School from Home: Creating Space for All Kinds of Learning
By Hannah McIntosh
As summer bids us a slow farewell, the coming school year is shaping up to look quite different than others before. While there are so many scenarios for how your children’s school year will unfold – be it homeschooling, back to school, or something in between –, one thing is certain: more learning and play will happen at home. As this may be an overwhelming shift for many parents, creating an intentional space in your home for your children can alleviate the stressors of this new reality. When we build our homes around the lives we live, we feel supported and safe. When rethinking the design of this room or area, consider how the space is both conducive to productive, enthusiastic learning and helps to spark creativity. We’ve put together a list of things to help you design kid’s spaces that are imaginative, calming, and centered as you embark on your version of school from home.
For the Imaginative Mind
Set up a space that lets young minds soar and maturing minds think outside the box. Lay a soft ground to create different places to rest (think: nap time for younger ones) and read. A creative perch to sit and think makes the space feel dynamic for the often busy mind of a child. Setting the tone of the room with imaginative lighting and eclectic details and directly sensory elements, like a diffuser, differentiates the space from other rooms in your home.
For Focused, Creative Moments
When designing an at-home learning space, it’s important to find furniture and decor that makes your children comfortable and feel equipped to focus. With that said, it’s nice to keep the energy light and playful. Colorful yet functional bookshelves create an avenue for organization without weighing down the room, and comfortable chairs support concentrated reading and productive studying. Practical pieces can create joy beyond their functional purpose. Add a pop of color to a neutral study desk with an energy-efficient reading lamp.
For Learning that Feels like Play
Beyond the school curriculum, there are many ways to engage your children in ways that are both beneficial to their development and feel fun. Keeping their space stocked with puzzles, books, and even beautiful objects that offer learning opportunities helps create a well-rounded space. Another way to interest children can be with practical learning activities that get them outside and in-touch with the earth like small gardening projects.
As a parent, yearly back-to-school preparation is expected. While this year might seem like a particular challenge, reframing it as an exciting and new opportunity for your children helps transform this process from a stressful obligation into a creative, fluid design project.