Now that we know kids are not going back to school this semester and potentially will spend more time studying from home in the fall, let’s look at some strategies for setting up a more functional space.
You will most likely need some storage items. Online ordering takes longer but most stores still do it and Wayfair and Hayneedle ship pretty fast. You can also find a lot in Walmart or Home Depot, if I have to go I shop during bad weather as there are less people out then. Wear a mask and disaposable gloves and most importantly, measure and write down what you need so you don’t need to go back several times.
- Set up areas for play and study, ideally separate spaces. The designated study area can be a desk in their room, playroom or at the dining table. It’s fine to utilize different areas of the home as kids will prefer to move as much as possible and not be cooped up in one room all the time.
- If the kids study in the kitchen or at the dining table, have a basket for each child to put away their books etc at the end of school so the space doesn’t become cluttered and your house doesn’t feel like class is in session.
- Clear out toys and books that your children have aged out of or have no interest in. Give away or sell on tagsale sites, you can do contactless pickup from your front door. Kids play more when there is less to play with. You can also pack away some toys for now and rotate them back later.
- If the children are more than 2-3 years apart in age, set up separate play areas for them and group their toys there.
- Buy them headphones if you haven’t already. These from Amazon are inexpensive and work well.
- Clear off the floor space as much as possible so they can play and run around. My youngest is constantly hanging off of the gymnastics bar and my oldest is throwing the basketball into the mini hoop hanging over the door. This was the layout before Covid shutdown. Now the sectional has been moved against the wall to the right, gymnastics mat and bar are in the middle of the room, play kitchen shelving is now used to store craft supplies and craft/study table is on the left.
- Make the kids clean up before they leave the space. This will go on for another month and a half, you are not going to be tidying up around the clock. This is somewhat hard to implement but in our house it goes something like that: I yell from the top of the lungs: Put away the ipads and clear the room!!!!!!! Sometimes they do it.
- Ask for your kids input: what works, what is difficult, what do they need. My oldest is playing with non-sticky slime while listening to all kinds of Zoom webinars, my youngest takes frequent movement breaks and both love having their favorite teddy bears on the table.
We are lucky to have a large playroom and both kids have desks in their own rooms also. Playroom has 2 desks which for some reason they are not using and prefer to use a large craft table which is an old dining table. I purchased 2 adjustable height swivel chairs for the table and each sits at the end of table, leaving plenty of room for books, laptops and notepads. I highly recommend getting swivel chairs, especially if your child has trouble staying still for awhile.
Few products from Ikea that I have found helpful.
I hope you’ll find these ideas useful. Let me know in the comments what creative solutions have you come up with when homeschooling kids, it may help others. Hang in there – I believe there is light at the end of the tunnel.