Back to school is now official at all districts across Long Island, and that means students of all ages are back to learning both in their classrooms as well as in rooms at home. More than ever before, learning and schoolwork don’t end when kids leave school. And the concept of home office has expanded beyond mom and dad to include almost everyone in the house.
When the coronavirus pandemic shut down Long Island schools and those across the country last year, parents and educators quickly shifted gears to help kids learn remotely. It wasn’t only learning Zoom and Google Meet, or finding assignments online and emailing homework back and forth. The challenge was also in creating a workspace where kids could feel both comfortable but also stay focused.
The bedroom worked for many students, while maybe it was a corner of a finished basement, or the kitchen table, for others. There is no one-size-fits-all approach here, experts say. And although most students are back to in-person schooling, learning inside the home remains a part of everyday life. One in which a well-created dedicated space can still help students excel.
Khan Academy, a noted online resource for grades K–14, recommends that parents choose a location based on a child’s learning preferences and needs. If they’re younger, you can opt for a more centralized location such as the living room, where they can be easily checked on. Students using Zoom more regularly may prefer a workplace in their bedroom, since it’s a more private space.
Sara Ho of Sara Ho designs puts color at the top of her list for aspects of a home workspace that works for kids. “Colors- in modern décor typically you want to keep the colors in your room neutral or monotone (unless you are into Mid-Century modern or something with bright pops of color),” she says. “I think keeping the paint colors on your walls bright and fresh is a great way to feel energized and reduce distraction as your start your day.”
No matter the specific room, a well-designed at-home workspace for kids is essential for creating an atmosphere that inspires learning, thought and creativity—even when they’re taking a break. If they love music, put some instruments in there. If they love art, put up an easel. The space should be organized and dedicated to work, but can also reflect each child’s unique personality, style and interests.