If you’ve been finding your new and expanded role in your child’s education just a bit overwhelming, you’re not alone. Parents across the U.S. have been adapting to a new normal that requires learning to take place at home. Even those who’ve been homeschooling for years are faced with the challenges of education without access to libraries, playgrounds, and field trip destinations. Figuring it all out can be stressful, so finding ways to make the process more enjoyable for everyone is essential. Luckily, the right patio furniture can help.
Getting outside is one easy way to break up the day and enjoy a change of pace. And with the right patio furniture in your outdoor living area, it’s easy to transfer the classroom to your deck when the sun is shining and the weather is warm. Need a few ideas for outdoor learning? We’ll take a look at some of the best patio furniture (like the kathy ireland Homes & Gardens River Brook sofa seating group shown above) for moving at-home learning outdoors.
Creating Your Outdoor Workstation with the Right Patio Furniture
Daily lessons and activities are sure to vary with the needs of your kids. Younger children are likely to require more direction and additional playtime, while teens and even tweens can be more self-directed in their at-home school day. No matter which ages you’re working with, every student needs a dedicated spot to focus on their tasks.
An outdoor dining table provides plenty of space to set up laptops and tablets, spread out papers, and complete tasks. Additionally, a rugged powder-coat aluminum tabletop is tough enough to withstand science projects, arts and crafts, and anything else that your busy students are working on. Thanks to comfortable chairs, you’ll have a seat for everyone in the family – including parents, so you can work alongside your children.
With your patio furniture workstation in place, you’ll be able to bring all sorts of learning activities outdoors. Just a few ideas to try include:
- Science projects for all ages at Science Buddies
- Math Snacks math games for middle school
- Lunch Doodles drawing exercises with Mo Willems, a Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence
- Reading Rockets reading activities with options for infants to young readers
Put Comfort First
You may find that your A students are less focused and productive in your at-home classroom. This is easily understood – while kids are used to the structure and schedule of the school day, things just feel different at home. It’s important to maintain a regular schedule, but you should also take advantage of the comforts of home as everyone adjusts to a new environment.
Reading, listening to podcasts, and watching videos are all important ways to access information for at-home students. To help them focus and make this time more enjoyable, encourage them to stretch out on patio furniture like a spacious sectional seating group, like the one shown below. Soft cushions will help them relax, and ample seating means everyone can have their own space. Plus, built-in cupholders mean that staying hydrated won’t result in spills on those cushions.
A sectional with a curved design is patio furniture that makes a great spot for group discussions and shared activities. Try Storyline Online for younger kids, where professional actors read picture books aloud. News from sources like Scholastic and the New York Times (free for many high school students) are great starting points for current events discussions the whole family can take part in.
Get Some Sun – But Not Too Much
There’s no doubt that getting outside on a bright, sunny day is sure to lift your spirits. However, we all still need to be conscious of getting too much sun exposure. A little shade can go a long way to help protect against UV rays. Just as importantly, it will help keep you comfortable on hotter days.
To create a shady oasis on your patio, add a cantilever umbrella. Tough fabric provides UV protection to help keep your family safe from sunburn while learning outdoors. If you’ve ever used a laptop or tablet outdoors, you’ll also appreciate a tilting design as well. Simply angle the umbrella as needed to shade your work area and reduce irritating glare on device screens.
Now that you’re ready to get to work in a shady spot, why not try some simple sun-themed crafts or easy sun-related science experiments? It’s a great way to take advantage of your new outdoor learning area and learn more about the natural world.
Don’t Forget to Make Time for Relaxation (on your new patio furniture)
Let’s face it – learning at home is hard! Busy parents must balance their own work with their children’s education, while kids miss their friends, teachers, and extracurricular activities. It’s easy to be hard on yourself when lessons go awry or meltdowns occur. Keep in mind that mishaps are to be expected as you work out a homeschooling routine. You and your kids are doing your best, and what matters most is that everybody gives it their all each day.
To reduce the stress that accompanies at-home learning, make time in your day for rest and relaxation. It’s important for kids to take breaks and indulge in enjoyable activities throughout the day. A comfortable sectional seating group like the kathy ireland Homes & Gardens River Brook 7 Piece Rattan Sofa Seating Group shown below makes it easy to unwind with welcoming cushions and plenty of space to stretch out. Let kids cool down with a game, streaming videos, or an episode of their favorite show. The modular sectional design also allows versatile configuration, making it a great place to FaceTime with friends and family.
And remember, you deserve a break too. At the end of the day, why not stretch out on patio furniture like the lounger set shown below? Grab a glass of your favorite wine or other adult beverage, place a bowl of snacks on the matching table, and give yourself a few minutes of me-time.
Learning at Home Doesn’t Have to Mean Staying Inside
As you work on at-home learning with your family, remind kids that we’re not stuck at home – we’re safe at home. Your outdoor living area is a great place to make learning more fun for kids and parents alike, and with the right patio furniture, you can create a space you’ll enjoy season after season. For more ideas and inspiration from Twin Star Home™, visit our blog today.