A successful school career begins with good study habits. Young children learn these habits best at home, where they can complete homework assignments while receiving loving encouragement from their parents. And an inviting study area is an important part of that environment. Part of preparing to go back to school is getting a place ready to do homework every evening. Here are a few tips on creating a homework zone where your children will want to work and learn.
Set aside an area specifically for study. This area can be almost anywhere in the house that is quiet enough to let young minds concentrate on their assignments. Set up the study area for elementary-age children outside the bedroom, so you can easily watch over homework time and help out when necessary.
Find the best desk. Student desks can be smaller than office desks to accommodate young kids, but many are large enough for teenagers and adults. A student desk is usually narrower than an office desk and fits into more spaces. The surface needs to be large enough to accommodate electronics and school books. If your homework zone doesn't have storage shelves or bookcases nearby, choose a desk with drawers to hold extra school supplies.
Pair the desk with a comfortable chair. A good chair will make it easier for each child to focus on his homework. There are plenty of office chairs that older kids and teenagers can sit in, but if they are too business-like for your home decor, look for a sturdy dining chair. Dining chairs often make good desk chairs and are available in many styles. Purchase at least one extra chair, so you can sit down to help with homework. Smaller children may need foot stools for their chairs. Studies have found that children may focus better when sitting on a yoga ball; if your child could use extra help focusing, you may want to look into this option.
Upgrade the lighting. The homework zone needs to be in a well-lit area. Check your overhead pendants and sconces to make sure they provide enough illumination for the desk area. Often, a small change in lighting can make a big difference, so keep a desk lamp with an adjustable arm nearby to use whenever a child needs extra light.
Add some inspiration. Even enthusiastic students can lose focus during homework time. Keep children motivated with artwork. Motivational posters and framed hangings of their own art will make kids smile and feel good about their accomplishments. Put a bulletin board on the wall in the zone where kids can pin up calendars, assignments, and schedules.