Boundaries for School at Home

As promised, we are continuing on the topic of possible schooling at home on a widespread level this year.

Multiple people in one house all day long. Everyone trying to get work done. Each person has a list of stuff to fit into the day. How can it all fit smoothly?

Space
Where we do things matters, so let’s talk about assigning space in the home.

Physical location can help as a cue for getting in the groove. If I always work at my desk, sitting in my desk chair gets my mind ready to focus on work. This is easily done if you have a separate school room with individual desks, but it is still possible in other situations. If you do school work at the dining room table, assigned seats help with the mental transition. A habit of each student having a designated area in the available living space does the same thing. Basically, if your body is in this spot, your mind knows it’s time for school.

Separate areas can help with quiet focus. Younger children may need separate rooms for activities. Be careful about distractions in bedrooms, if easy and unsupervised access to devices and toys is there, but that can be a solution for multiples.

Set space for schooling also allows easy access to tools. It may not be a desk, but you can stash pencil boxes, and possibly even books, nearby instead of assembling what is needed each time.

Finally, assigning space once cuts out fresh traffic direction each and every morning.

Time
Boundaries don’t just work for physical space. Set times for different activities can help keep focus sharp.

Whether you just set aside the morning, or the day until late afternoon, or you map out 50 minutes of every hour, labelling time helps keep schooling where it belongs. When it’s school time, it is clear what is the priority. When it is break time or lunch time, everyone relax! School time will come again soon enough, and tasks can be tackled then. Focused time is more effective, and breaks set that time apart. When the school day is over, it’s over — just as much as when students left the school building.

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