We are in the midst of a historical event. We can all recite, in detail, where we were when a significant historical event took place. Those moments create an impactful memory, good or bad. With the COVID-19 forcing changes to our everyday routines, this too will create impactful memories, good or bad.
So how does this relate to learning? Take 10 seconds and think about your most memorable learning moment? Did it occur in a classroom desk? Did it occur in a classroom? Did it occur outside of a school building? So, what is your answer? Most likely your answer did not include sitting in a desk facing a markerboard listening to a teacher.
For the foreseeable future, our kids will be learning in ways that are unfamiliar to them. During this same time, parents and teachers will be teaching in ways that are unfamiliar to them. This new way of learning will inevitably create memorable learning moments.
I am an architect, not a professional educator, so I'm not going to tell you how to teach your kids while they are at home, but I would like to suggest that the space your child is learning in matters. Parents and teachers have an incredible opportunity to create very memorable teaching moments by letting kids create their own learning space(s).
We can all think of a place that makes us feel good, gives us comfort, may excite us or help calm us. Space does have an impact on how we feel and how we perceive things. Space does have an impact on learning.
Similar to most of us now working from home we have to create a space, or spaces that support the task at hand. We need to do these same things for our kids and the space that they are learning in as well. I encourage you to explore and experiment utilizing different rooms, areas, and seating types.
1. Ask your child to create their ideal home learning space(s).
- This is a great opportunity to have your child create a space or spaces that they want to be in and learn in. Let them explore and change their space as they want. This will provide ownership for their learning and will leave a lasting impression.
- Be on the lookout for missing couch cushions, blankets and chairs as your child may be creating the ultimate “student cave”. Let them decorate it with things that they like and will help them learn.
2. How does my child learn best?
- Consider that all kids learn differently and that a space should support their particular way of learning. Some kids like a structured space while others prefer the opposite. Some kids learn best sitting at a table while others like to be curled up in a chair. Let your child determine how they want to learn.
3. What space or spaces at home best support my child’s learning
- When I think about learning at home, I automatically think of sitting at the table and grinding out homework. Think about allowing your child to utilize different parts of the house for different tasks and learning. Every room could provide a different learning environment and memorable experience.
- Have your child consider a space for video chats with peers and teachers.
It's said that the worst of times brings out the best in people. I believe that there is a great opportunity for parents and teachers to take this current crisis and create positive learning memories by helping kids create a personalized learning space. Please share stories and photos of your child's ideal home learning space.