children deserve a quiet, secure and comfortable room to ensure a restful night’s sleep. Window treatments to the rescue. A blackout shade or adding a layer of room darkening drapery will ensure the maximum hours of rest to stay alert through a long day of iPad work of classes and activities. Layering the two window window treatments will provide the best coverage from bright street lights or the early morning sun. You can find a myriad of room darkening shades to please any child.
Cordless cellular shades and roller shades are also kid friendly because they are free of those pesky cords and can add fun bursts of color and pattern. Roman shades and stylish woven woods are good choices, too, for kids’ rooms, but always be particular to choose a room darkening option for any window treatments you choose for children’s bedrooms to promote good sleeping habits.
For the ultimate in a bed to sleep and dream away any anxieties, one of our customers used a real boat as a bed, brightened up with our pink patterned Simply Chic roller shades.
You can find any style or design of window treatments in many colors and all sizes, custom fitted to any space for your children’s needs- schoolwork, play or sleep.
Proper task lighting now needs more attention for all day online learning as so many devices require more specific requirements. You might have to juggle different environments but I am thinking, why not add a touch of whimsy to the “all day, all the time,” home study routine. Make this room a fun hang-out to do work but then easy to kick back to relax and renew. Make bedtime a real refuge from the uncertainty of today.
These few ideas are just the start of your uncharted journey of virtual learning at home. You will find so many creative and redesigned ways to make this venture original and unique for each of your children and a challenge for you, too. Learning is a life long gift to be opened each day.
“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.”
Best wishes for an educational and well-designed new school year!