From virtual kindergarten to digitally administered AP exams, the parents of XDA are braving the great unknown of remote learning. While we may not have mastered the art of work / home / school co-existence, we do know a thing or two about using our environment to shape experience.
In honor of National Working Parents Day, we asked our team how they’re using their professional know-how to influence the personal learning spaces where their families are learning, growing, and being kids.
The unanimous philosophy: kids and adults alike are influenced by their environment. We can set them up for success with clearly defined “zones” to help their brains switch gears from the structure of academic learning to the freedom of expression to the quiet contemplation of studying and beyond.
Keep scrolling for some quick tips in each of these learning spaces.
Where Information is Absorbed
Embrace your inner Marie Kondo and give your kids a well-organized, dedicated desk or tabletop to take in new information.
Maximize natural light by positioning the desk near a window.
Use bins, shelves, and labels to organize supplies.
Kid Power Tip: “My son was struggling to sit still in school and his genius of a teacher tied a pilates band around the feet of his chair. Suddenly he had his own little trampoline under the desk to bounce his legs. It was so simple — she made space for him to be himself and suddenly his focus improved!”
Where Curiosity is King, and Messes Rule
Kids (and adults) learn best when they move from receiving information to exploring their own methods, experimenting, and yes, getting messy. It just takes a few simple materials and the dedicated space, your kid can handle the rest.
A tip from an XDA creative director:
“With my toddler, a bunch of nice art supplies would be a huge waste. But I’ve found that by having a few go-to supplies around, I can then get creative with things around the house. I use old paper grocery bags as canvases. And one of my favorite ‘activities’ involves making a bracelet out of tape (sticky side up) and going on a nature walk. As she finds flowers and leaves, we talk about them, and she adds them to her bracelet.”
Designate space for BIG, creative messes … and commit to letting them happen.
Assuming your kids are old enough to grasp “quiet time”, make this an intentional and routine part of your day. At our Atlanta office, we have a section aptly named “Cozy Corner”. Originally designed for gatherings with clients, it naturally became a quiet hideout where XDA’s could go to write, think, and work out problems.
Balance structure with a cozy nook to read, zone out, play make-believe, whatever.
Kid Power: encourage a journal practice to get your kids in the habit of self-reflection. Our favorite: Q&A a Day for Kids
Nothing sets the mood better than music. Check out the Cozy Zone playlist we have on rotation right now.