Every cloud has a silver lining, and despite the troubling times that the world is facing, you can still make the most of the opportunities that the situation allows. In-home learning has quickly become a feature of modern life, and parents need to find ways to juggle their COVID work from home responsibilities to ensure that their children can get the most from their distance schooling. I know I’m in the trenches right now too, so the more organized I get, the better I feel.
There’s Never Been a Better Time to Rethink the Space in Your Home.
In order to create a fun, relaxed, and productive space at home for your work and your children’s education, you will need to look at your interior design in a new way. Essentially, we’re going back to basics, but in a stylish way!
It’s very important for you to set up a productive space for yourself, but let’s start with the kids! Once they are off and running, your work time should be uninhibited (bahaha, right?).
Setting aside a designated space for your children’s learning activities is as crucial as allotting the necessary time for them to complete their scheduled lessons. It’s not a great idea to allow your children to sit on the couch in their pajamas while doing their school work! Without a routine that includes a healthy breakfast, getting dressed, and going to a specific space in the home to start their school work on time, they will struggle to concentrate and focus – let’s call it an inspiring “learning zone.”
Functional and Fun Learning Zone for Your Children’s COVID Home School Office.
Even though it’s one of the hardest tasks in the world right now, it’s essential to keep your children motivated. One great way to do that is to get them to feel involved. Let them help you set up their school space. They can decorate it with drawings they have done or posters of their favorite superheroes!
- Set aside a special space in your home that will be the “schoolroom.”
- Decorate the space with drawings and posters, some helpful charts such as times tables, conversion charts, and a few maps to give it a more authentic school vibe!
- Buy a whiteboard and some necessary school supplies.
- Keep the room clean and tidy and have your children help you tidy up at the end of their COVID home school learning day.
- Leave time throughout the day for breaks. It’s better if the children can leave the school space and have lunch in the kitchen, go for a short walk, or play 20 minutes of a video game.
Don’t Forget to Keep Things Fun!
Along with creating a great home school environment for your children, it would help if you planned fun off-screen activities for your family. You can do a whole range of things, like playing board games, card games, and even charades together!
Always pay attention to the regulations in your area and keep yourself and others safe, but when you are allowed to, try to take a family walk each evening. This will give you a chance to get some fresh air while enjoying a change of scenery.
Letting your children burn off some energy will improve their concentration and focus on their learning. To spice things up, you can also give your children tasks while walking, such as counting the number and types of insects or flowers that they spot along the way!
My daughter and I are working in separate corners. Going into COVID, I assumed we would be working together at the dining room table, but her school recommends that they have a quiet place of their own. Although I was bummed in the beginning, I think they are onto something!
Today, I extended my 15½-year-old daughter’s education and let her get behind the wheel. It is new for both of us; she’s only been behind the wheel once before in a large empty parking lot in her father’s Tesla, a much different ballpark than my gas-fueled automatic. Because I’m not her supervising teacher, I think it’s essential to extend their education in helpful, everyday ways. There’s so much for them to learn, from how to ride a bike, swim, draw, cook, and problem solve, all the way up to my daughter learning how to drive, or my son learning how to fly planes. We have the time; let’s take advantage of all these extra opportunities available after our school obligations, of course!
Another fun option for this warm California weather is acai bowls. Kids of all ages can partake in the making; it’s especially fun for them to choose the fruit toppings. Even fruit can be styled, so valuable lessons are being learned here. Acai bowls are colorful, refreshing and perfect for a midday pick me up during long days of online learning.
Seize the Day and Set up a Great COVID Home Office and School Environment.
Let’s face it, we’ve all wished that we could work from home, and now the opportunity has presented itself to you! So grab it with two hands and make the most of this rare situation by creating amazing in-home work and school spaces that you and your children can thrive in. When designing your COVID home, school, and office, start with the functional aspects and then add the items that will make it more comfortable and fun.
My husband and I are getting lots of custom family-style home office requests these days: we’re enjoying the shift in design. Some of Woodwork Solution’s creations include combined work stations and individual spaces for better success using Zoom classes and conference calls.
We’re finding the little ones like to be close to a parent during distance learning. In contrast, others have mature kids that demand their own space.
If you’re wondering what every at home “work/study” station should have, the list is endless, and everybody’s needs are different. However, as a Creative, I’ll share my top picks for a successful workday in our distance learning home.
Wall Whiteboard & Calendar:
My daughter comes first, so I make sure her class and bell schedules are posted and visible. We have a whiteboard and calendar set from Pottery Barn in our hallway, right next to her bedroom door (easily accessible). I picked the Daily Organization System in Grey Wash, which peacefully matches my home’s coastal design, and it’s visible for all family members to see. My husband is a proponent of keeping everything on your phone, but when it comes to family organization, I find comfort in having it all on display (in a clean way)!
Notepads, Notebooks & Note Journals:
I’m seriously obsessed with notepads! My daughter has a list of “extra” activities that she needs to do each day; notebooks give her peace of mind and bring her opportunities to look forward to something, whether it be driving practice, planning her next TikTok meal experiment, or watching the sunset at the beach with her friends. I make sure she has a notebook for tracking and planning. I like to design with purpose, so I make sure my daughter’s notebook is inspiring in some way with a splash of encouragement, while my “mom” notebook has a message of sass! LOL. No matter your style, Society 6 has the largest selection and variety of notebooks you can find. They have funny ones, pretty ones, modern ones, classic ones; you name your style and they have a journal for you! It’s the little things in life that keep us moving in the direction we need to go, and that’s why I’m an official notebook-aholic!
Not everyone is married to a custom cabinet maker. (Even if you are, you might be last on getting anything custom-built for your home, especially during these trying times. Kind of like how the pizza maker’s wife never gets pizza! LOL.) So I went on a hunt and found this white washed grey desk with a filing cabinet and bookshelf combo on Amazon for a fantastic price point! You cannot get savvier and more stylish than this at a price like that. With this desk combo option, you can convert a spare bedroom into a dual workstation with lots of storage options. You can buy two and have double the fun!
Every home office should have some kind of plant, so why not have one with a great message to inspire you through your day? I found this cute little tin set of 3 succulents (faux) that is low-maintenance and perfect for your desk or shelf organization. Stack a few books up and set one at the top for a fun, functional, fashion-forward design.
Pens That Mark Your Style!
As a designer, my desk is personalized in every way it can possibly be. Pens, paper clips, and notepads all come with a little splash of my style and personality. I find that if everything coordinates well with each other, spaces look more organized and intentional. But that’s not the only reason why I prefer designer pens on my desk. Personalized pens guarantee that no one else is going to claim it as their own. Genius!
My favorite go-to pen is this black and white striped beauty!
My Daily Life Saving Device
As a designer and photographer, my laptop’s memory capacity is a priority for me. I love my Apple 16-inch retina display (of course!) with up to 394GB of memory bandwidth and 8GB HBM2 memory. I am notorious for loading up my computer with millions of videos and zillions of photos, and amazingly enough, I’ve never had a problem.Having a solid computer that I can depend on for my everyday needs only adds to my peace of mind. And no, this is not a paid advertisement, but boy do I wish it was!