Virtual Home Learning and Work Spaces

Attachment-1-2020-08-02T173634.390 “This time of year is one of my favorites because I feel like back-to-school is a time for new beginnings and goals. Never did I imagine that this start to the school year would begin with remote learning. While virtual learning is not a new concept for the kids as they learned from home in the spring, starting a school year this way feels very strange.

First, the kids will not get to meet their teachers in the classroom. Also, our kids will not be filling up their back packs and picking out an outfit for the first day. It will really be hard for the first day of school to feel like a “real” first day! 

While the kids did just fine with online learning in the spring, I will admit that everyone (including me!) lost our learning “enthusiasm” by the end of the school year. At the beginning of the quarantine, we made sure to get dressed and ready for the day. By the end of the school year, my kids were doing their work in pajamas!

I really want to help the kids stay positive and excited about school. One way I am doing this is by creating cute and fun homeschool set up for the kids!

This past weekend, I spent a few hours rearranging my home office which will not also be a part time classroom. I did not have to spend a lot of money and I was able to gather items I had around the house.

How to Create a Homeschool Set Up in a Small Space

There are a  few things to consider when creating a virtual or homeschool set up in a small space.

1. Pick a space that will have the least amount of distractions. 

You certainly do not need to spend money to create a homeschool work area! And you most certainly do not need a decorated space. The main thing is that it is a space that is free of clutter and distraction!

It is easy for kids to get distracted from learning at home. So, ideally your homeschool area is away from toys, the TV or any other popular distraction in your house!

2. Find a spot that will be dedicated to school. 

This might seem obvious, but you want to find a spot in the house that is solely used for home school.

In the spring when we started virtual learning, my kids mainly used our dining room. Which worked out for a short period of time but it did become a pain to move all of the schoolwork out of the way every  night for dinner. Plus, I did not love having our dining room table covered in school stuff all the time.

3. Decide if all of your kids will share one space. 

A few weeks ago I mentioned that we were looking for  new desks for the kids. We ended up ordering these drawer units from Ikea and then we will add a wood top to the drawers. This shared desk will be for the boys’ room.

However, realistically, I know that my boys will not be able to work together in the same room all day! My second grader will require a lot of attention. Whereas my sixth grader will work mostly independently. Therefore, I decided to use some space in my home office to make a small homeschool set up. 

Then, I can keep a close eye on my second grader while I am working in my office. Also, I hope that my older kids will use this homeschool area too just for a change of scenery!

4. Utilize bins and baskets to organize supplies

Make it easy for the kids to reach for their school supplies by organizing those items into small bins and containers. You can find organization bins at the Dollar Tree, Homegoods and Target. Just a few things to keep supplies organized will make a big difference especially if desk space is limited.

5. Create a warm and inspiring place. 

You do not need to run out and create a simulated classroom for your kids! But at the same time, if you can bring some elements to make the small space feel like a learning environment. Between a few quick trips to the Dollar Store and Michaels, I was able to find a few inexpensive homeschool decor items that made our room feel special.

6. Shop your home for home school decor

I did not really want to invest money into our homeschool set up. Mainly because I do not know how long my kids will be learning at home. Plus, we did just purchase new permanent desk area in the boys room. This homeschool area is more of a temporary set up. Whether we will be using this set up for a few months or an entire school year remains to be known!

So, before I ran out and purchased anything new for the home school room, I shopped my own home!

Here are a few budget friendly homeschool decor ideas:Attachment-1-2020-08-02T182934.143

  • Use books to decorate your home school set up. Books are a FREE way to decorate!
  • Display your kids’ artwork as decor! Art provides a colorful and whimsical look to a school room. Kids love seeing their work displayed. The nice thing is that you can rotate the art work for a whole new look.
  • Mason jars are a cheap way to organize writing supplies. I found this pencil mason jar at a local sale but this set of school themed mason jars are so cute!
  • Chalkboards are another great home school decorating idea!

Decorating Ideas for a Small Homeschool Set Up

I did not need to purchase much for our homeschool set up. But, there are so many cute things at Michaels and Target, that I wanted to buy a few things.

Every year we have a back-to-school dinner so I bought these fun laminated maps  and social system poster for the occasion. (Available at Michael’s in store only) These place mats are also perfect for our home school table. Attachment-1-2020-08-02T195939.298

When I spotted this pencil border (only $.99!) I knew I wanted to find a place for it to go. So, I taped the pencil border to the front of the book shelf. My mom was a 2nd grade teacher and I loved going to set up her classroom with her. I remember she would pick a new bulletin board theme each year. 

I found the storage boxes at a local close out store. The boxes are great for storing extra supplies!

A little plant always brightens up a room. This plant is the only kind that I can actually keep alive:)

We are so happy with how the homeschool room turned out. All of my kids LOVED it. Despite the start of the school year not going as hoped, I feel a lot better about having a fun and cute space to learn at home!”

You can find the original post, here.


Spring Home Maintenance Tips! 🌷

Real Estate Tips Spring Home Maint.

It’s April and Spring has arrived! Now is a great time to take get out and take care of some spring home maintenance items.

Here are a few things to work on during the next couple weeks to keep your home in great shape!

  • Clean out those gutters. Remove any dirt, debris and, leaves that might be in there. Keep them clear so that they drain properly.
  • Service your A/C unit. Have a professional come out and check refrigerant levels, clean condenser coils, check condensation lines and more.
  • Clean around your A/C unit. Remove any leaves or dirt and vacuum coils. (Professional may do this also)
  • Inspect your roof for any loose or missing shingles. Check for soft spots or areas of concern.
  • Inspect your attic. Look for damaged wood, rusted nails, and check to see if fans are ventilating properly.
  • Complete pest control. Spring brings the bugs. Make sure they aren’t getting into your home and causing damage.
  • Open crawl space vents you may have closed or covered for winter. Including hose bibs.
  • Test your sump pump. Make sure your basement or crawl space is still dry and those sump pumps are working.
  • Inspect your septic tank. Have a professional come out inspect and pump if necessary.
  • Pressure wash drive-ways, sidewalks and decks.

Let the new season be a fresh start for your home!


The Housing Market Is Positioned to Help the Economy Recover

The Housing Market Is Positioned to Help the Economy Recover [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • Expert insights are painting a bright future for housing when the economy bounces back – and it will.
  • We may be facing challenging economic times today, but the housing market is poised to help the economy recover, not drag it down.
  • Let’s connect to make sure you’re informed and ready when it’s time to make your move.

Looking to the Future: What the Experts Are Saying

Looking to the Future: What the Experts Are Saying | MyKCM

As our lives, our businesses, and the world we live in change day by day, we’re all left wondering how long this will last. How long will we feel the effects of the coronavirus? How deep will the impact go? The human toll may forever change families, but the economic impact will rebound with a cycle of downturn followed by economic expansion like we’ve seen play out in the U.S. economy many times over.

Here’s a look at what leading experts and current research indicate about the economic impact we’ll likely see as a result of the coronavirus. It starts with a forecast of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

According to Investopedia:

“Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the total monetary or market value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period. As a broad measure of overall domestic production, it functions as a comprehensive scorecard of the country’s economic health.”

When looking at GDP (the measure of our country’s economic health), a survey of three leading financial institutions shows a projected sharp decline followed by a steep rebound in the second half of this year:Looking to the Future: What the Experts Are Saying | MyKCMA recent study from John Burns Consulting also notes that past pandemics have also created V-Shaped Economic Recoveries like the ones noted above, and they had minimal impact on housing prices. This certainly gives hope and optimism for what is to come as the crisis passes.

With this historical analysis in mind, many business owners are also optimistic for a bright economic return. A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey shows this confidence, noting 66% of surveyed business owners feel their companies will return to normal business rhythms within a month of the pandemic passing, and 90% feel they should be back to normal operation 1 to 3 months after:Looking to the Future: What the Experts Are Saying | MyKCMFrom expert financial institutions to business leaders across the country, we can clearly see that the anticipation of a quick return to normal once the current crisis subsides is not too far away. In essence, this won’t last forever, and we will get back to growth-mode. We’ve got this.

Bottom Line

Lives and businesses are being impacted by the coronavirus, but experts do see a light at the end of the tunnel. As the economy slows down due to the health crisis, we can take guidance and advice from experts that this too will pass.

The #1 Thing You Can Do Now to Position Yourself to Buy a Home This Year!

The #1 Thing You Can Do Now to Position Yourself to Buy a Home This Year | MyKCM

The last few weeks and months have caused a major health crisis throughout the world, leading to a pause in the U.S. economy as businesses and consumers work to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The rapid spread of the virus has been compared to prior pandemics and outbreaks not seen in many years. It also has consumers remembering the economic slowdown of 2008 that was caused by a housing crash. This economic slowdown, however, is very different from 2008.

One thing the experts are saying is that while we’ll see a swift decline in economic activity in the second quarter, we’ll begin a sharp rebound in the second half of this year. According to John Burns Consulting:

“Historical analysis showed us that pandemics are usually V-shaped (sharp recessions that recover quickly enough to provide little damage to home prices), and some very cutting-edge search engine analysis by our Information Management team showed the current slowdown is playing out similarly thus far.” 

Given this situation, if you’re thinking about buying a home this year, the best thing you can do right now is use this time to get pre-approved for a mortgage, which you can do from the comfort of your home. Pre-approval will help you better understand how much you can afford so that you can confidently do the following two things when you’re ready to buy:

1. Gain a Competitive Advantage

Today’s low inventory, like we’ve seen recently and will continue to see, means homebuyers need every advantage they can get to make a strong offer and close the deal. Being pre-approved shows the sellers you’re serious about buying a home, which is always a plus in your corner.

2. Accelerate the Homebuying Process

Pre-approval can also speed-up the homebuying process so you can move faster when you’re ready to make an offer. Being ready to put your best foot forward when the time comes may be the leg-up you need to cross the finish line first and land the home of your dreams.

Bottom Line

Pre-approval is the best thing you can do right now to be in a stronger position to buy a home when you’re ready. Let’s connect today to get the process started.