Virtual school is going to be a new experience for most students. They may have a taste of it during the Spring 2020 term, but most likely you didn’t set up a dedicated space for virtual learning. It was just supposed to be temporary until COVID-19 had passed and everything was going to get right back to normal. Going into the Fall 2020 term, we know that didn’t happen as quick as we’d hoped. It’s time to create that dedicated space for virtual learning to ensure your student has a perfect opportunity for learning this school year. Here are five tips to establish a space for creative learning:
Find That Perfect Spot to Learn
When your student was in school, they had a classroom to go to. At home, it may be difficult to replicate a complete classroom. If possible, dedicate a complete room to an educational setting to best simulate an environment ready for virtual learning. Your student’s body subconsciously creates zones for their daily activities. The kitchen is associated with preparing and eating meals, the bedroom with sleeping, and the living room with relaxation. All can offer distractions that prevent learning, so finding another space that can be dedicated to virtual learning helps your student’s body to get in the right zone for learning.
Stock Up Your Study Space
Once you have a dedicated study space available for virtual learning, the next step is to make sure it has everything your student needs for virtual school. That could be a pair of scissors, markers, a ruler, a laptop, or a few pens and pencils. Beyond office supplies and technology, your student needs quality fuel to keep focused. It may be advantageous to have a container of water, tea, or juice available when they get thirsty and a brain-food snack like fresh fruits or vegetables. The best stocked up study space will eliminate the need to leave the room for anything beyond a bathroom break or a quick break between study sessions.
Organize Your Study Space
Once your study space is fully stocked, you’ll want to organize it to ensure your student can find everything quickly when it’s needed. As much as parents want to ensure their students have everything, they should allow their students to organize the study space to what makes sense for them. Everyone organizes differently. Organizing should also include decorating the study space with fun things like pictures or perhaps a board that can have famous quotes written on it and changed frequently. Keep it light, but focused on learning. Avoid distractions as best as possible.
Find the Perfect Amount of Light
Speaking of keeping it light, your student’s study area needs just the right amount of light to stay focused on the task of learning. Too low of lighting may strain your student’s eyes, and is also associated with sleep. They may find a dim light always causes them to become drowsy. On the other end of lighting, a bright light may cause headaches and unnecessary heat in their virtual study space. They key will be to find a lighting that offers enough to stay focused on the task at hand. That could be a desk lamp, an overhead lamp, or something in between.
Eliminate Sources of Distracting Noise
Background noise is one of the most common reasons your student will lose focus. It could be something as simple as repetitive noise from a household appliance, loud talking from another room, or something else causing a distraction. Your student’s study space needs to be quiet to prevent distractions, but they also may feel pure silence is also a distraction. Studies have shown positive results from studying when students listen to music or white noise. White noise would be something simple as natural sounds like raining, running water, wind rustling through trees, or a rain forest. It’s quiet, yet calming. The type of music may not be as important as the loudness of the music. Forcing your student to listen to an opera may drive them crazy, so finding a quiet music they enjoy will be key. Keep the volume below 85 decibels, which is the threshold when it changes from background to focused sound. Your student may also enjoy noise-cancelling headphones instead of a radio or white-noise machine.
These five tips should prepare a dedicated learning space for your student as they enter virtual school this Fall. The items listed don’t require a small fortune to have the best of everything, but careful thought into what is available and where is key. We wish your students well on their new school environment, and we’ll see them soon for classes @ Sno-Isle TECH.