TIPS FOR CREATING A PRODUCTIVE WORK ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUR STUDENTS
Students attending school online from home is HARD!! It’s hard for the student and it is hard for the caregivers. Planning ahead to be organized and to determine possible work spaces for the student can help eliminate a lot of stress. Kids cannot be expected to sit at a table and chair throughout the entire school day, especially sitting in front of a computer screen. Students will benefit from being able to move around during the day. Here are some tips:
- Every student is being given a box of materials. Teach your child to keep all of their educational materials in this box (or another similar object) and continually remind them to keep materials in the box when not in use. Other helpful additions to your box might be a clip board or other hard surface to write on, stress balls or other fidgets, and/or any other comfort items, as for some kids, online learning can be really stressful.
- Designate learning spaces in the home. Some children do work better at a traditional table and chair setting, but most children are more productive in less traditional learning spaces. And again, children cannot be expected to stay seated in a chair all day. Changing locations and sitting positions can help children to stay focused and on task. At school we call this “Flexible Seating”.
Flexible seating allows students to be comfortable. When students are comfortable, they are more alert, stay on task longer, and are more productive. Students need to be able to rock, lean, stand, etc. which in turn keeps them more alert because it increases oxygen to the brain.
- Limit distractions. Make sure TV, video games and other electronic devices are turned off, smaller siblings are not playing close by, etc. Headphones can be very helpful. Background music can help some students focus when working independently, but there should be no external noise when student is online with their teacher. Sitting by a window, however, may be beneficial. Studies have shown that natural light and views of nature can lessen stress and improve productivity.
Flexible seating has been shown to
-Help student to remain alert and focused
-Increase student motivation
-Lead to higher academic performance
-Increase on-task behavior
-Help build core strength, burns calories and excess energy, and increases metabolism.
** Great flexible seating options can include low tables, couches, a cushion, pillows, or rug on the floor, clipboards, tray tables, bean bag chairs, exercise balls, wheeled chairs, rocking chairs or gliders, standing desks, etc. Many of these items are available really cheaply on platforms such as Facebook marketplace and Craigslist.