These days an increasing number of people are homeschooling or engaging in distance learning practices. Many people find that the challenges of educating their child are easier when you give them a dedicated place to learn, rather than simply letting them lounge on the couch with a tablet or iPad.
Of course, a child’s playroom is one of the first places to turn to when you need to create a dedicated learning space. Though you might not always find your child receptive to this idea, especially if you don’t have a place to store away their toys during the learning hours of the day. A child with his or her favorite toy close at hand is far more likely to be distracted.
The following are some homeschool playroom storage ideas to consider for transforming your child’s place to play into a place of learning.
A Moveable Toy Box
Toy boxes are a beloved place for children to store their toys away and reduce the chances of a nasty foot injury. A toy box with wheels, casters, or floor glides can be moved away when it’s time to learn to limit distraction. Then it can be brought back out again at the end of the day or during free-choice time.
Most elementary school children have their own cubby or a small locker to keep their personal items. You can repurpose this concept by giving them cubby space that is dedicated to toys and special items, as well as a separate cubby for learning items. Not only does this help keep the two things safe, and organized, but it gives your child a sense that there is a distinct difference between learning and play.
A static cubby is alright, but children tend to stack items in them. Adjustable shelves and hooks let you customize the storage space, which goes another step further toward keeping everything organized. It’s especially handy for minimizing a child’s frustration when they can’t immediately find a specific book or toy.
Just like the cubby concept an adjustable bookshelf lets you customize your child’s book storage space. Not only does it maximize the available storage space, but it makes it easier for them to find their own books when they need it. Depending on your child’s age, this could be a great way to foster independence. You might want to also add a divider to separate school books from their books. This further helps draw a distinct line between when they are learning and when they are playing.
Hanging White Boards Or Chalk Boards
While a lot of learning can be done on a tablet or iPad, many homeschooling and distance learning parents find that a whiteboard or chalkboard comes in handy for several reasons. First off it gives the children a place to practice writing, drawing, and solving math equations, without adding to what is already a considerable amount of screen time.
If you have the wall space available, consider hanging two different boards. Children thrive when they are given structure, and they know what to expect as well as what is expected of them. Writing out a daily message with positive cues, and a schedule will help give them a guide to follow throughout the day.
Add Adult Seating
While the apps on their devices will certainly do a lot, there will inevitably be times when you need to be in the room helping them learn or simply double-checking that your child is truly staying on task. Make sure to give yourself a comfortable chair at reasonable adult height. While you’re at it, make sure there’s a writing surface for you to draw out math problems, pictures, or diagrams without simply trying to scribble on your lap.
Use Tote Bins For Supplies
The reality is that not all homeschooling is reading, writing, and arithmetic. Things like Art, Music, and even Physical Education need to be a part of any well-rounded homeschooling or distance learning program.
Unfortunately, these things can be messy! Giving a child labeled tote bins for each subject means that everything is in its place. It also means that if a tube of glue or paint leaks the mess stays inside the bin, rather than on your floors.
You can also minimize the overall footprint by spending the extra money on heavy-duty reinforced tote bins. That way you can stack them one on top of the other at the end of the day.
Over The Door Storage Bins
Depending on their age and interests your child might have a lot of loose items that need to be stored. While a tote bin might get the job done, it could encourage them to simply dump out their toys when they can’t find something.
Storage bins or net bags can often be hung from an over the door frame to keep loose items organized. Not only does it give things a specific place, but it also makes it easier for your child to see them, and less likely to dump things on the floor.
PegBoard Organization Systems
In recent years pegboard, and all the various attachments that go with it, has evolved from a garage storage solution into an innovative organizational tool. Some systems even allow you to attach bins that can hold specific school items or toys. This lets you have a bin for pencils, pens, markers, and other common items, that your child can find at a glance. It also encourages them to keep everything in its place when they are done using it.
Keep Cleaning Supplies On Hand
Children have an amazing knack for being able to make a mess despite your best efforts. Keeping things like paper towels, sponges, stain sticks and reliable garbage can with a liner in the room helps you catch spills before they have a chance to spread into chaos.
Ideally, you want to place any cleaning supplies on a high shelf out of reach of young, curious fingers. If you don’t have a high shelf, then you might want to think about investing in a locking tote bin to keep things safe until the moment when you truly need them.