Welcome to your children’s new classroom: Your home

Since the beginning of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns, children have been obliged to approach their education in a whole new way, while parents have had no other choice but to become an active part of their children’s educational journey. While schools may have reopened, and children are once again filling up the classrooms, most learners are still recuperating from the disruption to their education and putting in more than ever before whether they are at home or at school. With UNICEF having already stepped in, announcing its concern over South Africa’s loss of school time, parents and learners alike have a responsibility to create adequate learner space within their homes where learning can continue unobstructed by whatever happens in the school system.

Here are some tips on how you can make your home learning-friendly.

Designated learning spaces

Lockdown or not, learners require a quiet space where they can work and study. This space should give your child a space where they can work uninterrupted, whether it is a space solely for doing homework and preparing for exams or the place that has become their new classroom. As each space should be created specifically to promote a child’s learning experience, each space must be uniquely moulded to their specific learning approach.

Of primary importance with this space is natural light, as much of it as is possible. Working under artificial light may make the work visible, but it also reminds the child that they are stuck indoors. With natural light, the learning experience just feels more natural.

Make the investment

No one works productively sitting in bed. But no one works well sitting on an uncomfortable old kitchen chair all day either. While budgets may be tight in most households, the purchase of a decent ergonomically supportive chair should be part of that budget. Most adults have the privilege of enjoying office chairs during the day, while children, rather unfairly, have to rely on seating that is far from adequate in providing support for their growing bodies. Investing in a chair that will allow them to work comfortably for longer will ensure that they make the most out of their time at their workstations.

Small bookshelves or filing solutions can also go a long way to helping them create a learning space that is geared towards an efficient learning experience. We all know how difficult it is to keep a school bag organised when it is overflowing with the textbooks and workbooks of seven subjects, so why not help your child organise their learning material.

Stock up on supplies

Having enough stationery is not a negotiable point. For high school learners, this item may be easier to comply with as their stationery is often of a less exhaustible kind. With learners in the lower grades, though, who are still learning to have fun with education while using copious amounts of Pritt and finger paint to do that, exhaustible materials may run out sooner than you think. So make sure you have enough of whatever your child needs to immerse themselves in their learning without having to stop for a refill along the way.

Minimise distractions

Distractions are different for different people, so making sure there are minimal distractions during learning time takes a unique approach for each child. The most obvious distractions may be items such as cell phones and television, but for bookworms, that copy of Life of Pi may be as tempting during math homework as Twitter is for another learner. A major distraction that many parents forget to take into account, though, is the household itself. Many daily chores, such as helping to make lunch and washing the dishes, can easily become a hindrance when parents enjoy the extra pair of helping hands around the house a little too much.

Your home can be a place where your child learns that learning can be fun, and that it should be a constant part of our lives, but that requires you to start seeing your home in a different light. If your home simply isn’t conducive to your child’s learning experience, it may be time to think about some renovations or even reconsider where you are staying and begin the search for a learning-friendly environment.

Whatever your property needs, though, we are here to help you make the most of your next step.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

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