By Hartleys Rooms
As the nation enters the fourth week of home-schooling, a full house and inclement weather, both you and your ‘pupils’ would need to be real-life heroes if the experience wasn’t starting to take its toll on all members of the family. So, if you’re running on empty on ideas for making home-schooling a positive and sanity-retaining exercise, we have come up with a few tips, one or two of which might provide the school day with a flicker of improvement!
1 Location, Location, Location!
Many home-schooling workstations will have been constructed in a flurry of resourcefulness last year; maybe your kitchen table was a hive of activity for all things maths, reading and creative. Now, having adjusted to the idea and with a little time to think, you may have considered relocating your child’s learning area to a location slightly more out of the way; somewhere your pupils can spread out, make a mess and not cause a hazard!
Where on first glance a certain nook or cranny may have seemed an unpromising option as a productive learning hub, with a touch of creative thinking, you might consider that cupboard under the stairs as ripe for a transformation! Close by too so you can keep a watchful eye over your students.
2. Design Their Own Workstation
When it comes to engaging with an idea, ownership is key. So if you want your children to stay motivated, why not let them get involved in its very creation. If you’ve identified the ideal area, say an alcove at the end of the hallway with space for a table and chair, maybe a quick spruce-up is all it needs for its new purpose. Left-over paint from a prior project will work a treat, and the kids will love a spot of (controlled) decorating – and art and design is of course part of the curriculum!
If, however, the thought of your child and a tin of Dulux leaves you cold, how about cutting inspiring ideas out of magazines, printing pictures of family, friends and pets, and adorning the workspace using glue dots which won’t damage your paintwork or wallpaper?
3. Show Off Their Skills
We all like our endeavours to be appreciated, so why not decorate your new home-schooling workstation with your kids’ educational efforts? Retrieve the old A frame chalk board from the attic and use it to stick their masterpieces to; maybe relocate a pin board from another room to fasten the day’s achievements to. Depending on the age of your treasure, adapt a standard star chart for all lockdown successes!
4. Just Another Day In The Office
If your child is at the age when they like to copy mum and dad to look grown up, how about replicating some elements of your workspace in theirs? Abandon the iPad and white board for a while and develop a few old-school office systems like an in-tray for work to do and an out-tray for a project completed. Rubber stamps, calculators and post-it notes might encourage them to get productive!
5. Teenage Bedroom Inspiration
So far, our ideas have been more relevant to the needs of younger children. Teenagers are a different kettle of fish. Most will be working in their bedrooms attending online lessons and will be used to working independently. By this age motivation comes from work well done and a feeling of achievement, but without the classroom environment to inspire them, and after so many hours in front of a screen, we can only ask so much. So, what can we do to help?
Your teenager will want a quiet environment and their privacy, so with the door closed, you need to trust them to be getting on with their work without constantly looking over their shoulder. A comfy chair is key, as is a relaxing bean bag or sofa to chill out on. Teens need to be surrounded by whatever inspires them, including music which does help some kids to focus, despite their parents’ uncertainty!
If they’re struggling to concentrate or are lacking in inspiration, a benefit of online learning is the time in the school day which isn’t allocated to lessons and is usually taken up with travelling to and from school or getting to lessons. Instead, your teen can enjoy a lie-in, some fresh air, a relaxing lunch break or play with the dog. Versatile parenting is helpful (as I have come to understand!)
Clearly there are many more resources available online and on TV during this lockdown. If you’re looking for ideas across the full gambit of stay-at-home activities, including a wide range of hobbies for all age ranges, take a look at https://www.wired.co.uk/article/how-to-home-school-and-exercise-you-kids. From a design angle, you can also check out our blog on creating pre-teen bedrooms for sustainability and adaptability as they grow, which you’ll find on our website.
At Hartleys we’re not experts on home-schooling, but we are good at designing bespoke bedrooms, which may play a part in keeping your child motivated to study in the future. See us online at https://hartleysbedrooms.co.uk and please contact us at our Skipton showroom on 01756 700471 with any enquiries; we’d be delighted to help.