Homeschool Workplace — How to Create the Perfect Workplace for Your Homeschooled Child
by Kate Hein
Set aside space
It’s challenging enough to get into the right mindset to study, attend a webinar, or take an exam. The challenge is that much greater with the everyday distractions of television, housework, phone calls, and any other number of activities that go on in the home. If your student participates in an online learning environment, a critical element of their success is having the appropriate space.
Be sure to set aside a room or a portion of a room for your student to set up shop. They should have a desk or work space, a comfortable and supportive chair, accessible power outlets, be near the internet router, and have any subject-specific materials they need (think calculator, notebook paper, pens, and pencils).
This space should be as free from outside distractions –- such as siblings and video games — as possible.
Make the Homeschool Workplace Free of clutter (and distractions)
Having a separate space for your child to learn isn’t all it takes. A clean, organized, and clutter-free room is also part of the equation. A cluttered room can be distracting and may, in fact, inhibit learning. Once you’ve set aside your student’s space, be sure to arrange it in a way that will endorse learning. If you can eliminate traffic –- of parents, caretakers, siblings -– altogether, that’s great. If not, try to arrange the space in a way so that there is as little traffic throughout the day.
Invest in a good pair of headphones
Most online classes require listening of some sort – to videos, music, fellow students in discussion, and the teacher lecturing. Having a good pair of headphones –- possibly even ones that help block out background noise –- will help your student focus and concentrate on the task at hand.
When you’re not actively engaged in a lesson, these headphones can be used to listen to non-distracting music. In fact, numerous studies have emphasized that listening to classical music while studying has positive effects on the brain, sleep patterns, and stress levels.
Stay on track
Some students thrive on digital calendars but for especially visual learners, have a large, monthly desk calendar set up in their work area. Work together with your student to identify key deadlines, exam dates, and project due dates, then put them on the calendar. You can even color code them based on subject, priority, or any other way that helps them stick. This will help you, the parent, understand what’s coming down the pipeline and will serve as a visual reminder to your student about upcoming deadlines.
Be sure to include any extracurricular activities or other happenings (vacations, sporting events and tournaments, visits from family) as well. For example, if you know grandma is visiting the weekend before an essay is due, you’ll want to work with your student to finish it before her arrival. This will help parent and student feel less stressed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
With past experience in public relations and marketing, Kate Hein is passionate about two things – education and writing. A lifelong learner, Kate recently returned to school to pursue a career in healthcare, but still finds time to write for her personal blog and as a consultant for a handful of businesses. In her free time, she enjoys teaching fitness classes and going on adventures with her family.