Schooling at home sounds easy enough, but without the right setup, staying productive and focused can be a real challenge for young learners.
As the 2020-21 school year kicks off in Iowa, some families are choosing to enroll their children in a virtual classroom or distance-learning program. Others will be attending school on campus, as per usual. In either case, it’s worth creating a home classroom where your children can comfortably and conveniently complete their schoolwork on a daily basis.
Technically, almost any space in your house near Des Moines, Iowa, can be used by your kids for working on assignments and participating in virtual activities. However, it can be easy for students—especially young learners—to get distracted and off-task because of an unsuitable environment. The best option is to convert a spare bedroom or multi-use space such as a basement into a designated home classroom or kid-friendly study. As you design a home renovation project to help you achieve that goal, here are several home classroom ideas to consider:
If you have a whole room you can dedicate to creating a functional at-home study area, that’s ideal. Your child will have the peace and quiet they need to focus on their work without getting distracted by other family members, non-school-related electronics, and their toys. Others may choose to add a homeschool classroom to a multi-functional space, like their child’s bedroom, an attic, or the family room. Even a large closet or alcove will do. If the classroom is going to be incorporated into a larger space, consider putting up curtains or a screen, or use large furniture to separate and enclose the study area. While it may not mitigate much noise, it still visually reinforces the idea of where your kids can play and where they should be studying.
One of the main purposes of a home classroom is to have a place where your child can easily store and access all the books, supplies, and other items they need to successfully complete their school assignments and engage in school-related activities on their tablet or laptop. To that end, make sure your list of homeschool room setup ideas addresses your child’s need for storage space. Add shelves to the walls next to the desk area, but leave room for hanging up a bulletin board, whiteboard, calendar, or pictures. You can also build an extra closet or bookcase in the room to provide additional storage.
It may seem like a minor detail, but the color or pattern you choose for your wall treatment affects the ambience of a home office or classroom. Choose a neutral color or one that is soothing and relaxing, as opposed to bright bold colors that can be overwhelming for young kids. Additionally, consider that a wall may be the background that instructors or fellow students see during virtual get-togethers, so you don’t want a distracting print. Another fun idea is to paint one wall in the homeschool area with magnetic chalkboard paint, which enables your student to write notes and assignments on the wall, in addition to hanging up pictures and projects.
Speaking of backgrounds for Zoom meetings or virtual hangouts via Houseparty or Facetime, think through the background beforehand. If you are using a nook or alcove, situate the desk area on a side wall rather than the back wall, so your student can sit with their back to a wall, bookshelf, or other simple structure. This prevents others from catching movement or getting distracted by a busy background when video-conferencing with your student. Even if you’re converting an entire spare bedroom into a homeschool study, be mindful of what’s facing the desk area.
Providing the optimal amount of both natural and artificial light is vital to improving the health and wellness of your child, in addition to enhancing their productivity. Depending on the space you’re considering for your home classroom, your remodeling project may potentially include adding a window or two. You also may want to install additional light fixtures to make the space bright and welcoming for young learners.
A bedroom-turned-schoolroom or home study needs to have enough power points to plug in a laptop or computer, a phone, and potentially other electronics and appliances, such as an Internet router, printer, scanner, or second screen. During your home renovation project in Central Iowa, make sure you have the necessary power points to support that kind of operation, which may require having an electrician lay down new lines.
Obviously, your home classroom needs to have seating, but what should that be? The answer depends on how many kids will be frequenting the area and their ages. Some seating options include a built-in desk or table and bench, as you might see in a kitchen nook. Elementary-aged students tend to require flexible seating that encompasses a low table, stools, bean bag chairs, and/or mats on the floor.
There are numerous ways to design a homeschool room, study area, or even a home office at your house in Des Moines, Iowa. Depending on your budget and primary project goals, you may convert a spare bedroom into a designated classroom or section off part of another room. If your vision requires a major renovation or home expansion, contact our team at Compelling Homes. We offer design and construction services to assist with a variety of remodeling projects for families in Central Iowa.