End of summer signals back to school and homework. Want your kids to have a successful school year? Then having a good place to study at home is essential. Children need a place to do homework, whether in their bedroom or a separate space designed just for study. With a little “homework” on your part, you can create a study area that will serve your kids from first grade through high school.
Location is Key, Room is Not
The room is not as important as the location of the study area. Books to read, papers to write, and math problems to solve are best done in a place where kids can concentrate in comfort and without distractions. Homework always loses to television and toys so keep study areas sufficiently separated from main activities (but close enough for parental supervision if needed).
Tight on space? Efficient study areas can fit into nooks on a large landing or under stairs, overflow space at the end of a hallway, or in the corner of a quiet room. Younger children need parents nearby for help so a desk or counter in the kitchen is sufficient.
As kids get older, study areas tend to gravitate to their bedrooms. In shared bedrooms, each child should have their own desk and at opposite ends to avoid distraction (and fights).
Plenty of Storage for Supplies
Include the following child-height furniture:
- Desktop big enough to spread out papers and books; space for a computer
- Storage drawers for papers and materials
- Open shelves for reference books, wall mounted with brackets or recessed into the wall
- File drawers, chests, and bookcases if space allows
- Comfortable chair
Accessories Add an Element of Playfulness
Studying can be serious but accessories don’t have to be. An element of playfulness can be added with colorful, attractive containers, from pencil holders to stacking trays to baskets. Bulletin boards allow pin ups without damaging walls and kids can have fun adding their favorite photos and mementos. Maps, nature photos and scientific charts can decorate the walls and teach at the same time. Be sure to display a whimsical clock for a fun way to learn to tell time.
Study areas need a variety of light sources depending on the project at hand but task lighting is most essential, especially for late-night studying. Wall or under-cabinet mounted save space. If desk lamps are used, keep out of reach of small children and make sure electrical cords are not exposed to view. Indirect light is best to minimize glare when using a computer.
The Key to Success
The key to success in creating a study area? A quiet area to study, an adequate work surface, ample storage and good lighting is healthier, more comfortable and less tiring for your child. The learning process is fostered or frustrated depending on how these tools are supplied. Make sure you pass the grade by supplying the right tools for their success.
Other posts in the Creating Kids’ Home Study Centers Series:
- Creating Study Areas to Produce Successful Kids
- Choosing the Best Study Area Desk
- Reduce Fatigue with an Ergonomic Study Chair
- Kid’s Computer Station Necessities
- Relaxing Reading Areas for Kids
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