The past year presented many challenges for parents – not least the problem of adjusting to their new role as substitute teacher owing to Government mandated school closures across the Island during the COVID-19 pandemic. As homes transformed into classrooms, the necessity for children having a dedicated workspace became very apparent. While schools in Cayman are due to reopen in the fall of 2020, this space can continue to serve as a homework centre, creativity station and mess containment zone!
The first piece of business is determining where your child will focus best. Ideally, the area you choose will benefit from good lighting and be free from distractions. If your child is easily distracted, consider flipping a more secluded corner of the house into a quiet study space. The older your child gets and the heavier their workload becomes means they will be spending a lot more hours in the evening on homework. Carving out a more centrally located workspace may help them still feel a part of the action while they get on with work. A shared workspace is also useful for monitoring your child’s screen time.
Now that you have settled on where, think about how a dedicated workspace will function best in your home. Large den or living room walls can be divided up into mini workstations. More spacious kitchens might have unused corners that can be repurposed into a work area. If you are tight on space, a computer workstation on wheels is a great option that can be tucked away into a bedroom or hallway closet when necessary.
It is never too soon to start thinking about ergonomics! A desk and chair that maximises productivity and minimises discomfort is key for helping your child stay focussed on the task at hand. Children should be able to sit with their feet flat and knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Their desk should be roughly eight inches above their seat for the perfect ergonomic height.
Free from distractions does not have to mean boring. Your child’s workspace should inspire them and help get their creative juices flowing. Opt for more colourful furniture to keep things fun or hang some artwork. Stay clutter-free with a designated bookshelf filled with books and supplies.
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