In preparing your child to get into his/her dream college, you’ve probably spent a lot of time thinking about how to address issues like getting homework done, creating study times, and rebounding from a bad test score. One major factor in academic success, however, is often overlooked by parents and children alike: setting up a study area.
A study area that is both comfortable and free from distractions can be as beneficial to your child’s education as her own motivation to succeed. It’s important to remember that, no matter how driven and intelligent your child is, she is still an adolescent who is more easily distracted than an adult. Thus, she may need your help in formulating an environment for her that cuts down on environmental interference and allows her to focus fully on her schoolwork. It’s ideal if you can set up a separate area that is devoted solely to studying, tutoring, reading, etc.
Organization is Crucial
One especially important aspect of a productive study space for your child is organization. A cluttered study area provides more distractions and a disheveled environment can make it difficult for your child to concentrate. Try to use a fairly large space so your child doesn’t feel confined, but also keep it free from unnecessary items. If it seems dull, use thought-inspiring wall-coverings. For example, a bulletin board with a few inspirational quotes posted to it can provide a break from the monotony while keeping your child’s thoughts focused on academic matters.
Furniture and Lighting
Since your child spends all day confined to a small desk in school, it’s best if his home study area can be somewhat more expansive. Try to provide him with a desk large enough that he can spread work across it without creating clutter. Giving him both a desk and a table to work from is ideal.
Furniture for a study area should be comfortable, but not so much so that it makes your child drowsy. For example, a comfortable couch might not be conducive to studying as it could encourage your child to stretch out, which might lead to a nap! Roomy chairs are generally best.
Make sure the lighting in the area is strong enough that your child doesn’t have to strain her eyes to work. If the area is used mostly for online tutoring, make sure there is another source of light in addition to the computer screen.
Talk to Your Child
Finally, don’t neglect to speak to your son or daughter about what he or she would like in a study area. In k-12 education, there is a wide array of learning styles. Make sure you understand how your child learns best and use that knowledge, along with his or her input, to design the perfect study zone!