With schools in Canada shutting down during the COVID-19 pandemic, most parents have been given the role of teacher to their children. If you've never homeschooled before, you may not know how to set up your space or how to stay organized to create the best learning experience. Try a few must-have items to keep students engaged throughout the school day and make homeschooling your kids easier.
Create a Teaching Area Using Bookshelves
If you lack a designated room for homeschooling, create an area using bookcases. Rearrange furniture around a small table or desk to provide privacy and create an engaging learning area. Bookcases also keep learning materials and supplies within reach to reduce downtime between assignments. Use a label maker or tape and a marker to label where everything goes to make it easier to locate items when they are needed for each assignment. If you have multiple children, make sure you have a designated spot for each child's work to avoid confusion.
Maximize storage space in any room by taking advantage of vertical spaces. Use the same tall bookcases to hold storage bins for items like pens and markers, craft supplies and paint. The shelves also hold teaching manuals, workbooks and paper neatly. Choose magazine racks to organize completed work — those with multiple slots are ideal for larger families. Use a filing cabinet and assign a specific drawer to each child. The important thing is to have a designated place for everything. This helps reduce clutter and eliminate the time lost searching for papers and other necessities.
Homes are a hub for activity. The constant noise and commotion can distract from online teacher and classroom meetings or lessons. Provide each child with a reliable set of headphones to make it easier to stay focused. When there are two or more children in the same room, allow those working independently to use headphones with soft music playing in the background while others chat online.
Privacy barriers can break up large rooms and keep children separate during lessons, testing and long homework sessions. Choose barriers on wheels so they can easily be moved as needed. Another option to reduce distractions among several children is to create learning timetables. Split up learning sessions by age or grade so only one child utilizes the space at a time.
Organize Desk Space
The right work area is another essential for your homeschool space. For younger children, opt for a small table. Adjustable tables also work well because they grow with your child. Choose a comfortable adjustable chair to prevent fatigue, or use risers on dining chairs to make it easier for young children to reach the work area without straining.