Adapting to learning at home for the past two years (thanks to Covid) has been excruciatingly difficult for children and parents alike. Little is expected to change the coming school year as well. From my conversations with parents over the months, I understand that the biggest pain point for them is to implement a learning schedule for their school-going tots. It was far easier to have them learn at school for 6 hours - this had structure. Now with children being home all the time, structured learning has turned into nonchalant learning. With a domestic environment and no peers around, it’s hard to get them to take learning seriously.
Here’s a list of 7 ways to get your little ones back to a structured learning routine:
1. Choose a location: Choose a location that best suits your child’s needs. Some children concentrate better in silent surroundings while some enjoy white noise. Some may prefer a proper study room while others are more comfortable studying in their bedrooms. If there are several location options available, you may have your children try those to see which works best for them.
2. Eliminate distractions: Make sure your child is away from phones/ tablets/ television or any other digital distractions.
3. Make sure they’re comfortable: Setting up a comfortable study environment is important but don’t make it too comfortable. Make sure your child has a cushy chair to sit on for long durations and a desk with sufficient space to fit books, supplies and any devices he/she might be needing. I recommend not using a bed as a learning space because that would make him/her more lethargic, lazy and unfocused.
4. Ensure the space has good lighting: This may be natural light (best case scenario) or could be well lit by artificial lighting. Low lighting strains their eyes and is massively demotivating.
5. Personalize the learning environment: Let your children personalize their learning space by adding artwork, decorations, posters, quotes, etc. Anything that motivates them will help them focus better.
6. Have all supplies at one place: Make all supplies - pencils, pens, paints, etc. available at the learning desk. Teach them to keep their belongings organized neatly so that it’s easily accessible when needed.
7. Make it a habit to use learning space only for learning: The association of a particular area with learning creates a strong signal for children when it’s time to learn. If this is not possible due to multi-purpose use of the area, try creating some stimuli for your children to know when it’s time to learn.