5 Steps to Set Up a Successful Home Classroom
Research shows that the home learning environment plays a big role in supporting child development and academic success.
Sarah Cude, a professional development specialist at Istation and former classroom teacher, shares simple tips for setting up a successful home classroom.
- Space – Dedicate a space in your house separate from the spaces that kids occupy the rest of the day. In Cude’s living room, she and her two middle schoolers, Ellie and Jackson, set up a couple of tables to use for their work areas.
“They have come in and personalized those spaces and added some things — so definitely have a separate space. That can be as simple as your dining room table, but just make sure it’s a dedicated space,” Cude said.
- Supplies – Have the supplies on hand that your kids will need: chargers, devices, books, binders, pens, and pencils.
Sarah’s son mentions his favorite item to have on hand: his science fair board. “This is what Ellie and I use to get some space during the day and have two separate spaces,” Jackson said.
- Schedule – Keeping a schedule is really important. Cude and her kids write out their daily schedules on a large whiteboard so that they are all on the same page about what they’re doing. They use a whiteboard, but a piece of paper would work well too. A quick hack to consider is using dry erase markers on your windows to display your kids’ schedules!
- Separation – Take scheduled breaks throughout the day. “We’re all going to need some breaks; we don’t want to just sit here all day working,” Cude said.
Her kids get up and move around every 45 minutes when they have completed a couple of subjects. For middle school-aged kids, she recommends taking a few 15-minute breaks throughout the day. Go outside, get some fresh air, or run a little.
- Sum it up – Creating closure at the end of the day is another important tip to remember. Cude and her kids call this “sum it up.” She asks them reflective questions like What went well today? What worked? How did it go? How did you feel about it?
Then she dives into What could you do differently? Is there anything that we need to change?Lastly she asks How can I help you be more successful during the day?
Watch Cude’s full video “How to Create a Home Learning Environment to Help Children Thrive” here.
For more parent tips, check out Istation’s YouTube playlist “Red Cape Classroom: Educator Tips for Home-Based Instruction.” Visit the playlist to find all of the videos included in the Red Cape Classroom series.