During this time of COVID-19, a virtual learning option has become a way children go to school without leaving their homes. To support each child in her virtual class this year, I’ve identified some must-have tools. These tools have been tested during our virtual classroom experience. Here they are for your consideration and testimonial.
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Remote Learning has its pluses and minuses. However, focusing on what can be improved during a virtual classroom learning creates some amazing solutions.
To build an optimal space for successful distance learning for kids, there are some key ingredients to it. These elements contribute to the well-being of your child: physical and emotional. And as a result, a well-thought-through learning space can be child’s sanctuary for creativity and productivity. Win-win for everyone.
Ergonomic Sitting or Standing Desk
You already may be aware of the facts proven by different studies that sitting for hours on end during each day can bring an array of diseases. First, it may be a lower back pain, little hints that you need to move more here and there.
But with proper alternating between sitting and standing, frequent physical exercise breaks, our kids and ourselves can and should be in top shape.
I really enjoy exploring a constantly evolving market in ergonomic products for both kids and adults. I don’t think the market has all we need. But with a few brands out there exploring and creating products to break up the sedentary habits we can try them out.
Check out a Flexispot standing desk that can be adjusted for different sitting and standing positions. The programmable panel allows to save a sitting an standing position height of the desk. With a push of a button, you can be sitting and working or standing and continue with your work. Isn’t it nice?! Check this desk model on company’s site HERE. Besides, for every purchase of the FlexiSpot desk with bamboo top finish, the company plants one tree.
The company continues to add on some features to their standing desk like a drawer and more programmable buttons if there are more than one person to use a desk. See all color combos and add-ons HERE.
Tools for Cyber Security During Distance Learning
Remote learning is impossible without internet access to virtual classrooms. Hence cyber safety is at the top of importance for every home. I’ve tried out many systems during the years to protect our internal WiFi network. This year, I’ve introduced Gryphon to the new school year of virtual learning.
Powerful Features of the Gryphon Internet Security System
It’s always a question of how to protect child during online learning to the best of our ability. Take a look at the truly helpful to parents features incorporated into Gryphon.
– Whole house malware protection
– Intelligent intrusion detection
– Personal data security
– Real-time request and approval from anywhere
– Content filtering
– Parental controls
– Screen time management
What I like about Gryphon is that it’s compatible with any device without any additional software or any monthly paid options. You just hook up your devices and set up a mobile app to track kids’ time and online surfing. Restrictions can be from enforcing safe search and on YouTube to blocking any app.
You can easily add reward time for doing chores or reaching certain academic goals. All that and much more are available via Gryphon. You can buy it HERE. (affiliate link)
Healthy Air Monitoring for the Remote Learning Space
You may be surprised to learn that the quality of air is in direct proportion to a child’s alertness and focus. That is why I make sure that our virtual learning space set up for kids includes a daily airing of the room where they stay during their instruction times.
Adding the smart home devices that will monitor the air quality could be a huge plus. Setting up a Wave Plus smart indoor air quality monitor is definitely one of the tools for any virtual or homeschooling.
Measuring the quality of home air is the first step of we can take to prevent illness and increase productivity for our kids.
Wave Plus is set up to detect CO2, Radon (odorless radioactive gas that seeps from the ground), and airborne chemicals and toxins (TVOCs). TVOCs comr from everyday items like paints, candles, cosmetics, cleaning and hobby supplies. Knowing the quality of the air in your home virtual classroom is a must.
With a phone app, you can easily get alerts if something goes wrong and take a quick action to save the day. You can buy Wave Plus HERE.
Empowering Kids During Virtual Learning
I’ve discovered some truly amazing resources for kid’s education. A Kids Book About is a concept that has incorporated many topics into stand alone books.
Each book is succinct and clear on each particular subject which translates into empowerment for a child who reads it.
What I like about each book is that it can be easily shared once a child has got all she could from it. Truly educational concept for both kids and parents. Just take a look how you could empower your own distance learning home set-up for kids.
Explore many topics Kids Book About has to offer:
What really makes this book publishing company different is their quick reflection on the current events. The library of books on the subjects that our children can easily get upset or worried about or scared is growing.
Without a doubt, this Kids Book About series is totally a coffee table piece in our virtual learning space set-up for children. Check them out HERE.
Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse for Virtual Class Learning
When a child spends hours in front of the computer, his or her fingers need to have a comfortable and ergonomic grip on the computer mouse and keyboard support. Hence the importance of choices of computer accessories when it comes to creating an optimal space for successful distance learning for kids.
We’ve got several options in the house, and one of them is using a full size keyboard from Glorious PC Gaming Race. This keyboard has a soft touch, no fancy things, and great way to learn keyboarding. My kids are taking typing class to learn how to type quicker while using the right position of their fingers on the keyboard.
As an additional plus to this keyboard, it is lit with a soft light that travels along the board. It is not interfering with the studies, just gives a board a nice touch. For those kids who do computer games, this keyboard is a given tool to navigate well and with accuracy in the game field. You can buy and explore different version of the keyboard HERE.
The mouse can be used without any mouse pad. It slides along the table or along a mouth pad equally well. This mouse is really good for a small hand to rest while doing the work. No strenuous movements on the part of the fingers. All thing are literally on the finger tips. Explore mouse designs and colors HERE.
More products are coming to showcase how to add to the successful schooling and learning from home.
Prevent Computer Vision Syndrome with Digital Eye Shield
Spending literally hours in front of the computer screen is not fun for the body. Eyes get the most brunt of the sitting all day long. If you are not familiar with the blue light light effects on our health, including eyes and the skin, you gotta get the facts about it asap.
Read more on how to protect your kid’s eyes from the blue light with Computer Protection Glasses and what you need to know about them.
Eye strain can quickly develop into a chronic disease and disability if not taken seriously. I repeat to my kids again and again how important it is to protect their eyesight and what to do about it.
I’ve done a thorough research on different types of light and how they affect our eyes with time.
Read on the Tips for Best Light Sources and Lamps and discover what will work for your distance learning home set up for kids.
Natural antioxidants to protect eye health against blue light damage
One of the powerful ways to support eye health during the online learning and schooling is to take eye supplements rich in Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Astaxanthin, the potent antioxidants that have been proven by researchers to support a healthy eyesight.
Our eyes have something called macular pigment that absorbs harmful ultraviolet rays and protects the cells in the retina that respond to light (called photoreceptors) from damage. The building blocks of macular pigment consist of Zeaxanthin and Lutein, the powerful antioxidants that protect our eyesight and boost our vision.
When macular pigment is ruined, a horrible diseases called Macular Degeneration can occur. Learn more about the Risks of Macular Degeneration to raise your awareness about it.
Taking supplements that have the building blocks to support our children’s eye sight is vital. Viteyes has the key nutrients that block the blue light and protect the eyes from digital strain and fatigue.
Additional resources for eye health during online learning
Check out these additional resources that I’ve previously created on eye health for women. However, they are powerful ways to support your child’s eye sight as well.
I especially like this post where I talk about a 20-20-20 rule for healthy eyes. This alone will be one of the powerful ways towards prevention against eye strain.
Ways to Combat Sedentary Lifestyle Habits with Effective Tools
It is a well-researched fact that sedentary lifestyle leads to development of chronic conditions and ultimately death, if not taken care of. Hence adding effective tools to boost a virtual learning space set up for kids in a positive and powerful way is vital.
Alternating between sitting, standing, walking and physical movements, you can create some ultimate successes in your child’s virtual learning system. And with that, contribute to her or his healthy living, though with while sitting during a schooling process.
I discuss in more detail if it is Better to Sit or Stand During Your Work Day and what tools to use to support your health during the required sitting hours at work.
Adding a FluidStance® deck to my child’s school day during distance learning is one of the best ways to combat chronic diseases associated with long hours of sedentary living these days. You can explore and buy this balance board HERE (my affiliate link).
FACT: Sedentary lifestyle contributes to developing chronic back pain, numbness and aching in fingers, hands, wrists, and foot pain. Sitting is associated with displacement of internal organs which happens when muscles start over-compensaing due to incorrect sitting for hours on end.
To avoid unnecessary aches and pains, I encourage my kids and myself to stand up every 45 minutes and do anything from this list: yoga stretching, vigorous exercise like jumping jacks, special stretches for back, hands, arms, and legs. It all helps to get our blood flowing and allow the muscles to be in their prime in order to maintain internal structure.
Benefits of FluidStance Deck for Virtual Learning
FluidStance deck is one of the vital tools that helps to keep the balance between sitting and standing.
The company has done its testing. Some of the findings that are very relevant to us are these.
FluidStance decks increase energy expenditure by 19.2% compared to sitting. This boost in energy expenditure contributes to burning more calories while you work, according to research conducted by Mayo Clinic.
In addition to a caloric expenditure, people feel more alive and happier. It is easily explained. With a better blood circulation, the ability to focus increases, your posture improves, and bone health is supported. Overall, the effect is in a happier personality and brighter mood during the day.
More resources you could add and use at all times while doing a lot of computer work is covered in my detailed post What To Do About Sitting All Day. All of the facts have been brought together from my personal experience. So I know it works.
If you wish to change your sedentary life into a powerful way of making your living while keeping your health, check out my post on Myofascial Release you can do from home. Again, all these posts are based on my personal experience of identifying and resolving chronic pains and debilitating conditions.
Importance of Stretching and Moving during the day
When you stay put and glued to your seat for many hours on end, your health will let you know in no time. Instead of waiting for the time and critical mass to accumulate, do get up to stretch and do some jumping jacks or walking for a few minutes.
My kids have created a cool stretching area where they do all-day distance learning. Every 45 minutes, they get up and stretch, do some lunges and step-ups. All of these simple exercises are critical to a child’s health.
In fact, during such brief active breaks, the lymph is flowing through the body, carrying out the byproducts from the chemical reactions in the cells. A few jumping jacks and step-ups get the heart rate going, allowing the brain to get oxygen and other important elements from food and liquids.
My kids set up their super-super Famokids squares in 15 seconds! They clear the area after the school day is done. This Famokids puzzle flooring allows my children to truly to take advantage of the floor footage. They don’t need to go far. They just do their mini physical activities right here, in the same area where they study and have their virtual classes.
The Famokids mat can be customized for shape and size. Though it was initially created for babies, anybody can use these mats to support healthy lifestyle choices. Check out Famokids mat colors HERE.
This amazingly simple product helps us to optimize a space for distance learning.
Personal Desktop Whiteboard for More Effective Distance Learning
To add an eco-clean and very effective tool to any virtual learnin space, use this Slope™ personal desktop whiteboard instead of paper notes. It is so efficient in updating the messages and a to-do list that you’ll fall in love with it in no time.
We all strive to contribute to a lesser footprint in this world. Let’s use a Slope board to do just that! Using a dry-erase marker, you can create a list of what needs to be done, change priorities, and create a new to-do list for the next day. My child loves it! You can get yours HERE.
With the help of a special dock for the phone and charging cables, it is designed to be user-friendly. One more tool to contribute to an Optimal Space for Successful Distance Learning for Kids.