August is the time to think about back to school plans. As the local school districts release their 2020-21 School Year education plans, many of them begin with distance or hybrid learning. If your children will be distance learning all or some of the time, you can create a remote learning space in your home where they can learn and study. Many of us threw a spot together last year that may not work as well for long-term distance learning. Revisit the spot your kids worked last year to figure out if it’s the right location for you and your children. If you moved over the Summer, choose a great space in your new house where your kids can work. Plan now to set yourself and your kids up for success.

Choose a Location

Plan out your remote learning space ahead for success. It might have been fine for your kids to work from the kitchen table last Spring, but that may not work for your family anymore. If you need a new workspace, look for an unused or underused corner in your home. You do not need a separate room for each child, but you will want to give each child their own work station if possible. Siblings who are in different grades will have different needs throughout the school day and week. Choose a low-traffic zone that’s quiet and distraction-free. Some kids have a hard time focusing if there is a lot of background noise or foot traffic. You may also want to choose a workspace for your kids that is somewhat separate from your own. Some parents have a hard time working if they are listening in on their kiddos’ Zoom conferences or Google Meets throughout the day. Other parents prefer their kids nearby.

Organize in Advance

Once you have a great location in mind, you can create a space that works hard for your kids while they work hard at remote learning. Organize everything so that pencils, notebooks, and other school supplies are within reach. If you don’t already have drawers in your child’s distance learning space, a rolling cart works well. On a wheeled cart, everything is within a little arm’s reach and it can tuck under their desk at the end of the day or week. We like this one from Target.

Organize your children’s distance learning space so they can stay on top of their assignments and schedule as school begins. Use a listed calendar or whiteboard to keep them on track for their assignments for the week. Teach your kids to check off each assignment as they finish it. This way, both you and your children can look at the list and easily see what is finished and what still needs to be done.

Most important, be flexible. You may have to try a couple of different arrangements before you pick the right one for your household. If you find a spot that works for your family right away, that’s fantastic! Stay healthy and give yourself some grace during this school year.

Enjoy the adventure!