In homes across the country, going back to school this fall will rely on virtual learning, at least for a while. It’s not an ideal scenario for most families, but embracing a proactive approach can ease some concerns. 

Before this unusual school year gets underway, spend some time creating spaces in your home that eliminate distractions and avoid frustrations. Your kids and their teachers will appreciate the immediate impact, and you may find the upgrades helpful even after a return to the classroom. 

Get Organized

One of the simplest ways to provide some normalcy to this unprecedented situation is to create dedicated spaces for children to focus on their assignments. If space or budget restricts the possibilities of a traditional desk, any clutter-free, flat surface should suffice. Just be sure it’s isolated from distractions. Turn off the TV, put the cell phones away and try to avoid doing household chores, like cooking or vacuuming, nearby while they’re working. 

If you have multiple children, it may be helpful to have designated spaces in the same area to reinforce the idea that it’s a learning environment and better mimic a school classroom. Regardless, you’ll want to have a plan to keep the area organized. Shelves, containers and bins for the books, paperwork and school supplies will go a long way toward making sure your child can find what they need and when they need it. 

Mix it Up

While utilizing a proper chair will help your child maintain focus and increase comfort for many of their tasks, having alternative spaces can also be useful. Consider creating a cozy reading nook in a well-lit corner. Have a plan for when they need a large workspace that might get messy when they have art or other projects. Remember to take advantage of the outdoors when the weather cooperates or to accomplish some physical education. 

Getting outside will give them a much-needed break from the likely increase in screen time, and the variety will break up the monotony that a virtual learning routine can develop. 

Have the Right Technology

Of course, the success of remote instruction is often determined by the student’s access to technology. Don’t force your student to participate via a small smartphone screen. Instead, be sure they have access to a full-size computer or laptop, or at a minimum, an adequate tablet device. Also, if the internet connection or wi-fi coverage in your home is not up to the task, upgrading your service speed or adding signal extenders may be necessary. 

Fortunately, many school districts and internet providers are now offering resources and special pricing to households who may not be able to afford the proper setup. Be sure to reach out to your child’s school if you think you may need additional support to start the school year off right. 

If you’re interested in upgrading your entire home this fall, let the professionals at Open Mortgage explain your options. Visit OpenMortgage.com to learn how a new mortgage, renovation loan or refinance could benefit you.

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