Most teachers and educators agree that having a designated study space in the home helps kids succeed in school. Students of all ages need a place of their own to read, do homework, work on projects, and store their school supplies. If you don’t have an established study space in your home, summer is a great time to create one. Here are some smart ideas to consider for your star student.
• Don’t automatically put the study space in your child’s room, which is often full of tempting distractions like toys, televisions, and video games. It might make more sense to carve out a study space in another quiet part of the house, such as a corner of the living room, dining room, entryway, guest room, or even a wide hallway. Think outside the box, and consider spaces like garage and basement areas, too.
• You’ll need a workspace, such as a desk, table, or counter, a comfortable chair, and some storage space. If you don’t have enough room for drawers or shelves, you can store school supplies in boxes or plastic zippered bags. Cups can hold pens and pencils, and baskets can contain larger markers, scissors, staplers, and art supplies. Thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales are great places to search for inexpensive desks, chairs, file cabinets, and bookcases.
Related: 5 Tips to Keep Your Kids Organized
• Lighting is very important. It’s best to have some type of task lighting, such as a desk lamp, to provide adequate illumination.
• If you have room, a bulletin board is a nice addition. Your student can use the bulletin board to keep track of assignments, tests, and school activities. You can also post papers, quizzes, and report cards with good marks for encouragement, or inspirational quotes. Making your own bulletin board is a nice rainy day project.
• Include some comfortable touches to make sure your student wants to spend time there. A pillow might make a chair more inviting, and a colorful throw might ward off winter chills. A coaster will let the student keep some water nearby, and a few healthy snacks can supply fuel for studying.
• Include a calendar somewhere in the study space to help your student keep track of their days, when schoolwork is due, and when holidays are approaching.
• Be sure to include your child in planning the study space and incorporate their ideas and desires. Try to use as many of their favorite colors as possible, and ask them how they’d like things to be arranged.
• Vertical magazine storage boxes can help keep papers, folders, and files organized and within easy reach.
• Try to incorporate your child’s name or initials somewhere in the space. This will help your student feel ownership of the area and hopefully he or she will take pride in it.
• Don’t forget to put a wastebasket within easy reach to help keep the space neat and tidy.
Designating a place in your home for schoolwork shows that you make learning a priority, and will encourage students to make it a priority, too. Start pulling your home’s study space together now so it’s ready for the first day of school!