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If your children are taking part in remote learning this fall, it’s important to set up a home school area for them that is comfortable and learning-friendly. You can help avoid aches and pains – kids get them too when sitting for too long – by creating a work environment that suits their size and their needs, and helps them to be more productive. Sort of like a mini home office.
With health, safety and home organization in mind here is a look at just some tips I share with my clients.
Remote Learning Desk Considerations
While your child may like the idea of sitting on the bed to do their remote school work, it can lead to poor posture, which in turn leads to back and neck problems, even in very young kids.
Instead, find a desk space that is at or slightly below resting elbow height. Your child’s feet should be firmly planted on the floor.
Their feet being flat on the floor and their chair being at an appropriate height is extremely important to help maintain neutral posture ie: to prevent slouching which we all do. According to experts bad posture and slouching can result in long-term neck and/or back issues, so there should be an emphasis on the child sitting ‘upright’ with their shoulders rolled back and chest out as much as possible while their feet remain flat on the ground/footrest.
Home School Chair Considerations
The chair kids use to sit (for hours) while remote learning is important too. Back at school the chairs commonly used are not very ergonomics friendly at all, but that’s not a good thing. If your kids are going to be learning from home you may as well take this chance to help protect their health as well.
Any chair is fine for brief sitting stints, but for long study sessions, get a height-adjustable chair with a backrest, not dissimilar to the one you might have in your own home office, just a smaller version for younger kids. If you can’t find one that seems to suit their size exactly – which is hard – you can add cushions to make the chair fit them better, so they feel more comfortable.
Homeschooling Computer Considerations
The top of your child’s computer monitor or laptop should be slightly below the eye-level to avoid poor posture. By putting it on books, a box or something else that is flat and secure, you can lift the screen up to the right height fairly easily.
To avoid neck strain, your child should be about an arm’s length away from the screen. The keyboard should be to their elbows at an angle of 90 degrees. The mouse should be level with the and easy to reach.
Remote Learning Supply Considerations
Kids still need all kinds of school supplies when learning from home, and gathering them all up before lessons start should take as little time as possible. Some parents are finding that making use of a backpack in just the same way as the child would if they were going to school works well. It helps ensure they have what they need for the day’s lessons and can also help add some much-needed definition between ‘school’ and ‘home’.
Others are finding that storing all the supplies their kids need in tubs or even small rolling carts is more efficient, and this is often an easier way to keep your kids’ school supplies organized and easy to clean up at the end of the ‘school day’.
Healthy Lighting Considerations
Set up your child’s work area near a window if possible so that they can have natural light. Add a lamp for extra task lighting.
When they are in school most kids spend their day looking at blackboards and their teachers, not a computer screen. Remote learning means staring at a screen for hours at a time, something that can quickly result in eye strain, especially in younger kids who have never really made much use of a computer before and have yet to join the smartphone/tablet set.
To help prevent this, try the following:
- Adjust levels of contrast on their monitor.
- Try placing a humidifier next to the desk if your child’s eyes feel dry.
- Get your child used to making use of the “20-20-20” rule: have them move your eyes every 20 minutes to look at a point at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by remote schooling, especially if you are trying to work yourself. If you need help with homeschooling home organization – or general life organization – reach out to us. Our remote learning organization sessions can be executed in person in the Greater Houston area or remotely anywhere.
Call us at 832-271-7608 or contact us here to book a session today.
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