Noise.less is proud to have held its very first webinar last October 14, 2020. It was led by founder Marty Gonzalez, who is a certified Audio Engineer as well as the President and Chief Designer of EMPI Inc. As explained in the webinar, part of Marty’s reason for setting up Noise.less was to help families address noise concerns within their homes.
The webinar mainly addressed the challenges of managing your kids’ homeschooling during this pandemic. As a parent himself, Marty knows how hard it is to maintain productivity for the whole family at home.
Mixing experts’ advice and his own knowledge in sound treatment, Marty was able to create a full-time learning environment for his kids. Wanting to help fellow parents, he shared his insights in the webinar.
For those who missed it, here are our three main takeaways on how he created his kids’ new classroom at home.
1) Start with the work area
If you want your kids to be productive, their work area needs some semblance of a school environment. Have them work in their own assigned desks, just as they would in a classroom. For Marty, he takes this further by providing desks larger than his kids’ wingspan, allowing them to immerse in their own “cocoon of learning”. Being absorbed by their workspace also keeps them from disturbing their other siblings sharing the room.
You can foster an organized aura by designating stations or cubbyholes for school materials and documents. It also helps to provide good lighting, especially natural light, which boosts the overall health and well-being of your kids. You really must do everything to make the workroom feel different from the other rooms—a real learning environment, and not just a dressed-up part of your home.
2. Create specific policies
Another way to keep a semblance of school is by implementing reasonable rules—your own “school handbook”, so to speak. For instance, Marty makes sure there are no unnecessary gadgets, toys, or other distractions during schooltime. Beds are kept out of sight, and the TV stays unplugged until Friday evening. Anything kept in the workroom, like board games, must be conducive to learning.
Marty also tries controlling the room’s sound levels. He makes sure everyone’s computers/laptops are set within a non-disruptive volume range. He also takes into account the spaces between family members, not just for social distancing, but also for regulating the sound pressure levels of conversations.
By having your whole family observe certain policies, you help them internalize the idea of a serious work environment.
3. Use acoustic panels
As we mentioned in a previous article, unchecked noise can drastically affect your productivity at home.
Echoes thrive when there’s not enough soft material in a room. These echoes may be subtle to untrained ears, but they can do enough damage to your focus, as well as your communication quality (be it with family members or “Zoom-mates”).
For Marty’s case, his family’s makeshift workroom had hard surfaces like marble flooring, glass windows, and wooden cabinets, making the room significantly reverberant. If you have a similar room, with limited space available, installing a few acoustic panels on the ceiling is enough to reduce excessive echoes. “We don’t need as much treatment as a podcast or voice-over studio,” he explained. “We just need to attenuate the sound enough so that the kids feel like they’re in a little learning pod.”
More Ways to Stay Noise.less
For those who are still determined in controlling unnecessary noise in your workroom, Marty recommends installing acoustic panels on wall areas closest to corners. Your kids can work in these corners so their individual sounds are easily controlled and absorbed.
To keep their work environment lively, we recommend our Broadway Paintables as they can feature designs or artwork of your choice. With the right set of colors, you can positively affect the learning and development of your kids.
You may also consider the Flexibooth, which hangs on your wall and opens up into an instant voice booth. For any of your noise-reduction needs, Noise.less has many products that can accommodate your unique room set-up and cater to your convenience.
We’d like all parents out there to know that they’re not alone in facing the challenges of homeschooling. Noise.less can find a way to make things easier for you and your kids. Once you’ve experienced a Noise.less life, you’ll never look back!
For more tips on creating a conducive environment for your kids, check out our previous article!