With a level of uncertainty about back to school, many parents are preparing for a split home/school situation. We have teamed up with easonschoolbooks.com to bring you some tips. Get ready for the new school year with these essential tips on how to create an effective learning and school space at home – they’ll definitely come in handy!
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Has your child’s school made a decision around a full, part or delayed return to school? If so, you may be facing into an ‘at-home schooling’ situation.
While we all faced this unexpected juggling act back in March 2020, creating a longer term plan is now on the cards.
Some of the concerns facing parents with the potential of a split school/home situation include:
- How can I avoid things being mislaid between home and school?
- How can I keep things as clean as possible when they travel between home and school?
- What ‘extras’ do I need to purchase or prepare for at home?
- How will I keep my child motivated to work at home?
Creating a space where your child can concentrate, learn and get their work done is going to keep everyone on track.
How to Create a School Space at Home
Set Aside a Dedicated Space
Whether you have a desk ready to use or your child will be working at the kitchen table, the most important thing is to clear a space and prepare it for your child to work at.
Ideally, the space would be well lit, with a surface to work on and a comfortable seat. Books and supplies your child will need should be easily accessible and, depending on your child’s age, you may be helping and sitting with them also.
Just as they would have a desk at school, this is their space to learn.
Organising Your Child’s School Books
If you haven’t already ordered your child’s school books, now is the time to do so.
Some books may travel to school and home again with your child, so opting to have the books covered is a really good idea. Not only will this keep the books in excellent condition, it will make it quicker and easier to regularly wipe down the books and keep them clean.
For the books that are staying at home, find a regular spot for storage. If you don’t have room on a bookshelf or in a drawer, they can stay in your child’s school bag to avoid being mislaid.
Eason For All Your School Essentials
Eason is the trusted destination for all your school book needs. They have a full choice of school books and a wide range of school stationery perfect for your school needs.
You can have your order delivered to any participating Eason store for free. Or delivered to your home, on time with fast, reliable service from An Post for only €4!
Get all your school books already covered for only 99c per book!
Stock Up On Essentials
Pick up some extra stationery essentials so that you have all the necessary pens, pencils, copy books, colouring supplies, etc at home too.
In fact, some parents have told us they intend to have a pencil case for school and one for home, duplicating to limit the amount of items being brought home from the classroom. This also has the added benefit of reducing the ‘I forgot it’ response!
Start on Time
When it comes to the actual schooling at home, it is important to treat it like you would any other school day. Rather than sleeping in and taking a relaxed approach to the schedule, your child will benefit from a consistent schedule each day.
Set the alarm and get up as normal, with the aim of sitting down to their school space at home at the same time as they would usually start class. These small consistencies will help to provide structure, even when things feel uncertain.
Keep Distractions to a Minimum
At school, there are few distractions other than the rest of the children. There is no TV on in the background, music blaring, favourite toys to be played with, or dog to cuddle.
Your child’s school space at home should be the same. Where possible, keep the distractions to a minimum.
Keep the Routine
At school, the day is broken up with snack time, breaks to play, lunch and each class is usually a 30-45 minute segment of the day. While you don’t need to mimic the school schedule exactly, it is a good idea to break the day up in a similar way.
When we first started doing schoolwork at home during school closures, I let my daughter work on her schoolwork for as long as it took her to complete it. What I discovered was that she lost interest (understandably), got distracted, was up and down from the table like a yo-yo, didn’t really concentrate, and then everything took significantly longer than it needed to.
Out of both sympathy for her and frustration with the situation, I decided to try setting a time limit as there would be in school. Each ‘class’ was a certain amount of time (20-30 minutes for us), and if we didn’t get everything done, we would come back to it later.
Rather than dragging out all her work so that it took hours, things were instantly more focused and productive. She was finished considerably earlier and delighted to go and play or read, while it meant I could get on with my own work and not feel like I had done battle all day!
Separate Home and School
At the end of school time, pack away books and pencil cases and make a real separation between ‘school’ and ‘home’.
Have your say! How are you preparing for your child’s new school year? Have you considered setting up a school space at home? Leave your comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!