Homework & Happy Kids… Really?
Get Your Child Excited about Going Back to School: Create a Homework Haven.
Back to school means homework – which means homes with schoolchildren will need study areas for getting homework done. The U.S. Department of Education advises that home study areas should have good lighting, comparative quiet, proper supplies, and space to sit comfortably while writing and referring to spread-out papers and books. Meanwhile, smart parenting says that the study area should also be attractive and interesting enough that the child will at least be contented, if not overjoyed, to be working there.
You may think there isn’t enough space in your child’s bedroom or anywhere else in the house for such a homework haven, but with these tips, you can create an inviting, functional study area in any size home.
-- You don’t want the study area so secluded that children working there can’t be easily supervised, but you do want it away from TVs, computer gaming centers, and your home’s “Grand Central Station.” The space should be free of distractions and clutter, but should include bookshelves, storage, and a complete inventory of supplies such as pens, markers, highlighters, paper, and a stapler. At the same time, it should reflect the child using it, so let him or her have a say in how it will be painted and decorated. As much as possible, make it a place where the child is happy to be.
-- No matter where it is located, whether it is a mobile study area in the dining room where supplies are wheeled in and out on a housekeeping cart, or a permanent spot in an out-of-the-way nook, the study area should have a desk lamp not just because it provides healthier lighting to read by, but because it provides a sense of coziness and routine.
-- Study areas should have a large, easily-visible calendar where goals and due-dates can be clearly marked. Using highlighters to color-code calendar entries is inspiring and helpful; for example, color-coding due-dates in green and study goals in yellow help at-a-glance assessments of the day and week ahead.
-- If the child’s bedroom is too small for both a bed and a desk, consider an overhead space-saver bed with the mattress elevated bunk-bed style above an office-style area. Another option is to convert unused closet or storage space into a study space. Most are large enough for a desk and wall-mounted storage, and can be brightened with colorful paint and mirrors in lieu of windows to introduce light and create a more spacious feel.
Creating a personalized home-study area can help your child get excited about the prospect of going back to school and instill work habits whose benefits will last a lifetime!
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