Help kids reach academic success with a dedicated study space at home.
While many schools return to the classroom this fall, uncertainty remains. As parents, we’re so ready to see our kids get back to normal schedules. However, the reality is that home will continue to be a place where kids can keep up with their studies over the long haul, if not a backup plan in case schools do close.
Prepare for the unknown while keeping kids focused on their studies with a study space they can call their own. Of course, the temptation to start texting pals or browse for content more fun than homework is real, so we’ve got tips for making the space distraction-free.
Use these tips for the whole family and create a culture of peaceful and collaborative learning at home.
1. Designate a space for studying.
Hopping around the house with laptop in tow can be distracting in itself and doesn’t set the stage for the best study environment. Get kids in the habit of studying in one dedicated space (same goes for you!) and they’ll create a habit of learning every time they use the space.
2. Keep it quiet and stress-free.
A study space should be located in a quiet space in the house (i.e., not the kitchen) and free of clutter, which can add to the stress of studying for an exam. Invite kids to help with the decor to keep it personalized. Look for soothing colors, natural light, and good organizational tools to minimize stress.
3. Make it comfortable... enough.
Give kids everything they need to stay comfortable in their spot for studying: a desk or table, ergonomic chair, wastebasket, printer, and places to file notes and papers for individual classes, even if they are back in school. A space meant for studying will over time help kids create a habit of doing homework and studying in that space. Give kids the flexibility to change or update it based on their needs too to ensure it suits their studying style.
4. Use it only for schoolwork.
A lounge-y spot conducive to watching movies and chatting with friends may inspire them to do just that. Let kids know that it’s a place for studying and nothing else. They may be tempted to use it for personal use but you want them to associate the space with learning, and their minds will immediately shift to study mode while in it.
5. Add greenery.
A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology showed that plants in an office setting can help maintain your attention, improve the indoor air that you breathe, and make a study space more calming. Find low-maintenance houseplants suitable for studying or working, like an aloe or snake plant, for a more peaceful setting.
6. Allow devices meant for only school.
Phones can be a major distraction while studying, no matter what your age. Keep TVs, gaming consoles, and other devices not meant for school out of the space.
7. Add a positive spin.
Studying shouldn’t be a chore but a way for kids to embrace learning. Make the space inviting by bringing in pictures of family, motivational quotes, favorite books, and more to personalize it while still keeping it a heads-down working space. Add an extra chair too for when it’s time to help them with their homework, chat about their school day, or guide them in their learning. Make learning at home a family affair.