Masked moms Nicole Ball, Jennifer DeMattia, and Amie Pisano
How to Create the Best Home Environment for Remote Schooling
By Nicole Ball and Amie Pisano
We did it. We emerged from spring and summer, and now fresh into the school year, we’re navigating the uncharted waters of hybrid education for our kids. Every day we’re grateful to have at least <some> in-person school time for our children. And every day, we’re doing our best to stay flexible, open-minded, and meet new challenges.
One of the biggest challenges for many parents is how to optimize the remote portion of our kids’ school days. We recently sat down with organization and design expert (and mom of three kids), Jennifer DeMattia of Living Neat. Here are her top ten tips for making the most of the remote schooling experience this year.
1. Create a dedicated workspace
Students need a designated, clutter-free space to work. This will help with concentration and performance. Find a work area with a flat surface, comfortable seating, and bright lighting. This can either be a desk or a table in the kitchen or dining room. No matter what area of your home you’re using as a “classroom”, it should be comfortable and free of distractions.
2. Create a place for everything
Make sure the workspace is organized and stocked with the supplies needed for students to complete their daily tasks. If you don’t already have one, a three-tiered utility cart is a good investment. It’s a perfect setup for small spaces and can be moved throughout your home. Plus, the multiple levels mean maximum storage!
3. And put everything in its place:
Using a hand caddy or individualized bins is a great way to store writing supplies including pens, pencils, highlighters, markers, even glue sticks or scissors – everything your child needs to write and create. Most importantly, it makes clean up a breeze.
4. Have a filing system in place:
Book bins are a great way to separate out each child’s schoolwork, especially if you’re managing multiple kids. You can label or color code each bin and use them to store and/or separate out papers that are pending or completed.
5. Use practical teaching tools
To easily teach and explain questions your child may have, set up a small, portable dry-erase board or chalkboard. This is a simple way for you to display step-by-step approaches to any questions they may have. It also reduces paper and prepares your child for future office collaboration success!
6. Label everything
Labels are the key to long-term success when organizing. Having clearly marked and identifiable storage will help your child work independently and confidently, knowing exactly what they have and where it belongs.
7. Create structure for the day
Routines set your child up for success by forming good habits and helping them feel calm and focused. It’s helpful to use a visual or written schedule or chart posted in your home where everyone can see it. A white board can be a life saver. Use it to help chart Zoom calls and tasks. You can post a checklist for the day or even a schedule for the entire week.
8. Provide tools for time management
Have a clock or timer nearby so they know where they are in their studies and what their expectations are for learning. It helps keep them on track.
9. Assign each class subject a color
Use different color notebooks/folders that correspond with each subject. Red folder/red notebook for science, green folder/ green notebook for math, etc. It’s a visual way to grab the right things for the right class and keep every subject organized.
10. Display achievements
By showcasing your children’s work, they feel a sense of pride in their accomplishments, which encourages them to continue to create and work hard. I love using big boards in the kitchen or kids’ bedrooms, because they are high–traffic rooms where the kids see their masterpieces.
At the end of the day, have the kids get everything packed up and put in its place so they can set themselves up for the next day. No matter if your child will be homeschooled, virtual, hybrid or heading back to the classroom, give them the tools they need to succeed. Appreciate and acknowledge the smallest actions to help keep your kids motivated and on track. We are all in this together. Live Neat!
<Nicole Ball and Amie Pisano are real estate agents with Houlihan Lawrence in Rye.
Jennifer DeMattia is a home organizer and the owner of Living Neat. For more insightful tips for daily living, check out http://thelivingneat.com/ or on Facebook or Instagram @Living_Neat.>