With homes doubling up as classrooms during this lockdown, there’s one thing that hasn’t struck many parents’ minds- Where will their child study? It’s easy to just set up your laptop and study desk in any area of the house. But the wrong place can be super distracting and uncomfortable for kids, meaning you’ll have an unfocused child who just won’t sit through the class. Instead, take a couple of hours and set up a ‘classroom’ at home, where your child can easily learn every day. Here are some tips on where and how to create a classroom space at home, right from the experts!
Why is a ‘Classroom’ at Home Important?
We often underestimate how distracting the surroundings can be for a child. Toddlers have a short attention span, so it’s important to work around that with some smart steps. A classroom space that is comfortable for a kid to sit in at a stretch, yet devoid of any distractions like toys, TV, etc., makes sure that the students are focused on what is being taught, rather than what is around them. Of course, there are also design elements in school classrooms that we often take for granted. Ever wondered why so many classes don’t have curtains? Or why they have large windows? What about that huge cupboard that always remains shut? All of these serve a purpose, which we’ll get into.
Tips to Set up a ‘Classroom’ at Home
The right space is just as important as the right learning material. Here are some design tips to set up a space in your house where your child can learn in comfort, without any distractions slowing him down.
1. Wifi Connection
A major criteria for choosing a spot where your child can sit for online sessions is the wifi connection. Make sure the speed of your wifi is high enough to prevent any lag or buffering. The ‘classroom’ should also be close to the router, as the further you move away from it, the weaker the connection gets. Definitely do a little wifi speed testing around the house before closing in on the ‘perfect’ space. If you’re still having trouble, a little trick is to turn off the wifi on other devices during the online sessions, so the connection can be boosted to the laptop or PC that your little one uses.
2. The PERFECT Chair
If you’ve read ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, you know how important a comfortable chair is. Your child should be able to sit comfortably with his feet touching the floor. Ideally, choose a chair that isn’t too hard, but also not so soft that you sink right into it. You can also add a few cushions if you have a particularly fidgety child. Once you have the perfect chair down, the rest becomes easy.
3. Plenty of Light
Light is conducive to learning as it will keep your child awake. This is why classrooms usually have no curtains or lighter-coloured curtains to allow enough sunlight to pass through. Choose a room with enough natural lighting, and change the curtains to light colours like pink, yellow, or white. This will ensure your child focuses better and doesn’t feel sleepy due to any darkness. Light curtains make the room feel larger as well, so your little one doesn’t feel too overwhelmed during the day.
4. No Toys or Games Around
Toys and games are major distractions for kids, so make sure there aren’t any lying about, especially if you choose your child’s bedroom. Add tidying up in your child’s bedtime routine, so when he wakes up in the morning and gets ready for class, you don’t have to worry about toys strewn around. They’ll already be tucked away! You can keep one or two toys outside with you as an incentive for your child to focus and complete the activities so he can play with them during breaks.
5. Fresh Air
Fresh air keeps the mind awake and helps focus better. The area you choose as a classroom should have large windows and plenty of cross ventilation, as the mustier the air gets, the faster your child will get fidgety and tire out. Keep the windows open and switch on the fan, and it should be cool enough for your little one to sit through the classes.
6. Stay Organised
Keep a box with all the things your child will need, such as worksheets, stationery, etc. Your child should easily be able to reach out and grab whatever he wants so that there’s no last-minute running about searching for things. Easy access makes life simpler! At the FirstCry Intellitots Homeschool, worksheets and material requirements are sent a week in advance, so you can prepare easily for sessions well ahead of time.
7. No Other Screens Nearby
TV’s, tablets or phones around easily distract adults, let alone kids. So make sure the only screen in front of your child is the one through which he attends online sessions. If the room you choose is near the TV, instruct family members not to switch it on, or choose a room from which the TV can’t be seen or heard. If you’re sitting with your child during the class, keep your phone away and walk out of the room to attend calls. This way, your toddler will be focused on the online session, and not any other TV show played outside.
8. Drawers and Shelves
Choose a study area with minimal drawers or open shelves around, so your curious little one won’t be compelled to open each one up to see what’s inside. Also, keep cupboards closed in the room. Trust us, kids have a short attention span, and absolutely anything can catch their attention, whether it’s a colourful shawl in the cupboard or a sparkly award on the shelf. The idea is to remove as many elements that can sidetrack kids.
9. No Outside Noise
People talking in the background can disrupt online sessions, not to mention distract your child. So make sure the ‘classroom’ isn’t in a common area where people are bound to have conversations or a TV show is running in the background. Also, ask family members or visitors to avoid walking in and speaking to your child to see what he is up to or talking loudly during the class.
10. Use Visuals
A cute, colourful timetable with sessions or even activities is great to get your child into learning mode. Younger kids learn best through visuals, and they’ll love to try and read what’s written, or even tick off whatever is done for the day. FirstCry Intellitots Homeschool makes use of visual stimuli and interactive elements, to which a cute timetable will add greatly to. Plus, session timings and topics are given much earlier, so you can easily create a timetable well in advance when you have some free time.
With a few simple tips and tricks, you can make the most of the space you choose for your child’s ‘classroom’ at home. At the end of the day, remember that the school understands issues that you may need to work around, so don’t stress if you can’t get that ‘perfect’ space. You will find that kids can be pretty adjusting too!
Enrol your child for the FirstCry Intellitot’s Homeschool to make your child’s day productive and loads of fun! Click here for the admissions page and to know more.