The pandemic has changed the way every facet of society works, including education. According to a report from the United Nations, the health crisis will affect almost 1.6 billion students of all ages. It will happen in over 190 nations throughout the globe.
Schools all over the world are employing different methods of reducing the chances of contagion, even though these environments are at high risk. The combination of putting lots of people from various neighbourhoods in confined indoor spaces make formal schools problematic in the current situation. Naturally, parents everywhere are seeking alternative methods of continuing their children’s education without putting them in undue risk.
In countries like Singapore, where cases have gone down drastically, educational institutions like international preschools and private colleges are starting to reopen once more. However, most nations aren’t as fortunate. That is why professional private schools and concerned parents are turning to distance learning.
Learn how you can create a conducive distance learning nook for your children in the safety of your own home.
Determine Your Child’s Preferences.
You need to identify what constitutes an effective learning environment for your child. The best way to do so is by determining how they learn. Ask your child’s previous teachers about their performance in the classroom and take notes. Then, talk to your child about their learning style. Would they prefer a learning nook with a window view, or would that be too distracting? Would they like to have a proper table, or would a lap desk and some cushions do? Once you know what your child wants, you can rest assured they’ll be comfortable in their new learning nook.
Stock Up on Essentials.
Depending on your child’s age or current subjects, you’ll need to create a stockpile of the school supplies they’ll most likely need. Notebooks and paper are ubiquitous for all ages for note-taking. Younger children in preschool may need lots of colouring materials like crayons and markers. Older children may need highlighters for their textbooks. Finally, a steady supply of pens and pencils should be expected. Keep all these essential school supplies in an easily accessible caddy or an organizer. That will make it more convenient for your child to get them.
Get Comfortable Furniture.
Ergonomics applies to school furniture as much as office furnishings. Find furniture that’s the right size and shape for your child. Oversized furniture can cause your child to strain to get comfortable, while smaller ones will make them feel cramped. Also, consider the height of the furniture when choosing them, so your children won’t have to crane their necks or stoop down, which can’t be conducive to learning. Adjustable furniture like telescoping seats and desks are your best options. Also, don’t scrimp on cushions and padding, as these can make it easier for your child to sit still for prolonged periods.
Children are easily distracted, especially younger ones, and you need to help them focus as much as you can. When carving out your distance learning nook, ensure that there are ways to mitigate or reduce distractions from invading the area. Common distractions include loud noises and captivating sights. If your learning nook has a window view, put up heavy drapes you can pull shut so your child won’t continually be distracted by passers-by and the like. Try to situate the learning nook in an area with lots of carpeting that can soak up noise. Better yet, find a place that has an operable door so that in case there are any loud noises, you can close it shut.
Don’t Forget Practicality.
Finally, remember the limitations imposed by distance learning technology. Keep in mind that your child’s setup will require continuous internet connectivity and access to electronic sockets to power their gadgets. For example, although a basement nook maybe a cosy place for a distance learning setup, your Wi-Fi signals can be considerably dampened by the subterranean location.
Aside from the technological limitations of the area, you should also consider other factors. You may think that sharing your home office with your child is an ideal solution, but it may end up hindering the both of you. Look at every angle of a prospective distance learning nook to assess its practicality before settling down on one.
The transition from formal educational settings to distance learning is bound to cause some friction. Getting used to the new normal is going to take some time, both for you and your children. Expect problems to arise as they cope with their new learning environment. However, you can make this change as seamless and comfortable as possible by giving them the space they need to further their education.