As COVID-19 cases continue to increase rapidly, many schools across the country have begun reverting back to virtual learning environments. For many parents, that means finding a space in the home for remote learning. Or, even more challenging and frustrating, you have to share a home office with kids.
No matter your unique situation, it’s important that both working and learning areas remain separate from the rest of your home to help create and maintain healthy boundaries. That’s why we’re sharing helpful, creative ways to make spaces that double as both work and learning areas.
How to Share a Home Office with Kids
Use Every Inch of Space
If your home space is already limited, this one may seem like a challenge. Don’t panic just yet, though! There are still tons of ways to utilize every inch of space in your home, like:
- Adding shelving to store extra supplies
- Using cubbies to organize toys and activities
- Converting a spare closet into a learning area
- Using chalkboard paint or whiteboards for enhanced visual learning
- Building a loft to create a productivity space
In some homes, it may be impossible to create entire learning or working spaces. Our solution? Opt for “zones” instead! By creating specific zones for certain activities, the whole family can stay productive while also exercising boundaries. Some of our favorite zones include:
- A “Zoom” zone: A space in your home with little-to-no activity or noise, good lighting, and a pair of soundproof headphones for virtual meetings and classes
- A cozy corner: A comfy chair or lounge area that’s designated for reading, studying, or alone time
- A productive place: This is where school supplies are stored and actual work gets done
- A relaxation station: A space for adults and kids to take breaks or do a relaxing activity
Pro tip: Use items like room dividers or curtains to create a sense of privacy and separation between different spaces and zones.
There’s a reason it’s difficult for kids to learn from home: It’s distracting! When kids and parents are trying to work under the same roof — it’s bound to cause even more distractions. To help everyone stay focused, consider setting up a home audio system that plays white noise or classical music. Another idea? Create routines and schedules for the entire family that you stick to every single day. Include things like:
- A morning routine (waking up, eating breakfast, getting ready for school and work)
- Work times
- Break times
- Meals and snacks
- End-of-day routines (cleaning up spaces or zones, putting items away, shutting off computers, etc.)
- A bedtime routine (downtime, bathing, pajamas, etc.)
Having the whole family on the same schedule will help everyone understand when it’s time to work and when it’s time to rest — eliminating distractions along the way.
Invest in Good Furniture
Because it’s still unclear when it will be safe to return to the office or school, you might have to share a home office with kids for a long time. Try to make your at-home spaces as comfortable and functional as possible. Consider upgrading to office chairs for the entire family instead of opting for dining chairs. If you have room, consider upgrading to a desk that can store extra files and supplies. That way, they’re not taking up other valuable space in your home.
Make Necessary Technology Upgrades
One of the most crucial aspects of remote working and learning is, of course, technology. With more people at home, there’s likely to be more strain on your internet, computers, tablets, phones, and more. Make any necessary technology upgrades to create better environments for everyone, like:
- Expanded internet bandwidth
- Increased internet speed
- Investing in power chords
- Rewiring rooms to account for additional devices
- Better lighting for video chats
- Sound configuration to allow more than one person to be on a call at once
Let Your Kids Have a Say
Learning from home is no easy feat for kids and is sure to be a challenge for everyone involved. Help make their learning spaces or zones even better by letting them have a say in the design. Just like their own desk at school, it gives them a sense of pride and ownership — helping cultivate a safe and creative learning environment.
Consider an Addition
Simply put, COVID-19 has drastically changed every aspect of our lives, including how we work and learn. Many of those changes (like working from home) may be here to stay. A great long-term solution? An addition to your home or a professional remodel. That’s where the experts at Factor Design Build come in to help.
From initial inspiration to a finalized space, our team can help every step of the way. Whether you’re looking to rework a current space in your home or add an entirely new one, our in-house team of designers, architects, and construction managers can make it happen. Ready to see for yourself? Get in touch with us to get started.