Whether your child is returning to traditional classes or adjusting to full- or part-time virtual education this fall, the right at- home study space for homework or remote learning can have a significant impact on your child’s school experience.
This school year will be a particularly challenging one as students, teachers and parents alike adapt to the new normal of COVID-era education. There’s never been a more important time to ensure your child’s at- home study space is a calming oasis of learning. Here are a few tips for creating an at-home study space that will help encourage your child’s productivity and engagement.
Choose the right area
Take some time to evaluate the best possible location for your child’s study space based on age, learning style and, of course, the configuration of your home. For younger kids or those who prefer to have plenty of support from parents as they work, it may be better to set up their study space somewhere central in your home. It’s a fine line between an interactive environment and a distracting one, however, so make sure you steer clear of the TV or anything else likely to sidetrack your child from school work.
A more private, out-of-the- way spot, on the other hand, is generally a better fit for older children or those who prefer to work in a quiet environment. If you don’t have a spare room in your home to use as a dedicated study space, you can try adding a privacy screen or curtains in the living room, dining room or your child’s bedroom to help carve out a designated school work area.
Whatever type of study space you choose, the most important factor is ensuring your child works in the same spot each day to help establish a consistent learning routine.
Make a plan for organization
We all work better in tidy spaces, so it’s important to make a plan for keeping your child’s study space organized. The right work surface size can make a big difference. Aim to give your child adequate space to spread out and work effectively but not so much extra space that there’s a temptation for clutter to build up.
It can also be helpful to teach your child to keep essentials, such as books, binders and a pencil case, in designated spots so your child knows every item belongs in a particular place.
Your child’s study space can serve as a place to help organize a schedule as well. If space allows, add a whiteboard or corkboard and put your child’s daily schedule on it. This can also be a good place to leave notes of encouragement or an outline of daily goals. It’s a great way to teach your child to manage homework and deadlines. It can be helpful to also have a clock nearby so your child can keep track of the schedule.
Consider the proper ergonomics
Ergonomics aren’t just a consideration for office workers — the space should also allow your child to sit in a way that’s comfortable and supportive. Ideally, your child’s study space work surface should come up to about waist height, allowing your child to rest arms and wrists on the surface. If your child’s chair is too low, consider using a seat cushion for propping up to the ideal height.
If your child isn’t able to comfortably sit up straight against a chair’s backrest, you can use a pillow or a rolled up blanket for extra support. Similarly, if your child’s feet aren’t able to reach the floor when sitting in the study chair, use a footrest or a box to help your child sit with feet flat. Make sure your child sits about 45 to 75 centimetres away from the screen to minimize eye strain.
Let your child personalize the space
The more involved your child can be in personalizing the study space, the more likely your child will feel happy and eager to work there. Let your child add artwork, plants, photos or anything else meaningful. Encourage your child to pick out different elements of the study space, such as a chair, and to choose the school supplies that will be used. Personalizing the study space will help make it feel more inviting and inspiring for your child.