Like many kids, I struggled to get my homework done. After being forced to sit all day, the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was to sit and do more school work.By creating the right environment for your child, you can achieve greater success with homework time.
As an interior designer, before thinking about the look of a space, I consider it’s functionality first. A homework station might not be on the top of your home design projects, but as we welcome this Back-to-School season, perhaps before clothes and shoes, we should think about how we can support our children’s academic success first. Remember, it doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. Keep it small and keep it simple. You and your child can ring in the new school year with a bang. Best wishes to all of you in the coming months!
It’s important to have a dedicated space that is only for homework. It’s the same idea as only sleeping or having sex in bed…no working in bed. Here's why. Your brain recognizes that it is supposed to do a particular task, when your body is in that environment (bed, desk, car, etc.).You can condition your child’s brain to recognize it is homework time when he or she sits at his dedicated homework station.
Here are seven tips for creating a homework station that will support your child’s concentration. Hopefully the results will be increased productivity, greater creativity, better memory retention, and a happier family overall.
#1 Keep it Small// A giant desk only invites more clutter and places for homework to get lost.
#2 Wall-Mounted Desks Work Why? Kids need furniture scaled for their smaller bodies. A wall-mounted desk can be mounted at the right height for your child.
#3 Get a Movable or Bouncy Chair Fact. Our brains function better and stay on task when our bodies are allowed to move freely (Read the Research). Homework time can be especially hard when kids have been made to sit still all day. Look for a chair with mobility such as a bouncy chair or swivel stool. Trust me on this. Your kid will fight you less if they aren’t made to sit in a stationary seat. It’s mommy magic.
#4 Clear the Clutter // Avoid the temptation to fill the space with “cute” desk accessories or motivational wall decor.Use only what you need. Humans need visual space to “think”. For example: When I sit back to ponder for a moment, my eye is drawn to blank wall space. If the desk area (including wall space) is filled with decorative items, it may be distracting for young minds. Save the decorating for the rest of your home.
#5 Choose a Quiet Space // This seems obvious but finding a quiet space can be hard in a smaller home or home with many children. Depending on your child, their own bedrooms may be too distracting with toys, clothes, and no one to keep them accountable. Here are five ideas for unexpected quiet zones. If you can’t get away from the clatter, consider offering your child noise canceling headphones with white noise or classical music. Songs with words will sabotage concentration. BONUS! Here is a list of Pandora stations for Concentration.
Hallway // Via Blulabel Bungalow
Closet // Via Hometalk
Stair Landing // Via My Little Dream Home
Laundry Room / Via Remodelaholic
Entry Way // Via Sand and Sisal
#6 Enlist Your Child’s Advice Ask your child to help you pick out their new desk and/or chair. And perhaps give them a few options for where it should go. Giving your kid ownership of this space will encourage them to use it and maybe…maybe even get excited about it.
#7 Task Lighting is Non-negotiable Overhead lighting alone can cast a shadow onto the work space. Provide your child with a simple task light to illuminate their work. In fact, I personally concentrate best with darker surroundings and a bright desk.
I hope these help solve some of the "creative differences" between kids and parents with regard to homework time!