Learn how to set up a virtual learning area for your kids anywhere in your home, no matter how much (or how little) space you have.
So you made the switch to virtual school this year for your kids and now you’re stumped on where the heck they’ll actually do their school work in your already small and cramped house? Don’t panic. Today I want to show you a few quick hacks on how to set up your kiddo’s online school station in the smallest little area possible.
Kids’ Virtual Learning Area Essentials
1. Start with a desk. I mean desk in a very loose term. Sure, an actual desk is great, but don’t worry about calling an audible if you don’t have one right now. Your kid’s “desk” could actually be one side of the dining room table, the kitchen island, your foldable patio table (cleaned up and brought inside), or the drawing table they have in their room. Just make sure it’s some kind of table that a chair can sit comfortably at for a long period of time.
No space for any of that? Try making this rolling desk with a three drawer cart and cutting board.
2. Add storage for notebooks. Your kiddo will likely have folders and notebooks for each subject. If the desk area is large enough, use a vertical magazine holder to store the notebooks so they’re within arms reach and easy to put away after each class is over. No desktop space? Store them in a backpack and hang a heavy duty Command hook on the wall for the backpack to park during the day.
3. Organize the supplies. Just because your child isn’t in the classroom doesn’t mean he or she won’t still have to do projects. Remember that big shopping of list of supplies you had to buy last year for in-school learning? You’ll probably still need all of that. I like to store all the pens, pencils, highlighters, notecards, and other “office-y” supplies in a handled caddy. Everything is easy to get to and easy to put away. If your virtual learning space is on your dining table and needs to be cleaned up every day after school, the caddy can be picked up and moved somewhere else in two seconds.
4. Prep the tech. Aside from a computer, your babes will also need some other technology in order to complete lessons and get the most of their online learning. Gather up an extension cord, extra chargers, two pairs of headphones, a few thumb drives, a wireless mouse, and anything else their school suggests. Store all these items in a zipper pouch or a drawer in the desk so they can be accessed quickly if needed.
5. Add a lamp. It seems so simple, but unless the desk is right by a window, you’ll probably need to give your kids some extra lighting. Whether they’re reading a textbook, writing notes, or just watching a webinar, if they don’t have good lighting they’ll end up straining their eyes and getting a doozy of a headache. Shop your house for a good task light and move it to the desk area so you don’t have to go out and buy one.
What Else Can I Add?
Of course, if you have more room, you can always add more to it, but these easy and essential basics will at least get your little sweetie started and set up for success. Want some ideas for “bonus” storage you can add?
- Dry erase board
- Clipboards hanging on Command hooks
- Wall-mounted dry erase calendar
- Upgraded webcam
- Tri-fold room divider as a video “background” (to hide the mess in the background)
- Anti-fatigue mat in case your kid wants to stand while working
- Extra storage shelving
- Rolling cart to hold supplies
- A small desktop fan
- A trash can
- A bowl of peppermints to give them a hint of energy if they get drowsy
- An electric pencil sharpener
- A timer (or Echo Dot for setting alarms)
Share Your Ideas!
A lot of us are doing virtual learning for the first time and we are all figuring this out together. Is something working really well for you? Struggling to decide the best way to do something? Let’s get a conversation going in the comments below to bounce some ideas and wins off each other. We are all in this together!