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  • Writer's pictureSteve & Kendra Day

Home Sweet Classroom, How to Prepare for On-line School

Our home provides so much and we use it for so many essential activities. It may be an office, restaurant, entertainment center, and starting soon, it may be A CLASSROOM. This idea may be daunting but preparing for school at home will help your child be successful. No matter the size of your home, preparing a space specifically designed and set up for learning will help children focus and learn.

When our son first started homeschooling, we built a tiny room in the garage with just enough space for a desk, office chair, and computer. He designed it, built it, painted it, and took pride in decorating it. His own artwork, pictures, hockey jerseys and memorabilia adorn the walls of his mini-room. We installed a portable air-conditioner for added comfort on hot days and a space heater for cold days. With an additional cable to the garage we were able to connect WiFi to our detached garage. Eventually, he even added a mini-fridge to his room. Please recognize, this space was designed for a teenager. We were able to be flexible with a more independent learning area.

Every family and student will have a unique vision of a home classroom. Brainstorm areas in your home that can be converted into a learning center. How can that space be private, reflect your child’s individuality, and promote learning?.

You may need to dedicate an area in your child’s bedroom specifically for school work. Take the time to prepare a special space in his/her room to separate his/her virtual classroom from the rest of the room. The unique space may include a dry erase wall calendar, inspirational/motivational quotes on the wall, personal framed art, certificates of achievement, or a stuffed toy to be your child’s learning mascot.

A classroom may be in your dining room at the table. This can really infringe on family space and the home environment. To help “close the classroom” at the end of the day and have space for dinner and family activities, put all the learning essentials in a crate for each student. When the school day ends, put all school supplies in the crate and store it in a specific area to help alleviate the clutter. Students will also be able to go to their personal crate in the morning to start the day.

Consider the garage for a fantastic space for a classroom. The garage can be transformed into a classroom with areas designated for different needs. If you have multiple children, create learning pods with a desk, computer, headphones, and a comfortable chair. Partition each area with a curtain or plywood divider. Include an art center with a variety of supplies for a creative outlet. Set up a music corner with different instruments. Design a reading corner with bean bags, plush rugs, and books, magazines, puzzles, or games.

No matter where your child will be learning, make sure he/she has comfortable seating and desk space. Provide supplies, make them easily accessible, and designate them for the classroom only. Your child’s teacher will recommend supplies for his/her on-line class.

Here are some supplies to consider as you prepare your home classroom:

  1. Computer, desk, and comfortable chair

  2. Headset with Microphone - Headsets will be especially helpful in homes where multiple children are engaging in virtual classrooms

  3. Wall/desk calendar or daily planner

  4. Pencils, pens, highlighters, colored pencils, markers

  5. Dry-erase board and DARK dry-erase markers

  6. Index cards for flashcards

  7. Spiral notebook for journaling

  8. Math manipulatives for younger students

  9. Books at or just below your student’s reading level

Reach out to teachers in your district to learn about Apps that may be used throughout the semester and start acquainting yourself with these Apps. Here are some Apps to be familiar with:

JotNot used to scan documents from your phone

Zoom for virtual instruction

Google Suite which includes Google Classroom - take time to navigate the different apps and understand them before the beginning of school

Learning from home is not an easy transition for families, especially when the preference is to be in a brick and mortar classroom. With 7 years experience in the classroom, homeschool experience, and professional experience with design and home organization, we are more than happy to help you organize and plan for school at home. Give Kendra at call at 310-872-4079. She would be more than happy to help.

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