5 Mistakes to Avoid When Setting Up Your Learning Environment

Young student in a yellow shirt and blue headphones taking a Live Lesson class.

Whether you’re new to online learning or have been immersed through your child’s enrollment in Connections Academy®, chances are you’ve created a homeschool learning space at home. But is it optimal for your student’s learning style? Have you thought of ways to mix it up and make it fun?  

Below are five common mistakes to avoid when setting up your child’s learning environment:

Mistake 1: Not taking brain breaks

You’ve mastered the daily schedule of classes, but make sure you’ve scheduled time for brain breaks. All students need to reenergize their brains here and there. Research has shown that regular brain breaks can increase focus and creativity. In fact, the majority of Connections Academy families incorporate breaks into their daily schedules, as it has proven effective for virtual school students.  

Some ideas for brain breaks include playing a board game, going for a walk, or doing some quick exercises. Whatever it is, taking breaks throughout the day can make the workload seem less overwhelming. 

Mistake 2: School supplies are hidden and hard to reach.

When you’re creating a virtual learning space at home or updating your child’s current at-home learning environment, make sure school supplies are easy to access.  

Notebooks, pens, folders—everything for the day should be nearby. This helps to avoid disruptions when the sudden need arises for  a highlighter or art supplies.  

Some lessons will require less-commonly used supplies that are perhaps stored in drawers or containers. Previewing lessons in advance can help your student stay ahead when these supplies are called for. By knowing in advance which supplies they’ll need for the day, they can be sure to have all supplies within close reach.  

Mistake 3: Using the same space for all subjects.

A helpful at-home learning space idea is to use different areas in your home for different subjects. In a traditional in-person school setting, students relocate to other rooms for subjects like music and art. Why not try this in their at-home learning environment to encourage creativity and break up the day. 

For example, move art lessons to a different desk to allow for more creativity and space for art supplies. Or, have a music session in a different room to help break up last hour’s math class. Whatever you do, it’s great to mix it up to help your child adapt to different learning environments.  

As another example, if the weather is nice, science or other lessons could be taken outside, or perhaps a visit to a virtual museum based on today’s history lesson could create some added learning enrichment. It can be good to move things around! 

Mistake 4: Not personalizing it for your student.

When you create a learning space at home, you have opportunities for personalization. Depending on your child’s learning style, you might want to optimize the learning space based on his or her strengths.  

For example, you may decide to hang maps and images for visual learners or make space for reading aloud with your student if they’re an auditory learner. For kinesthetic learners, you could have your student use a stability ball instead of a chair for short periods of time throughout their day.  

These are all great factors to consider when creating a virtual learning space at home. And feel free to decorate it with your child’s favorite colors, books, and other items to cater the space to their interests. 

Mistake 5: Technology doesn’t connect or work well.

Technology that doesn’t work well causes frustration and delays in online learning. Creating space for their computer, a printer, headset, and possibly a webcam is integral for a successful learning environment, especially with Connections Academy teachers and lessons. As a best practice, test your Internet connection to ensure minimal disruptions, and make sure there are plenty of outlets for additional technology needs.  

Feel free to get creative and come up with your own at-home learning space ideas. You can always make adjustments as your child progresses throughout the school year. 

Now that your child’s learning space is set up, check out these online school sample daily schedules to help your student get the most out of their day. 

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