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With schools remaining shut due to the Coronavirus pandemic and classes being conducted online, it is important to set up a comfortable classroom for the child at home, to facilitate learning. It can be challenging, especially in a small home where the parents are also working from home. However, by following some basic rules, you could create an environment conducive to learning.
Select an area for the classroom at home
A separate study place for the virtual classroom is essential for the child. More importantly, it should be away from all possible disturbances. A spare room, bedroom or a peaceful corner in the house can be converted to a study room, with some minor changes.
If that is not a possibility, select a silent corner in the house. Set up a dedicated space by the window or close to a balcony, as it provides an airy atmosphere.
Also, place the study table closer to charging points, so that the computer, tablet or other gadgets can be charged.
“Natural light is considered to be the best for studying. Children spend a lot of time studying, colouring, reading, etc. So it is crucial that there is a window near the table, to keep the space bright. An attractive table lamp can add light and enhance the overall décor quotient of the study area,” suggests Jesal Lodha, founder and principal designer, The Little Details.
“For compact spaces, use a folding or a pull-out table. These can be tucked away at the end of the day. Once tucked away, the space can be used as an indoor play zone, after study time. For making any space multi-functional, ensure that everything is well organised and kept at the right place after use. Organising makes everything look neat and lets one use the space more efficiently,” says Swati Santani, VP – design R&D, Design Café.
How to choose the right study table
If you do not have a study table at home, you can convert the dining table to a study desk.
“A dining table’s height is the same as a study table, as far as teenagers are concerned. However, check that the seating is comfortable and that the children can sit in an erect posture. If you want a budget-friendly option, you can refurbish an existing study table. You can use colourful glasses from the kitchen, as pencil/pen stands. A motivational quote near the table can subconsciously keep one in a positive mind-set,” adds Lodha.
There are many varieties of tables – adjustable study desks, built-in wall study units, writing tables for kids, corner desks, roll-top desks, fold-away space saver desks, etc. Basic study tables are typically simple, wooden rectangular tables with drawers and storage cabinets. One of the major advantages of a standard wooden study table, is that they are timeless and your child will not outgrow such pieces.
“For small children, themed desks with colourful cartoon characters, or nature-inspired or quirky motifs and colours, add a fun element to the table. If it is a small home, then, wall-mounted tables are ideal. Also known as floating desks, they are fixed on the wall and fit conveniently in any corner of the house. Moreover, these occupy zero floor space,” adds Lodha.
Seating for children’ study area
Opt for a chair that gives lumbar support for the lower back and height adjustment, so that the child’s eyes are at the same level as the screen. If need be, opt for a laptop stand or raise the computer to the right height with a stack of books. When setting up the child’s desk space, also consider the position of the camera, as it will pick up movements behind the person at the desk. So, ensure that the room is well organised. Investing in a strong and durable chair is important. As the child will sit for long hours, it is vital that proper posture is maintained. There is a huge range of chairs, from classic wooden chairs, reading chairs and adjustable chairs, to revolving chairs, etc.
One can also opt for leap chairs and saddle stools. “The leap chair has a lumbar support feature that supports the lower back and is quite adjustable. The saddle stool improves the posture over time and also keeps the blood flow in check,” states Santani.
Colours for the kids’ study area
“For a room that is shared between two children, opt for colour palettes that you can retain, as the children grow up. Choose natural wooden tones with whites, greys or other softer colour palettes, for built-in furniture. You can personalise the space with a pop of colours, wallpapers, soft furnishing and décor of their choice,” says Santani.
Instead of a pale blue or turquoise, opt for darker shades like cobalt or navy. These blues lend a crisp, classic look and provide a striking contrast to bold tones (such as orange or magenta) and neutrals alike.
“Green, especially shades of moss or sage, can boost children’s focus. For an energising setting, personalise the space with wall artwork or paint the walls with chalk paint. It can spruce up the space and allow your child to write on the walls,” concludes Lodha.
See also: Tips to design your kids’ room
Tips for setting up children’s study area
- In a small home create a study space by placing movable folding partitions, for the child to attend online lessons without disturbance.
- Invest in a desktop, laptop or tablet, depending upon the child’s age.
- As school, tuitions and even activity classes are now online, opt for a Wi-Fi connection with good speed.
- Opt for simple storage units like bookshelves. These units are handy and can cater to children of all ages.
- Create a well-organised area by decluttering the space and allocating special drawers or hooks for headphones and stationery and a small water bottle.
- Keep small potted indoor plants near the study space, to add colour and reduce stress.
- Ensure that there is a small board for the child to write reminders, or to stick notes on it.
How do you set up a classroom at home?
You can create an organised home classroom, by choosing a quiet corner of the house, putting up a desk in the area for your children and ensuring that there is enough storage space for their books.
What supplies do you need for homeschooling?
Ensure that the children have their reading and writing materials, that there is enough paper, and stationery like pencils, erasers, a ruler, pencil box, paint and brushes, etc.