September 22, 2020
Ways to Modify Your Home for Distance Learning
Whether you call it distance learning, remote learning or virtual schooling, one thing is for sure: education in 2020 has been flipped on its head. As we all try to navigate our new circumstances, it’s important to consider how our homes could be better set up for learning. Creating a dedicated study space will equip your child to be more successful. Coming up with creative ways to prepare your home for virtual learning can be challenging. If your kitchen counter or dining room table has defaulted as a desk, we hope these tips will help you on your way to creating a more purposeful school environment at home.
Assess Your Child’s Remote Learning Needs
Based on grade level, school curriculum and expectations, assess your child’s remote learning needs. Will they be strictly distance learning this semester or is their school implementing an at-home/in-school hybrid? Will they be writing on paper or printing off worksheets? How much room will they need for textbooks, pencils, art supplies and electronic learning devices? Does your child need extra tools for organizing, or do they excel at creating their own organization system?
Do you know any parents who are home schooling veterans? Don’t be afraid to reach out for some additional advice, too! Once you’ve determined your child’s space, storage and organization needs, it’s time to get started adapting your home.
Create a Designated Study Space
To minimize distractions your child’s workstation should be in a separate area of the home, away from their bedroom or playroom. Temptations such as TVs, video games and toys might be too hard to resist. If you don’t have the room to provide a dedicated study space, consider getting a room divider or using a shelving unit as a way to create “new” spaces within a room.
For younger children, the study space should be centrally located so you can monitor progress and provide assistance. However, your teenager will want privacy when participating in online classroom discussions or extra-curricular activities—just like they normally would. That rules out your home office if you’re going to be using it too.
A guest bedroom, basement or finished attic is a good place to start. If your living space is limited, here are some ways to create a designated study area:
- Build a wall to separate one room into two
- Use a folding room separator or sliding curtain
- Introduce storage with mounted wall shelves, cubbies or cabinets
- Finish your basement or convert the attic
- Convert your garage to finished space
- Build or modify a DADU or backyard cottage
Find an Ergonomic Kid’s Desk and Chair
Most adult desks sit 30 inches off the floor, and that’s simply too high for a grade-schooler. Your child’s desk should be proportionate to their size, which rules out the kitchen breakfast bar or living room coffee table.
Instead, find an ergonomic kid’s desk and age-appropriate chair that will promote good posture and improve productivity. While seated with their feet firmly on the floor, your child’s knees should be at a 90-degree angle and fit comfortably under the desktop.
For smaller rooms there are space-saving corner desks, wall-mounted desks, floating desks, kid’s desks with built-in storage and even computer desks. Boost your child’s comfort level and performance even further with an ergonomic laptop stand or wireless keyboard.
If your child likes to lay on the floor while reading or using their tablet, make sure the study space has a comfy spot for doing so.
Distance Learning Requires Good Lighting
A poorly lit study space causes squinting, eye strain and fatigue. Keep your student motivated and refreshed with a well-lit task area. If there isn’t enough natural light filtering in through windows and doors, try these illumination ideas:
- Light shape. A fixture with a long, horizontal LED bulb will project light across a larger area than a traditional desk lamp.
- Tight spaces. In a smaller space use a wall-mounted light, hanging pendant light or clip-on lamp.
- Cool light. Cool light—that labeled “daylight” or with a blueish tint—facilitates learning and good study habits better than a warmer light. Find a good study lamp that’ll reduce eye strain and glare, but prevent unexpected naps.
Design & Décor for Home Classrooms
When crafting a home classroom, don’t be afraid of color and creativity. While it may feel overwhelming, creating a kid’s space can also be extremely fun. Try to enjoy the process and incorporate décor that both you and your child can enjoy such as: funky wallpaper, bright colors or bold shapes. If you really want to dig deep, you can even incorporate natural designs.
And finally, ask the kids to help you decorate their virtual learning “classroom” with photos, artwork, beanbag chairs, houseplants and other personal touches so it’ll be more inviting!
Your Seattle Design-Build Contractor
Much like modifying your home for distance learning, choosing the right contractor for your next home improvement project can be confusing. Avoid the hassle of hiring an unreliable contractor by doing your research, asking for references, getting written estimates and consulting online reviews through Google, Houzz or Yelp.
At Model Remodel we are experienced design-build contractors with a solid reputation in the Seattle area for transforming outdated homes into highly functional, stunning living spaces. Our seamless conception-to-completion home remodeling solutions will get you to your dream home before you know it. To get started on your next home improvement project tell us more about your objectives today: contact us.