Learning isn’t limited to the confines of the classroom – but it doesn’t hurt to set up a space dedicated to learning in your home, a kind of classroom away from the classroom. Millions of parents and kids got a crash course in creating a home learning
environment a couple of years ago, but now might be the right time to go back and thoughtfully improve the learning environment in your home.
You’ll not only set up your kids for the next school year, you’ll encourage a lifelong love of learning just by making that space in your home even better.
1. Go Green
Mother Nature is good for young brains and for learning. Researchers found access to green spaces boosts kids’ mental well-being, which, in turn, is a great environment to encourage learning in your home.
If you don’t have much of a green thumb, don’t worry. It can be as simple as planting a small container herb garden for your kitchen or office – providing not just a hands-on science lesson in plant biology but long-term benefits for the learning environment in your home.
2. Go Outside
Get a little more of the benefit of green space by heading outdoors. Even the most citified neighborhoods are home to birds, bees, trees, and other living things. Squirrels are wildlife, just like pigeons and raccoons. Planting a garden or creating a bird feeder are great learning activities that will continue to offer rewards and lessons as you go.
3. Kick-Art the Day
Kids learn by doing, so incorporate valuable lessons into their next art project. Want to teach them to tell time? Have them design and build their own clock. Are they learning how to write their name? Encourage them to create a name banner for their room. You’ll be amazed how much faster they’ll pick things up when you get a little crafty.
4. Turn Down The Volume
If you’ve ever been distracted at work by a noisy coworker, this one is obvious. Noise can have a negative impact on mental workload and attention – especially loud noises. Choose a quieter part of your home to set up shop, and make sure to turn any extraneous noises down, or off entirely.
5. Light Up Their Learning
Not all light is created the same. If your study area has a lamp with a warm-colored light bulb, you could be setting the stage for relaxation, not learning. Choose a cooler, blue lightbulb above 5000 Kelvins, an you’ll see an increase in learning and alertness. After all, sunlight registers at about 6500 Kelvins, so you’re telling young brains it’s time to sit
up and pay attention.
6. Clean Up The Clutter
Clearing out any clutter is more than just making way for new projects. Clutter is mental overload and can decrease working memory. Keeping a learning space clear of clutter is perhaps the cheapest way to improve your home’s learning environment. You can even turn it into an end-of-day task to teach good habits and responsibility.
We’ve learned a lot of lessons since 2020 when schools and businesses shut down, but the lessons getting the least notice these days may be the ones about the home learning environment. If you take just a few steps to improve that space right now, your kids will benefit moving forward.
Mykala Thomas learned from her grandmother to respect and nurture the land. Now, she and her children work on community garden projects in neighborhoods with few grocery stores. She loves to write about all things that grow.