How to Create the Perfect Learning Space for Your Kids
The right environment is critical to learning — whether it be full-time homeschooling or just a quick study session.
But setting up that perfect learning space? That’s harder than it looks, especially if you’re short on square footage (or design chops).
Do you want to maximize your child’s at-home learning? This guide can help.
First, your learning space needs to be distraction-free. That means no toys, no TV, and no mess.
Additionally, your student needs a spot of their own. It can be a full desk, a spot at the table, or even just a designated chair to read in. Whatever it is, make sure they know it’s theirs and theirs alone. (If you have multiple kids, create some sort of nameplate or label to designate each person’s space. This will give them each ownership of their area, encourage better organization, and hopefully, reduce fighting/sharing problems.)
Beyond that, you have some flexibility. If you have an extra room or study to use for your homeschooling, that’s great. If you don’t, that’s fine, too. You can turn a corner of a room into a quiet space (room dividers can help here) or even convert an unused closet into a makeshift office when necessary.
Organization is key in any home learning environment. Depending on your kiddos’ age bracket, you’re going to need any number of supplies — books, paper, crayons, blocks, etc. — so have a system for keeping it all accessible and in order. A small, rolling drawer unit can be a good option, or you can also use a bookshelf and well-labeled Tupperware containers if that works for your layout. If your set-up is in a converted closet, try hanging organizers and shoe racks instead.
You’ll also need a spot for you, your kids’ tutor, or their study buddies, so make sure you have additional seating options, too. Stick a bean bag in the corner or a bench that doubles as storage to add some extra seats.
Finally, add some sort of work surface — an easel or some sort of chalkboard-whiteboard combination. If you’re on a tight budget, consider painting one wall (or even just a portion of one) with chalkboard paint instead.
Decorating Tips and Tricks
Once you’ve got the basics of your space set-up, you can start decorating. You might want to involve the kids in this step, as it can help give them more ownership of the room.
Here are some tips to help:
- Use color to your advantage. If you’re going to full-on homeschool, consider color coding your storage system, using one color for each subject or student. This will make it easier to both instruct and stay organized.
- Make it fun. Your learning space doesn’t have to be drab and sterile. In fact, it shouldn’t be. Create an area that your kids actually want to be in by incorporating fun colors, patterns, and artwork. You can even have them help you paint.
- Think versatile. Try to outfit your schooling space with flexible and multipurpose items. Your kids’ learning needs are going to change fast, and you don’t want to be married to an item you can no longer use. When in doubt, use chalkboard tags or erasable labels to make sure you can reuse things.
- Leverage the walls and floor. Don’t forget the flat surfaces that offer learning room, too. Use the walls for maps, letter boards, and other interactive elements, and leverage the floor space, too. Rugs with the alphabet on them, map mats, and even puzzles are a good idea here.
- Keep comfort top of mind. Your kids won’t be able to focus if they’re hot, cold, or just plain uncomfortable, so work to make the space cozy where you can. Add a blanket or two and some soft throw pillows, make sure there’s a fan when it’s hot, and steer clear of too-hard seating. Adding some pads or pillows to the chairs is a good option as well.
- Let there be light. Don’t forget to add some lighting to your learning area — especially if there’s a chance your kids will be working before dawn or after the sun goes down. Basic, clip-on desk lamps can work well, and floor lamps are a good choice, too.
If you’re going to be using your learning space for the long haul, you might want to adopt the “one in, one out” philosophy moving forward. This means that anytime you bring in a new item, you take an existing one out. It’s a great way to keep your space from getting too cluttered.
Setting Up Your Learning Space?
Are you working on an at-home learning space for your kids? Need help covering the costs of supplies? A cash-out refinance may be able to help. Get in touch to discuss your options today.