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6 Tips to Setting Up a Home Learning Environment

By: Andie Byron on March 27th, 2020

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6 Tips to Setting Up a Home Learning Environment

Quick Tips in Education

For the past 20 years that PA Virtual has been serving Pennsylvania children, our teachers, staff, and families have all learned a lot about the best practices of cyber schooling and how to set up our students to be successful in this model. If you've just started cyber schooling your child or children, it can be a little overwhelming to figure out where exactly to begin. First and foremost, you may be wondering where exactly your child should learn everyday. Many of our experienced families have shared with us that it helps to set up a specific area in the home where school "happens" each day. While some students may work just as well in a more relaxed environment, setting up a dedicated school area can be a great way for new families to get into the swing of things.


Having a set space for learning will signal to the student that it is “school time,” and family members will also know that when the student is in the dedicated school area, they are working and should not be disturbed. You can have the student involved in creating this area so they can make it their own, take pride in their learning environment, and look forward to learning regularly in this space.


Here are 6 tips for setting up your school area in your home:


  1. Choose the location for learning wisely.

    The location can be a whole room, or just a particular space in a selected room. This could be as simple as the dining room table or a space in the living room. Consider how much traffic the space gets on a daily basis, and whether your child works best when they have peace and quiet, or if they prefer to feel connected to others while they work. It's also important that this space is an area where the parent will be able to consistently supervise the student's learning.

  2. Eliminate distractions.

    No matter where you set up your child's learning space, remember to remove possible distractions, such as decor, photos, and any technology that is non-school related. You can put up pictures and objects related to school, like maps or a time tables chart. These visual resources will help to reinforce to the student that they are in a school environment.

  3. Provide a table or desktop to work on.

    Make sure the working space is clear of non-school related items, so your student can spread out his or her work. Provide a comfortable chair for your child (but not too comfortable!) and keep one handy for yourself, too, for times when you need to provide coaching and support.

  4. Create a supply closet.

    If you have the room to create an actual supply closet, that’s great, but bins, baskets, and plastic tubs can also work for corralling supplies and keeping them close by and organized. Don’t forget to label everything so that your student knows not only where to find items when needed but also where to return them when finished using them. Be sure to have age-appropriate school supplies like paper, pencils, note cards, and crayons on hand as well.

  5. Organize your area according to subject, grade level, or child.

    For example: 

    1. Dedicate an area for textbooks and organize by subject.

    2. Organize all writing materials together—pens, pencils, erasers, and crayons— all in one bin.

    3. Keep craft items—such as paint, stamps, glue, and colored paper—together, and put them on a top shelf so younger children can’t get into them!

    4. If you have more than 1 student at home, give each student shelves or bins for their materials, labeled with their name. Remind other children that those areas are for that student only!

  6. Set up a “sideline” activity area.

    If you have the space and have small children who are not yet in school, it can be helpful to create an area where the little ones can read books, do puzzles, or color while you coach your student. It can also be helpful to identify other areas where students can relocate if they need a change of scenery or a quieter spot for reading. After all, one of the benefits of online learning is that learning can happen anywhere in the home.


We hope you find these tips beneficial for you and your family as you start your cyber schooling experience and set up your child's learning space. What advice do you have for new families regarding setting up the school area? What have you found successful, or unsuccessful? Comment below and let us know!


Interested in learning more about cyber school? We invite you to attend an online open house with PA Virtual Charter School. We are a k-12 Pennsylvania cyber school serving students and families all across the state. This online open house will be much like an open house you would attend at any other school. You will learn about our curriculum and teaching methods, you will get a peek inside our virtual classroom and see how it works, you’ll get a hands-on demonstration of the technology we use, and of course you will get to meet other parents and staff here at PA Virtual Charter School. To RSVP to our open house, click here.


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