One of the important aspects of student learning when attending school online is creating an effective learning environment. Parents sometimes ask - “Why can’t my student just hop on the family couch or work from their bed?”. Successful Learning Coaches agree that having a dedicated learning space helps students understand that education is a priority and provides a place for them to work in a distraction-free environment. It also helps Learning Coaches to create and maintain routines and build student skills that support independent learning.
Effective learning spaces have several common features:
Depending on the age of their child, some families choose a family living area for their student’s learning space. This could be a dedicated desk for each student in the household or space at a kitchen table. Learning spaces in common family areas allow Learning Coaches to participate in student learning and help keep students focused and on track.
A student’s workspace should have room for their computer as well as space for completing handwritten work. As students take notes, write down important information from their lessons and work out math problems, they need an appropriate setup to facilitate these activities. Their workspace should also have appropriate lighting and comfortable, sturdy seating.
Creating a distraction-free space is essential. The learning space should be quiet, minimizing noise from siblings/pets and should remove access to TV or video games.
Learning Space Design
Learning Coaches and students can work together to personalize their workspace with pictures, posters, or motivational quotes. Create a space to post your family schedule/calendar so students can see the hours they should be working, when to attend Live Learning sessions, and days/times of important activities or assignment due dates. The learning space should include organized spaces for materials and supplies such as paper or notebooks, pencils/pens and art supplies.
As important as a dedicated, functional, and organized work environment is, don’t be afraid to allow students to break up their day working in other areas of your home. A bean bag chair for reading time or working outside on a nice day can add some variety to a student’s schedule.