It’s hardly a new problem, nor one unique to this generation; how to get kids to do their homework and study for those big tests. Rewards, punishments, threats, screams, groundings, out-and-out bribery, it can often seem that you’ve tried it all.
One of the things that does help, no matter what kind of student your kid is, is having a great study space to work in. While we know that most homes don’t have a spare room that can be repurposed as a standalone study even the corner of a tiny bedroom can be remade as the perfect study area.
Need some inspiration and guidance? Then please read on…
#1 Encourage Organization
When you begin choosing a desk and other furnishings for your child’s new study area try to keep storage and organization top of mind at all times while you shop. Most kids – especially busy tweens and teens – do tend be rather messy and disorganized. Providing them with good storage and organizers can help them stay tidier by giving everything a ‘home’.
Obviously, pens, pencils, papers and other essential supplies need to be kept close to hand. Hiding them away in drawers won’t help as most kids won’t look for them and they will either turn everything upside down hunting for them or simply yell for you to find something every time they need it.
Add trays to their new desktop to hold writing implements and assorted similar supplies, easy to access shelves for their books and notebooks and maybe consider labelling things too. There should be a few cubbies or drawers though, for storing those lesser used items neatly out of sight when not in use.
#2 Make It Practical But Stylish.
A practical but stylish kids study space is not only possible but a must if you are trying to get your child to spend more time there. Every kid has their own style and it’s usually very important to them. Allowing them to express some of that style in their new study space will make it feel more comfortable and inviting to spend time in.
Let your kids go shopping with you and try to give them as much say in the decor purchases as possible. If a kid has invested time in designing the space they want they will be far more likely not only to use it but to keep it clean and organized as well.
#3 Let There Be Lots of Light
Good lighting is crucial to any study space. For daytime study try to make the most of any natural sunlight that enters the space. However, at the same time watch out for computer screen glare, which is bad for the eyes as well as making it harder for anyone to work. If there is a lot of light diffuse some of it with a sheer window panel.
For evening study, or for rooms that simply do not get a lot of natural light, a layered lighting scheme is a must. In addition to the central lighting that serves the room, in general, there should be easy to position desk lamps and wall based scounces can be used to add a little extra ambient illumination.
#4 Music and More
Insisting that kids study in silence can often be very counterproductive. A lot of people – both children and adults – find that they actually more productive and focused if they can listen to their favourite music as they work.
If your child is one of those people – and many are – providing them with a good, easy to control (as in they don’t have to go halfway across the room to do so) stereo system is not only a rather nice thing to do it may also make a big difference to their study habits.
In the same vein, their seating should be ergonomic AND comfy. A chair that is too large, too small or too hard is just going to make sitting to study a pain (literally) and so do spend a decent amount of time (and consider investing a little more money) to find the right chair for their unique body that will not only work well for them now but can ‘grow’ with them as well.
#5 Help for Smaller Spaces
Not every kid has a huge bedroom. If your child’s room is on the smaller size and you are struggling to see how you could reasonably – and neatly – fit in a desk and chair etc., fear not, help is at hand.
You could swap a standard bed for a cabin bed or raised loft bed that comes with a desk built in. You could create a small study area in a cupboard (it can be done and its sort of cool, check out the picture below) or, if you are a bit DIY savvy, you could even build a wall mounted desk (check out this great instructional piece here for just how that’s done) And if you are really stuck for help, give us a call. We have the skills and experience to help you create the perfect study space for your child.