Well we’re at the close of the Easter holidays (if we can call them that!) and home schooling recommences for most tomorrow. If the thought makes you feel like curling up in a ball and you’re running low on inspiration for making home-schooling a positive and enjoyable experience, carry on reading.
- Location, Location, Location!
Many home schooling workstations will have been constructed in a flurry of resourcefulness last term; maybe your kitchen table was a hive of activity for all things maths, reading and creative. Now, having adjusted to the idea and with a little time to think, you may be considering relocating your child’s learning area to a location slightly more out of the way; somewhere your small people can spread out, make a mess and not cause a hazard!
Where on first glance a certain nook or cranny may have seemed an unpromising option as a productive hub, with a touch of creative thinking, you might consider that cupboard under the stairs as ripe for a transformation! Close by too so you can keep a watchful eye over your student.
- Design Their Own Workstation
When it comes to engaging with an idea, ownership is key. So if you want your children to stay motivated, why not let them get involved in its very creation. If you’ve identified the ideal area, say an alcove at the end of the hallway with space for a table and chair, maybe a quick spruce-up is all it needs for its new purpose. Find that left-over paint from a prior project and let the kids loose on a spot of (controlled) decorating! If the thought leaves you cold, how about cutting inspiring ideas out of magazines, printing pictures of family, friends and pets, and adorning the work space using glue dots which won’t damage your paintwork or wallpaper.
We all like our endeavours to be appreciated, so why not decorate your new home schooling workstation with your kids’ educational efforts? Retrieve the old A frame black board from the attic and use it to stick their masterpieces to; maybe relocate a pin board from another room to fasten the day’s achievements to. Depending on the age of your treasure, adapt a standard star chart for all lockdown successes!
4. Another Day In The Office
If your child is at the age when they like to copy mum and dad to look grown up, how about replicating some elements of your work space in theirs? Maybe an in-tray for work to do and an out-tray for a project completed? Rubber stamps, calculators and post-it notes might encourage them to get productive!
- Teenage Bedroom Inspiration
Much of this blog has been spent discussing the needs of younger children; teenagers are a different kettle of fish. Most will be working in their bedrooms using their school’s online resources and will be used to working independently. By this age motivation comes from work well done and a feeling of achievement. So what can you do to help further?
Your teenager will want a quiet environment and their privacy, so with the door closed, you need to trust them to be getting on with their work without constantly looking over their shoulder. A comfy chair is key, surrounded by whatever inspires, including music which does help some kids to focus, despite their parents’ uncertainty!
If they have writer’s block or are lacking in inspiration, a benefit of home-schooling is that they can take a break and enjoy some fresh air at will; no teacher constraints and the independence to acknowledge themselves when some breathing space is required.
If you and your child need ideas on stay-at-home activities including a wide range of hobbies for all age ranges, and many that are free, take a look at https://www.wired.co.uk/article/how-to-home-school-and-exercise-you-kids. You can also check out our blog on designing pre-teen bedrooms for sustainability and adaptability as they grow.
At Hartleys we’re not experts on home-schooling, but we are good at designing bespoke bedrooms, which may play a part in keeping your child motivated to study in the future. See us online at hartleysbedrooms.co.uk and please contact us with any enquiries; we’d be delighted to help.