Back to school. The words simultaneously make me jump for joy and break out into sweats. It means summer is over, which is a little sad, but hey, it also means mama gets some “me” time again. However, this year is different for many families including mine. We need distance learning workspaces at home. That doesn’t mean your workspace needs to be expensive or complicated. You can organize a distance learning workspace at home on a budget.
How to Create a Distance Learning Workspace at Home
I don’t know if you know, but markers, crayons, and writing utensils have a reproductive quality that is, in fact, a mystery to man. Every time I have thrown away every single marker in the house, another marker sibling shows up again to taunt me.
And they usually show up under pillows, or in hoards, like they’ve been playing a game of Sardines, and I’m the one who found them. They’ve also been known to show up under beds, in the sink, in my drawers, in the pantry, and even children’s hair.
So instead of going on an extermination mission of all school supplies (because I’ve tried and failed), I’m organizing them. And with distance learning at home, I really have no other choice. My kids need all kinds of school supplies at home to complete their work.
My kids need a place to do their schoolwork and homework. I have five school-age children, and we do not have a desk for everyone. That means that some are sharing, so I want to make it a place they enjoy doing their work.
First, find a space. If you need to shove a desk or table into a corner so be it. If you need to turn the dining room into a work station now, so be it. Whatever space you weren’t using before, use it now.
Next, find a desk or surface to work on. I’ve noticed that desks are getting snatched up on resale sites, because people have found more need for them. Try looking on Facebook groups in your area, because the summer is when a lot of people move, and they’re getting rid of things for cheap.
Don’t discount tables as desks either. We turned another space into a homework room. We pushed two of these IKEA tables together to turn it into another workspace. They were $45.
Choose Containers to Organize the Distance Learning Workspace
I needed different sizes of containers to fit in the spaces of the kids’ homework desk, so I just used Ziploc containers, because they are inexpensive. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. If you want to get a little fancier, then add glass containers which you can also find pretty cheap at IKEA or even the Dollar Store.
All the school supplies are nicely stored in their containers. They are stackable and neatly put away.
If you don’t have a desk with cubbies, then designate a cabinet and label each container, so the kids know where everything belongs. Then it’s homework time. I don’t have to hear any excuses about why kids can’t do homework, because the homework station is set! Ok, well that’s a lie. My kids will still complain about doing their schoolwork, and honestly I don’t blame them.
This is going to be an adjustment for everyone in the family. To help them want to work in their space, let kids help decorate it. If they need something bright to cheer them up, choose a new wall hanging or even their own drawings to decorate walls.
Maybe they need a fun pillow for their chair to help support their backs. I even allow my kids to have a little jar of candy to help sweeten the deal.
You can also separate spaces. When they’re online for classes with teachers they can use the desks. If they have reading time, then create a cozy reading nook. My youngest daughter spends hours reading in her space or watching videos. But she likes it, because it’s her space.
We’re all in this together! If you have Distance Learning tips, drop them below. Have an awesome school year!