Quite honestly, back to school season is one of my favorite times of the year. Whether you’re a kid or a grown-up, there’s nothing like the feeling of a fresh start to motivate new habits and bring structure into our everyday routines.
Of course, this year isn’t the “back to school” scenario we’d all hoped it would be. Our family is gearing up to join the leagues of parents with kids in school as our oldest starts kindergarten this fall. While we’ve certainly grieved the ‘normal’ kindergarten experience, we’re doing our best to adapt and figure it out along the way.
I’m pretty certain schooling at home will come with a steep learning curve, but we’re committed to developing a schedule to integrate school into our daily rhythms. While our family is by no means experts on the matter, I wanted to share a few things we’re doing to help make the distance learning adjustment, design-related and otherwise!
via Sara Lavoine
via McGee + Co. (currently 15% off site wide)
CREATE A DEDICATED SCHOOL SPACE
I’m convinced that designing a productive distance learning space shares a lot of similarities to a good work from home set-up. A dedicated school desk, comfortable chair, and natural light can all work wonders and help even the youngest of kids feel excited and ready to learn. At the current moment, kid’s desks are really hard to come by—they’re basically “the new toilet paper” out of stock everywhere. But, even a small dining table, wide bench, or a bistro table will easily do the trick.
ESTABLISH A DAILY SCHEDULE
Routines are everything, especially for kids. To help our son start off the year on the right foot, we’re dedicating time for school each weekday with a set time and schedule. Similar to the WFH life, sticking to a schedule helps everyone stay more focused and productive, with set time boundaries to hold things in place.
STOCK UP ON SUPPLIES
In the midst of the back to school rush, I’ve realized that now is the time to stock that distance learning room with all the supplies we’ll need for the year ahead. Our school provided us with a list of supplies that would be helpful to have on hand, including a whiteboard, iPad stand, and ALL the art supplies for kindergarten crafting galore. We also decided to invest in a kid-proof case for that school-issued iPad, just to cover our bases!
COMMIT TO STAYING ORGANIZED
Cultivating a learning environment in our home spaces is no small task, but we’re trying to stay organized so that we can help our son stay on top of the expectations every step of the way. Please know that I can’t even begin to fathom the juggling act of managing multiple school-aged kids’ distance learning schedules. If you fall into that camp, I’m in awe and absolutely cheering you on!
While there’s no perfect formula for at-home learning spaces, if there’s one thing I learned from designing busy family homes, it’s that organization is always, always your friend. Luckily there are so many design-friendly storage solutions to ensure those supplies don’t find their way around your house. Stock up on all the baskets, bins and boxes you can get your hands on, and give every workbook and art supply a dedicated place to call home.
Adjusting to full-time distance learning will be admittedly challenging for everyone, but I’m optimistic that we can all make the best of it. I would also love to give a major shoutout to all teachers and educators. It’s been a rollercoaster of a year and we are so thankful for everything that our teachers have done to prepare and adjust. There’s no question that it’s been a huge task, and parents everywhere are immensely grateful!