Kids often study better when they’re in their own study space which is distraction-free. While it’s not always possible to put a whole room aside for study, simply creating a small zone where they can work without their siblings or the TV distracting them can make a big difference to their grades. Here are some ways that you can put together a study space that’ll help them to focus, but also create a pleasant environment that they’ll be happy to spend time in.
Find a suitable space in your home
You most likely won’t have a designated room that can become a kid’s study, unless you want to re-purpose a spare bedroom or sacrifice a walk-in closet. However, you can divide a section of a room using all sorts of things, from bookcases to old shipping pallets. A study area doesn’t have to be completely soundproof, unless your child gets unusually distracted, but it should be somewhere where they can’t see a TV or their siblings playing games. Some background noise, like cooking dinner or cleaning the house, can be quite relaxing to some people when they study.
It’s usually best to put a study area in a communal space, as lots of homework needs to be done on the computer, and time online should always be supervised. Putting a study area in your kid’s bedroom also risks them getting distracted by their toys.
Make it comfortable
While a desk and office chair are good for short bursts of studying, many kids respond better to learning if they’re comfortable. Finding the best bean bag chair for kids will mean they can just relax and get into their books, or they can use a lap tray for when they need to use their laptop or take notes. Kids tend to sit at a desk all day at school, so when they get home, they may study better if they have a big comfy chair to sink into.
Keep things organized
Does your child run around every morning trying to find their books for the day? Or are they that kid with the giant backpack who carries everything around? A study space will help them stay organized, but they might need some help. Firstly, think of installing some bookshelves, as this means any odd textbooks or workbooks around the house can be placed there, making it easy to find them in the morning.
You may also want to add some boxes for keeping things like their laptop, tablet and other things they use for studying safe and secure. This means that when it’s homework time, or they need to study for a test, all the things they need are in one place.
Use natural light when possible
It’s important that a study space is well-lit, you should opt for natural lighting if possible. Natural light can make us more productive, and kids will like having a window in their study space so they can see the outdoors. If it’s not possible to use natural light, for example, if you’re using a windowless room, then make sure the room is well-lit and let your child take plenty of breaks, so they don’t strain their eyes.
Make it an electronic free zone
While your child may need a laptop to study, consider whether it needs to be internet connected. Having the internet will always be a distraction, and while you can put on filters for things like adult content, this won’t necessarily stop your child from goofing off on other fun sites. If you have a Chromebook, you can manage what sites your child visits by syncing them to your Google account, which can be useful if they often mess around on the internet.
Phones are also a big distraction when studying, even if they’re next to them on the table, it’s always tempting to pick them up. Even adults have trouble resisting the lure of a smartphone! Either keep their phone in a separate room, or get them to install productivity apps on their phone, which will allow you to ‘lock’ the phone for certain periods while they study.
Show off their achievements
Run out of space on the fridge for all their amazing pictures and grades? Their study space is a good place to show off their achievements. Put up a pin board so they can stick up some of their favorite projects and keep a shelf clear for medals and certificates. Kids often work harder when they feel encouraged, so when they know they’ve performed well in the past, they’re more likely to want to replicate this success in the future, so it may encourage them to study more.
Install a white noise machine
Every child is different, but in general, if you have music with words playing in the background it’s likely to be distracting. Some parents use classical music as a background noise to a child’s study, although for other children, this can still be too much stimulation. A good way to block out noise and keep your child focused is to play white noise. These soothing sounds are ideal for kids who need to work in busy areas and may find it hard to study. Be warned, white noise can send some kids to sleep, so make sure they aren’t too relaxed.
Every parent or caregiver knows how hard it can be to get your child to sit down and study. It’s no surprise, they sit still at school all day, so unless they love learning they aren’t going to be very enthusiastic about starting over again when they get home. However, by giving them their own little study space, you can gently encourage them to spend more time on their homework and ensure they focus. For each hour of study in their new space, give them a treat such as some screen time, and you may soon see them becoming more enthusiastic about their studies.