Essential Elements for the Ideal Home Study Environment

With distance learning, you can study whenever you want and wherever you want. If studying at home is what you want, here’s what’s important to know about setting up a suitable work/study environment.

  • If possible, find someplace at home you can designate as your distance learning work and study area. That way, you’ll learn to associate the space with your school work. And everyone else will learn to stay away (except for emergencies) when you’re occupying that space.
  • It’s funny how it’s usually pretty easy to tune out background noise. But start concentrating on studying and suddenly every household noise seems loud and distracting. To the extent possible quite all potentially annoying background noise. Turn off the fan and the television, fix the leaky faucet, study when the kids and dogs aren’t around, and do whatever else you can to eliminate distractions.
  • Don’t make your space too cozy. The ideal at-home study environment is ergonomically correct, quiet and well-lit. But be careful; if your space is too comfy and dark, you may end up falling asleep more and studying less.
  • Figure out a way to let others know when you need to be left alone to study. Create “Do not disturb” signs, make and stick to a study schedule, or create signals that others know means stay away.
  • Finally, remember that organization is the key to efficiency. Keep your school materials together in your study space so you always know where they are. Create folders on your email to keep all distance learning communication organized. Your time is too valuable to waste searching for stuff.

Equipment Essentials

You won’t be able to study from a distance without two essentials: an updated computer and a high-speed internet connection. Chances are you’ll also need an email account which you’ll use for communication. Additionally, you may need a TV, DVD, VCR and/or CD player.

Although electronics are getting more affordable, they’ll still take a bite out of your budget. So check to see what you’ll need before committing to distance learning programs and classes.

Keep in mind that owning isn’t your only option. Computer and electronics equipment can be rented or leased. More and more libraries have internet-connected computers available for public use, too.

If you want to own, don’t overlook affordable financing options. Or consider purchasing slightly used equipment. Whatever you do, just be sure the computer you choose was manufactured within the past 3 years.

As far as the internet goes, a wireless connection will give you the most freedom. You’ll be able to plug in anywhere there’s Wi-Fi access like coffee shops, parks and marinas, restaurants, shopping malls, internet cafes, and other privately and publicly owned spaces. Note though that your computer must be set up for this type of internet connection.

Of course, if your home’s already wired for internet access, you won’t have to go anywhere to complete your online learning requirements.