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Homework Tips: Organize a Study Space
Good study habits are vital for success in school, and one of the most effective ways to encourage those is to have a study space. You can help your child focus better and even enjoy doing homework more by providing a clean, bright work area.
You don't have to have a lot of money to make a special space - just some time and creativity. And getting your child involved right away will generate excitement and make the project more fun to do. When it's done, you might not even have to remind him it's homework time!
To plan a new area, or revamp an existing one, use these steps as a guide.
1. Take A Personal Inventory
Your child has a unique personality and learning style, so why shouldn't her study space? Answer a few questions before making any changes.
- Does your child work better in a quiet environment or somewhere with a little background noise?
- Are there special needs that effect his ability to study?
- How organized is your child now?
The information you gather is a list of needs and preferences, and will give you an sense of what space to use and how to best utilize it.
2. Pick The Place & Claim It
The most common place for a study area is the bedroom, since it offers some privacy and familiarity. But if your child needs more supervision, of if space is at a premium in your home, then carve out a corner of the kitchen, dining room, or even living room.
Whatever room it's in, dedicate that space to be a "study-only" zone. If possible, keep the area free of any mail, magazines, kitchen utensils or other unrelated items. That will lead your child to associate that place with learning, and they'll feel ownership of it.
Extra Resources On Organization From Amazon
General Design Considerations
- Make sure there is plenty of light, whether natural or by lamps.
- Consider having a separate craft area. Cover the table, and put a washable rug or floor finish underneath it.
- Choose a comfortable, chair with adjustable height to provide good support for the back.
- Find furniture that fits the size of your child. If they are using the kitchen island or table, see that he can easily reach his work.
- Using chalkboard paint or dry erase material for walls creates a new place for your child to doodle or practice a math problem, and a new way for you to communicate with each other.
- Cork Boards are still great for posting art, recognition and awards, as well as the week's schedule (put a copy up in your kitchen, too).
3. Make A Storage Strategy & Buy Supplies
Whether she'll be using a desk or table, you'll need to provide your child with as much surface space as possible to work on while having necessary items within reach.
Storage options (Note: for best results remember - everything should have a home)
- Shelving above to hold books or a computer, plus immediate supplies
- Boxes or tubs to hold school or library books, notebooks and paper (Folders in different colors for each subject will make it easier to keep track of on-going projects or class overviews)
- A Lazy Susan for holding scissors, glue, tape, and rulers
- Jars or vases for pencils, pens and markers
With the space organized and neater, see what supplies need to be replenished. Buy a few extra pencils, erasers, pens, as those always seem to disappear. Tape, scissors, highlighters and paper can run out unexpectedly as well.
Purchase any batteries needed for radios or CD players. Equip him with a dictionary (and a foreign language version for a high school student taking Spanish or French, etc.) and a thesaurus for English and Language Arts classes.
4. Customize The Space
Adding some personal touches to a study space will make your child feel special and take the space more seriously. This is where your child will add a bit of her own style.
Painting the wall or desk a favorite color makes the area inviting. Then ask your child what they'd like to put in their space.
Fun Items to include:
A favorite photo
A mug in a color they like
A poster or theme-based collage (sports, movies, etc)