The Start of a Pandemic
As the clock struck midnight on 31st Dec 2019, the world united to joyously welcome a new year and a new decade. A new year brings with it hopes of new beginnings, new learning, and a chance to redeem ourselves in so many ways. Little did we realize that 2020 would turn out to be the most challenging year ever. It would claim the lives of so many hundreds and thousands of people worldwide. The whole world united in its fight against the deadly virus that has swept through countries, leaving a trail of death and destruction in its path. It has been nothing less than a horror story but the pandemic has once again highlighted the resilience of mankind and their innate nature to find the positives to keep us going. The pandemic has taught us to appreciate the little joys of life, be thankful for the lovely family many of us are blessed with, and also the power of the unknown and unseen that can wreak havoc within seconds.
Challenges Posed by Pandemic
At a more material level, the pandemic has taught employers and organizations that nothing is impossible. We’ve had multiple lockdowns already but work cannot be put on hold indefinitely as there was a war to be fought on two fronts. On one front the virus had to be dealt with and on the other front, the economy had to be kept alive. And the enormous challenge was to keep functioning as smoothly and as normally as possible but from home. Every employee, spread across different places were to function from their own homes and keep the bucks flowing in. Education too could not be put on hold for a full year. It would mean the loss of one whole academic year for students; particularly in higher classes, this could have far-reaching consequences. As teachers honed their online skills and devised new ways to impart learning virtually, homes also began to perform multiple roles. It was now an office, a school, and a home all rolled into one.
Creating the Right Ambiance for Home Schooling
But homes have traditionally been designed for living, for entertaining, and for chilling out. As people started working from their homes and students began taking classes online, homes were bound to undergo certain changes to create the right ambiance for work and school. Decor has to be tweaked; few additions have been done here and there to get the right feel.
Finding the Right Workspace
Get yourself a big table or desk that can be dedicated for your use. It must be spacious enough to accommodate books, charts, stationeries, etc. it is desirable not to use a space that is used for multiple –purposes as this could lead to unnecessary cluttering and mess. If possible, get a room that can be used only for schooling. This will prevent distractions and create a secluded zone where teachers/students can concentrate on their work.
Whether you are a teacher or a student, taking classes, a comfortable seating arrangement is very important as you have to sit for long hours. Uncomfortable chairs can cause backache, create posture problems, or even height issues. The laptop should be at eye level. A sturdy yet comfortable chair is what is desirable.
A well-lit room is essential for better concentration and also to brighten up the space. A gloomy dark room with no access to natural light or proper ventilation can never create the right ambiance for the child/teacher. The mood will be low as also energy which will affect focus and concentration levels. The workspace or table should be preferably near a window that can give access to an abundance of sunshine and light. They help create a cheerful and joyful ambiance filled with positive energy.
Aesthetics of Room
A dull and drab-looking room will succeed in keeping your mood and energy low. You will not get the enthusiasm to give it your best. Right ambiance and colors can have an enormous impact on your mood, concentration level, performance, and productivity. Even if you have a neutral-colored room, remember to add some pops of color in the form of colorful throw pillows, a colorful rug, or window treatment like curtains. They act as instant mood enhancers.
To create the right ambiance and environment for home school you have to address a lot of concerns. While the abundance of sunshine and light is desirable, too much light and the harsh glares of the sun can be disconcerting. They will cause irritation to the eyes, reflect on your screens and make working difficult. They will also allow harmful UV rays to reach the interior of your house and prolonged exposure can cause furnishings and furniture to fade. Moreover, there is heat to consider. Exposing a room to long hours of sunlight can cause heat gain inside the room. This will make the interiors warm and uncomfortable. During winter months bare glass windows can cause heat loss and this can make the room cold and cause a cold draft to flow through. Privacy is also another important consideration. If your window is facing the road or neighborhood space people might peep in which can distract you.
Finding the right window treatment is crucial for maintaining a cozy, secured, and comfortable ambiance where learning can be imparted and also received with equal enthusiasm. Window blinds, shades, curtains, and shutters are different ways you can dress up your windows. Shades consist of a single layer of fabric and you can choose from roller shades, roman shades, sheer shades, cellular shades, etc. blinds consist of slats and louvers which can be adjusted for light control. They can be made of PVC, aluminum, wood, and fabric. Curtains and drapes remain a classic choice of window treatment. You can even opt for layered window treatment like sheer curtains with blinds for a more comprehensive solution. These window coverings will help to diffuse the harsh sunlight, prevent heat gain and loss, thereby maintaining a comfortable ambiance and also preserving the privacy and security of the space.
Homeschooling is a challenging task. Every house is subject to different noisy activities throughout the day. There are people doing dishes or cooking in the kitchen. There is a baby crying or shouting, bells and phones ringing in tandem, people talking, etc. choose a room, if possible that is situated some distance away from the noisy-zone. This will help create a silent and calm environment in which studying and teaching can become easy. You can choose blackout shades and curtains that help to seal the windows from outside noise.