August 07, 2020 at 10:28am | Lisa Quin
Now you've got the basics down.  Location is picked out,  you've got a desk or some flat surface for your child to work on and you've decluttered the area so your child can focus.  Let's dive a little deeper into what your child will need from their learning from home space!

Technology
Your child's school will let you know what platform they will be using and any specifics on the types of technology or supplies that will be required, depending on the grade level your child is at. Aside from that, your child will need some sort of device with a camera in it. Laptop, desktop, or maybe and iPad with a keyboard.

Internet 
Having a good internet connection for live zoom or Google hangouts is going to be a must. Do you have multiple children learning from home? You working from home too? Might be a good idea to do an internet test before the first day of school to make sure your bandwidth can handle all the streaming that will be needed. Another option is to have your child plug their device in with an ethernet cable so they don't have to rely on a possibly over burdened wireless network.

Lighting
We've all realized how important lighting behind the camera is when it comes to virtual calls. The same will apply to your child. It will be more important than ever for your child's face and facial expressions to be seen easily by their teacher and new classmates so they can form connections. Try to avoid having a window or bright light behind your child - a lamp on their desk but behind the camera or a window in front of them would be ideal.

Sound
Depending on where your child will be doing their school work or if you have multiple children in the same learning space, a set of headphones might be a good idea. Headphones will help keep the sound from their online classroom to just their ears. Children who might need more help staying on task from an adult at home, skipping the headphones might also be a good idea. This will allow for the parent or adult to hear the instructions from the teacher and better assist their child. Every child is going to be different so do what is best for yours!

Background
Once you've got everything set up, run a test video chat before the first day of school. What is seen in the video box besides your child? Anything that your child might find embarrassing or too personal? Unmade bed? Dirty laundry on the floor? Take a bit of time to make sure that what is behind your child is appropriate. This might need to be something that is done daily depending on the location of your child's learning space.

Have a bit of fun with all of this!  Let your child go through this process with you.  The more they help you prepare their space, the more proud of their new learning space they will be!  And before you know it, they'll be able to do all of these items on their own.  This too is a time of learning for them, every moment can be a teaching moment!
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