The family home is a place for you all to work, rest and play. Establishing a separate study area for your children to do their homework is important for a number of reasons.
- It separates study apart from other activities in the house. This is important to encourage your child to associate that space with learning.
- It allows your child to switch off from study mode and back into a more relaxed and fun mode, which is equally important to maintain balanced emotional well-being.
- It can be set up to create an environment which is more conducive to learning.
Where is the best place for a child’s study space?
While their bedroom is possibly the first choice, it might be more conducive for the study space to be created in a different area. Your child’s bedroom should be a space where they can rest and relax, play, talk to their friend, and, most importantly, sleep. By having a study space in their bedroom, it may be a constant distraction which places silent pressure on young shoulders.
Consequently, if you have the room try and partition off an area which is dedicated to your child’s studying. If this space is in a communal family area, it will help your child not to feel isolated and mean that you are on hand to help out when necessary.
Create a separate space using partition boards and an aluminium angle that can be folded back when not in use to hide or camouflage the space.
What do you need to include in the space?
First and foremost, the workspace needs to be sufficiently large enough to include a tablet, laptop or PC. All schoolchildren these days need access to technology to do their schoolwork. Indeed, during the pandemic, it became clear that those children who did not have access to smart technology are the ones that were most at risk of falling behind in their education.
Alongside the technology, enough plug points need to be included to ensure that the battery life of the technology does not diminish before your child can complete their schoolwork.
If possible, put a shelf up to hold some books and maybe a couple of inspiring pictures or photographs. Include a dictionary as a reference book. Although everything can be found online, encourage your child to verify spellings via a different source as well to broaden their scope of research skills.
A comfortable chair is essential. If you can invest in a proper office chair. Not only will this last longer, but it will make your child feel more grown up and treated with more ‘adult’ respect which will encourage them to concentrate on their schoolwork with more discipline.
Get the lighting right
There’s something cosy about studying in a defined space by the light of a desk lamp. If the rest of the room is quite dark, it helps your child to focus on the work in front of them. Make sure that you include a funky light that has several settings so that it doesn’t interfere with any screens.
Make it a family affair
If your kids are quite young, it is particularly important to make that study time a family affair. Switch off any other disturbances in the house, such as the TV or radio, create a separate space for yourself as the parent, and use the homework time to catch up on your own admin or other work tasks. The companionship of sitting quietly together for a short period of concentration will create warm and fuzzy memories for your child that will take them into adulthood.