This was new to me, I was pleased to receive an article regarding creating a good study area for children and how that impacts learning. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks Susan!
Whether your child is in preschool or high school, homework is a vital part of scholarly success, and the environment in which they work at home can make a big difference in how well they study and learn. Just like with adults, kids are more prone to sit down and hammer out work when their designated area is inspiring and free of distractions. If you want to create an adequate learning space for your child at home, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Declutter and Make Room
The first step in creating a learning space is to declutter the area, as it can be hard to see the potential in a space when it’s full of junk. Freeing up the space will give you a better idea of whether it’s the one you want to use as a study area, and a blank canvas can help you envision the rest of the process and the final product. Once you’ve created your child’s learning space, keeping the area organized and free of clutter should be maintained daily.
Another thing to consider is that you may want to create a reading nook for your child to study in. A reading nook needs much of the same elements as a workstation (i.e. adequate lighting, room for storing supplies, comfort, privacy); so if there’s room, you can have the workstation and reading nook in the same general area. If that makes the space feel too crammed, however, it’s better to make them two separate areas.
Shed Some Light on It
Whether you choose a bedroom, den, or basement, it’s essential that the learning space has adequate lighting. Windows are great because they let in natural light during the day, which lends many benefits to cognitive function. While a view of the outdoors can be distracting from time to time, it’s worth the extra vitamin D your kid will be getting. For when the sun’s down, it’s important to have a light fixture or two around the desk. Desk lamps and overhead lamps are the best options to help your child see their work and concentrate.
Another key factor in making a good learning space is making sure there aren’t too many electronic devices around. This could mean banning your kid’s video games from the area or restricting their tablet use. Also, set them up in an area where they won’t be distracted by others watching TV, listening to the radio, etc. Some children work more efficiently to certain kinds of music (e.g., classical or jazz). However, if you keep a stereo in their space, you’ll want to check in every now and then to make sure they’re still working hard.
Get What They Need
Having your child’s learning space stocked with the necessary supplies is key to ensuring their productivity. This means having a calculator, protractor, ruler, pencil sharpener, pencils, pens, and anything else they may need readily available. You don’t want your kid to be in the middle of homework and not have the tools they need to finish! Consider getting some clear bins to organize their belongings and help keep the area clean.
Include Your Child in the Process
Nothing will inspire your child to learn and create things in their designated space like letting them personalize it. Ask them for any ideas they have for the design of the place, look online together at cool workstations, and go shopping to pick out some fun decorations. Paint the area your child’s favorite color, paint a section with chalkboard paint, and hang some of their own art on the wall. You could even have a sign made with their name on it to hang above the desk or have personalized pencils made.
Any parent knows that much of a child’s learning happens at home. Why not do what you can to give them the best chance of success? Declutter an area of the home and make room for their workstation and reading nook. Make sure there is proper lighting, minimal distractions, and adequate supplies. And let your child personalize their space so they feel invested.
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