If your child has reached school age, chances are that you will need to make some accommodations in your home to enable them to follow properly distance learning when the new school year starts. Take time and think things through so you can come up with the best solution for a set-up that will ensure an effective remote-learning environment that suits your entire family.
This can be challenging and for most families, balancing family life, work, and school under one roof is far from ideal. But just as home offices get great benefits from clever design, so too can kids’ study spaces.
Here are several practical tips for creating a productive study space at home.
Designate a Consistent Workspace
Whether you live in a spacious home or a tiny studio, it’s imperative you find a designated study space. The key is consistency even though some kids prefer to move around to different areas of the home to study throughout the day. A designated study hub for each child is what will ensure they establish a consistent routine and minimize background noises when other family members have their online lessons or videoconference calls.
Look for Kid-Friendly, Adaptable Furniture
It can be tricky to find the right ergonomic furniture for a child not yet done growing, so look for adaptable furniture that grows and change with your kid. With non-adjustable pieces, just make sure it allows the child to sit comfortably. You can also use learning cushions to boost small bodies and give them some freedom to get their twiddles out. And, don’t forget some convenient storage to keep the clutter at bay, such as a bookshelf storage organiser with an integrated storage box at the bottom to put the toys away so they don’t pose a distraction at study time.
If you’re struggling to fit in a standard desk, try searching for online furniture for the best option. A small study desk can be a great alternative for a classic work desk and it can have a double duty as well – after studying, kids can use it as a desk for playing games, doing arts and crafts, or even for snacks.
You should take distractions into account from the beginning. Setting up a study space in a room full of toys and games, such as a playroom or bedroom, is going to make it very hard for your kids to concentrate. If possible, set up their study space in an under-utilized space such as a reading nook, a mezzanine, or even a spare or guest room. Noise-cancelling headphones are also a great option not just for the kids but for the whole family as they’ll help block out each other’s Zoom calls.
You can easily eliminate visual distraction by orienting the desk away from all the activity and have it facing a window, a corner, or a wall. This will also allow you to keep an eye on the screen. And the simple act of keeping the space uncluttered will work wonders – use storage to put things away and leave out only the bare essentials.
Ensure Good Lighting
The right lighting is essential in any workspace, but for kids particularly as it protects their eyes from strain and helps them stay focused. An ideal approach is to create layered lighting that combines natural daylight with artificial lighting. A must-have is task lighting but a directed task-light source is imperative especially as daylight fades fast in the fall and winter.If the workspace is small and you feel it needs more lighting, consider adding a wall sconce that you can mount to a free wall above the child’s desk. If you opt for the one with a flexible arm, your child will be able to adjust it as needed.
Leave Room for Personal Touches
Kids love to participate in projects as it gives them a sense of involvement and accomplishments, so make sure they take part in setting up their study space and allow them to give it a personal touch. A cork bulletin board or magnetic board is a great way to display important information such as daily agenda, timetable, upcoming assignments and so on. This also gives the kids a chance to express their creativity and customise their workspace.
Implementing these five steps will provide a study-conducive environment for your children where they can fully concentrate on their work but it will also form a foundation for their future academic success. There’s no such thing as a perfect study environment, but using these tips, you can help your little students be as focused and productive as possible when they prepare to pass their next big test with flying colours!
By Diana Smith