Tips for creating the perfect homework space
An organized workspace at your office lends itself to effectiveness and productivity. The same goes for your kids' homework space. And though your children can sprawl out on their beds to do homework, it's much more beneficial and organized to create a proper space.
Pick the right area
You don't need to use an entire room to create a space that is conducive to study, but you do need to choose the right area of your home. You need room for a desk, chair and other essentials. The homework spot should be in a low-traffic area of your house, but in a position where parents can monitor. A built-in desk in the kitchen can work perfectly, as it allows parents to give any needed help while preparing dinner.
Read the best ways to help kids with homework >>
Make sure it's well lit
If possible, set up the homework space in an area near a window for natural light. A sunny window seat may not work for written work, but it makes a comfy spot to curl up and read. A few pillows and an afghan will create an enticing reading nook.
For a desk area, consider purchasing a quality light, such as the OttLite desk lamp. OttLite's 508 illumination technology brings the high quality of natural light indoors. These lamps are energy-efficient, plus they reduce glare and eyestrain to create the ideal environment for reading and studying.
Keep it organized
The study space needs to be stocked with the essentials your child needs for homework — pens, pencils, paper and other necessities. You should also include a computer for doing research and writing papers.
Stock the study space
In addition to the aforementioned supplies, you should also include a small bookcase or rolling cart with dictionaries, a thesaurus and other study tools or reference materials. For a kitchen or office study area you can designate a nearby cabinet like this one from Our Fifth House. Keep a homework caddy made from a tray or basket on the shelf with other items they may need. It should include erasers, scissors, glue, tape, paper clips, a stapler, calculator and other items. This way, if your child needs to take a project to the kitchen table or another area of the house, she can easily bring the supplies with her. Just make sure that the caddy is returned to its proper place — children shouldn't have to look all over the house to find their supplies.
Read about how to improve your sitting posture >>
Encourage proper posture
Set up the computer and chair in a way to avoid damage to the hands, fingers, arms, neck, shoulders and back. Teens can get repetitive stress injury, carpal tunnel syndrome or other aches and pains from spending hours on the computer. Buy wrist rests and a comfortable, ergonomically correct chair. The key is posture. Encourage kids to sit up straight, keep the computer screen at eye level, and use an adjustable chair.
Keep them motivated
Keep your kids motivated and focused to get their homework done. Set up a vision board or bulletin board with motivational pictures and quotes. Check on them often when they're doing homework, without pressuring too much. Build breaks into their study time so that they don't get burned out. Provide your kids with healthy, one-handed snacks such as carrot sticks or pretzel sticks to eat while doing homework.