Setting Up Learning at Home

Creating a learning space in your home sets up the learning experience and most importantly sets up your child for success.

B.Ed., MSc.
Sue has worked in schools and private practice as a teacher, system leader and Psychologist for over 35 years.

Why does it matter? Why set up a learning space during Covid 19? Without a clearly defined and organized learning space, your child can be easily distracted. Learning occurs best with routines, structure and a space that helps that to happen. Creating a learning space in your home sets up the learning experience and most importantly sets up your child for success. So create a specific spot for your child to learn and establish the routines to make that happen.

Create a space for learning

  • Involve your child in setting up the space to encourage ownership
  • Your child will learn best in a quiet, dedicated space that is devoted only for learning
  • During Covid 19 you may have several children needing learning spaces. You can be setup within a bedroom, basement or other shared room with sufficient space. It can work to set up a shared learning space for a number of children in a multi-purpose room that can accommodate this.
  • Ensure you have a work space with a surface big enough to accommodate learning materials
  • Use a different space not typically used for playing games and watching TV
  • Think of this space as one that can be flexible and grow or change 
  • Also think of a space that can accommodate several options conducive for learning, such as a bean bag for reading, a table or desk for other work.

Make your space comfortable, creative and for you

  • Look for flexible seating with adjustable height
  • Ensure the chairs in the learning space give sufficient back support 
  • Personalize the space

Organize your workspace, limit distractions and declutter

  • Consider the distractions around so be aware of the distracting triggers and try to find a way to minimize * Remember that distractions are a stress and this prevents productive leaning.
  • Remove clutter because less is more and can create the feeling of chaos
  • Use play time on devices for pre-planned break times 
  • Have places for books, baskets for storing supplies 
  • It may be best to have supplies close by and accessible if the space is small (a labeled container with all supplies works best). Consider a rollaway drawer or bin)
  • *research: A well organized space will give them the focus they need to complete the work. The organized work space makes it easier for your child to decide what to do and have a plan for what is next.

Studies:  Lisa Heschong, 1999

Kripke, Youngsteadt and Elliot, 1997

Consider lighting

  • Natural lighting in learning spaces increases performance, wellbeing and creativity (research evidence cited *1 (Christopher Alexander, UC Berkely stated that low levels of light affect the students ability to regulate their natural cycle of sleep and attention)
  • Create a well-lit learning space to reduce eyestrain
  • Provide a lighting fixture to shine light on the work

Create a schedule that includes breaks for fun

  • Recognize the power of a schedule. Get up at the same time and establish a routine
  • Prioritize, set goals and deadlines
  • Remember to schedule fun breaks (bathroom breaks do not count!)

Sue Humphry
B.Ed., MSc. Sue has worked in schools and private practice as a teacher, system leader and Psychologist for over 35 years.