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Easy ways to organize (and improve) your student's home learning space

Local organization expert Laura Souders shares her thoughts on the best -- and cost effective -- ways to ensure your child's success starts with a clean space.

Most students -- in some way, shape, or form -- will have to do their school learning from home at least part of the time over the next few months. When that happens, parents will want to make sure their child is set up in a way that's easy for them, and convenient for you.

Laura Souders is an organizational expert who runs Healthier Spaces Organizing in Middletown, Dauphin County. She's also a former teacher, having spent 18 years in the Lower Dauphin School District, and her husband currently teaches in the Middletown Area School District. She brings a perspective unique to making sure young students are set-up to learn in the right way.

"I've always felt, as a teacher, that the home environment was extremely important," Souders said. "Whether kids were just doing their homework there at night, or now as they are working most days from home."

Setting up where a child will do their remote learning ultimately falls on the parent. Souders believes the best spot for a child is in a centralized location in the home, like in the kitchen or dining room. That way, she says, if a child needs help with something, you aren't running all over the house to fix the issue.

Naturally, one problem if there are multiple students under one roof then is being in each other's spaces. Souders says an easy and cheap fix is buying a tri-fold display board, similar to what a student would use for a science fair. Your students could use it too post notes, or even decorate it like it's their locker.

One of the best ways a parent can help their student is by staying organized. Laura suggests keeping a detailed calendar of class times, and a notebook with digital information like virtual classroom log-ins and passwords.

"Remembering all those passwords every day, which ones are needed and what day is it and time, it's too much confusion for a child or a parent trying to remember that and do other things during the day," she said.

Another way to help a child stay organized is to make sure they have all the tools they need for the entire day at the start of the day. That means all pencils, pens, erasers, sharpeners, notebooks, and even digital items like headphones and charging cords, all together in one spot so your student doesn't have to go searching for them during the day and miss class time.

Souders suggests keeping everything in a shoebox or plastic bin.

"That way at the end of the day, if you are using the dining room or kitchen table, everything can be moved into that box and put off to the side just in time for dinner," she said. 

Souders is the author of an Amazon best selling book Organizing Her Life. You can purchase it on Amazon.com.