Creating an inviting learning space is as important as choosing an engaging learning facility or school for your child. Do you know that having a dedicated home learning space is actually linked to the development of early speech and communication and of child’s social and emotional development?
Yes! Believe it or not, ensuring a dedicated home learning space can help develop your child’s creativity, increases their willingness to read and learn, and enhances their focus. So, while it is important to create an engaging, fun and learning-conducive classroom in schools, it is also best if we incorporate those in our own homes! After all a child’s language and early learnings begins long before formal schooling, it even starts within a mother’s womb.
You may ask, ‘can’t my child learn in our beds or on the couch?’ Sure they can, but it might not be the best way for them to learn. Not having a dedicated space for learning will make them easily lose concentration and there will be no consistency. Your child will need to learn about routines, consistency and self-regulated studying even at a young age. Another advantage of having a dedicated home space for learning is that the child will see that the family sets education as one of the priorities. They will also understand that learning is not just confined within the school’s walls, but rather, learning is everywhere. This ‘spirit’ of learning will impact the child a long way.
Finding a preschool that incorporates the important pointers in transforming a space to a fun and engaging learning space is a fringe benefit too for your child’s development. For now, we will talk about how to remodel a room or even a corner of your already busy home to add value to your child’s education. Here are a few tips:
- Opt for the needs, not for designs. There are a lot of pinterest ideas about designing a learning space but pushing yourself of achieving those may cost you a lot of time and money. The main goal should be designing a space your child needs to unleash his/her creativity and encourage exploration. Think about your child’s interests and traits. What colors do they like? Do they like open spaces or do they need supplies to be within arms reach? Do they like music or do they thrive more in quiet surroundings? Which characters excite them?
- Create an orderly, comfortable space. We wish that our child will want to stay in the learning space for an extended time. So you will need to create an environment that is both stimulating and comfortable. It is nice to hang up educational posters, paintings, books and toys but an overwhelming amount of it will make the space chaotic. Declutter the area and remove unneeded distractions. Also, make sure they have a comfortable and sufficient back support. Providing a few options for seating- chairs, nooks, couches, bean bags- will give them freedom to explore and find which is most comfortable for them.
- Choose a space with the most natural lighting. Studies show that the more natural light (or lighting that mimics natural light) boosts over-all performance and well-being. If you don’t have an indoor space with natural light, you can mimic it or just make sure you have adequate lighting. You can get creative and build a learning space outside.
- Provide more and more options for self-guided learning. Offer your child a wide range of hands-on activities such as music instruments, arts supplies, games, puzzles, etc. Don’t forget to gather books! Having books readily available and accessible will make them choose reading and learning as one of their favorite pastimes. You don’t need to fill everything, leave some spaces for growth, for them to change things up or add their favorite books in the future.
- Last but not least, make the space personal! Be sure the place and the things in it, sparks joy to your child, plays into their interests which in turn will make them more likely to spend more time learning.
Start planning now and make education a part of your family’s routine!