A Different Spin on ‘Back to School’

August typically finds many of us and our children shopping for school supplies, searching for the perfect backpack, and waiting in anticipation for our class schedule. But things are a little different this year. ‘Back to School’ has a new meaning.

If you have a student who will be distance learning it is important to separate ‘home time’ from ‘school time’. One way to accomplish this is to set up a dedicated school workspace where distractions are minimized. Here are some tips for creating a successful learning environment:

Find a Spot with Natural Light: Light is important for cognitive performance. Don’t have a sunny room in which to set up? You can get similar benefits by putting blue-enriched bulbs in your light fixtures, such as full-spectrum LED which can be found at ACE Hardware.

Eliminate Distractions: Make sure the workspace is quiet. Remove the tv, video games, toys, and maybe even the family pet if he/she proves to be a diversion.

Ergonomics are Important: Even little bodies need proper desk alignment. Choose a chair that provides back support. Adjust height so that feet rest on the floor or footrest and thighs are parallel to the floor. Adjust armrests so arms gently rest with shoulders relaxed. While typing or using a mouse, wrists should be straight, upper arms close to the body, and hands at or slightly below elbow level.  

Keep Essentials Close: Put pencils, pens, highlighters, calculators, sticky notes, etc. within arm’s reach. Getting up to find such items breaks a train of thought. Use fun baskets or containers that can be easily taken out each morning and put away each afternoon/evening.

Keep Subjects and Assignments Organized: Juggling different classes and subjects can be tough. Create color coded notebooks, folders, or binders for each subject and keep everything in one place. Check out Elmwood Stationers for supplies.

Personalize Your Student’s Desk: Just as adults place family photos and mementos on their desks, so too can your child. Have your child pick some family photos, or even his or her own artwork to decorate their space. Look for a fun new frame at Madison.

With a bit of planning and organization, we can make the best of this unusual situation. Many on our team have school-aged children and we are excited to see how they implement these ideas.

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