Transitioning from the freedom of summer vacation to the structure of school can be difficult for even the most earnest little learners. Manage overwhelm by creating a kids study room that helps them focus without creating stress or mess. Find ten kids study room ideas for organizing homework headquarters below.
CONSIDER YOUR CHILD’S LEARNING STYLE
Allocating a designated room for studying is a great way to help your child focus. The idea behind a designated work area is to ‘set the scene’ for study. A productive study environment will be different for each child and one of the most important things to consider is your child’s learning style.
Do they require solitude, supervision or a busy environment to focus? Their learning style will help you decide on how far their dedicated study room should be from communal areas; how closed off the room needs to be; and how a space can be co-habited by two different types of learners.
If you already have a kids study room that needs to be shared, use furniture placement to create separate nooks. A desk facing a wall bordered by a bookshelf will be more private and a desk facing an open door will feel closer to action outside.
If you don’t have a spare room to turn into a study, don’t worry. There are several creative solutions to help you design the study space your child needs.
GET CREATIVE WITH STUDY AREAS
You can inspire productivity without a designated kids study room by getting creative with existing spaces. Create closed-off study areas by placing a desk and shelves in an open closet, under a loft bed, or in a bedroom.
Open spaces such as the dining room table or kitchen counter can easily transform into study areas by using transportable drawers for supplies (more on this below).
If you only have open spaces available, create solitude by using task lighting and personal headphones. Shutting off the TV and radio during study time will also minimise distractions.
KEEP EVERYTHING NEARBY
Everything that your child needs for study should be within reach during study time. This will avoid distraction by keeping them at or very near their desk. Do this by hanging their school bag nearby, storing reference books on a shelf within reach, and allocating a desk drawer for stationery.
If you are working with a communal space like a dining room table, make use of a portable trolley or set of drawers that can hold the key materials they’ll need to study. This way they can have easy access to their learning tools during study time and you can reclaim your dining room by stowing it away at dinner.
ASK YOUR KIDS FOR THEIR IDEAS
Your children are more likely to want to use the space if they are excited about it. Ask them about their ideas; talk to them about their study inspiration; have them pick out colours, furniture and supplies and encourage them to help you put the area together. Including your kids in this task will get them in an ‘assignment’ frame of mind through a fun project. They are also more likely to use the space if they are excited to be in it.
MAKE IT COMFORTABLE
Comfort is key for concentration. Make sure the desk and chair ‘fit’ your child, and add a seat cushion or consider swapping a chair if it doesn’t. There should also be plenty of light and even task lighting to reduce eye strain.
A comfy chair or bean bag for reading is a nice touch if you have space for it. This will allow them to sit upright while reading keeping them snug and relaxed.
CONCEAL STUDY ROOM CLUTTER
When it comes to distractions, clutter is the most common culprit. Everything on a desk acts as a visual stimulus which is why unnecessary items and mess should be kept to a minimum.
Allocate storage space in your kids study room so that it can be accessed when needed but isn’t a distraction when it’s not. Use magazine files and folders to keep loose paper organized and keep stationery in drawers or holders.
Baskets and boxes are great for organizing shelves and keeping clutter out of sight. It’s a good idea to inspect hidden spaces regularly so that you know what you have and can keep mess under control.
Keep cords tidy by using labels to identify what each cord is for and consider using a desktop cable organizer to keep visible cords neat.
INJECT THE STUDY ROOM WITH INSPIRATION
Even though a study room’s primary purpose is work, it shouldn’t feel stifling. Keep them motivated and eager to work by surrounding them with inspiration.
Ask them to create a collage of their goals; display academic and extracurricular awards; or decorate with art inspired by their favourite books, music or stories. Different things will invoke inspiration in different children, so asking them for their ideas with this task is important.
Keep inspiring items clutter-free by using wall space, shelving or picture frames to display pieces rather than placing too many items on the desk.
ORGANIZE A STUDY ROOM WITH UPCYCLED ITEMS
Kids study rooms tend to accumulate small random items. Even the smallest things should have a place and upcycled containers such as jars and old plastic Tupperware make for perfect small storage space. Containers with lids are ideal for organizing baskets and drawers as they can be stacked. Use transparent ones if possible and put a label on everything.
Time management is an important skill to teach children. If your kids have trouble focusing or getting started, set them completion goals within a set time limit. Always make sure the goals are attainable and are agreed on together. A wall clock should be visible from the desk to help them keep time.
A calendar or to-do list will keep kids aware of upcoming projects and due dates. If overwhelm is an issue, break large assignments up and display them on a weekly calendar instead of a monthly one. Reaching smaller frequent goals will also give them a sense of accomplishment.
Make calendars fun by using pinboards, whiteboards and sticky notes that they can customize.
KEEP KIDS STUDY ROOMS CLEAN
Keeping study spaces clutter-free and organized is important for fostering focus. Keeping the area clean will ensure that they work in a safe space.
If your children often use paints, glitter or miss the mark with their markers, use preventative measures such as table covers or newspaper to protect furniture and floors. Using washable paint for walls is also a good idea as it will make cleaning easier.
Shelves can quickly harbour hidden dust which can aggravate allergies and asthma. Wipe with a microfiber cloth and natural cleaner to reduce build-up.
Conventional cleaners often contain asthma and allergy triggers, so be sure to use a cleaner that is hypoallergenic and irritant-free. You can also pull baskets and books to the edges so that shelf surfaces aren’t exposed. Just be sure to keep anything heavy that can fall out of reach.
As always, be sure to only use natural products that won’t leave behind toxic residues and spot test new solutions in an inconspicuous area. This will ensure that your kids’ space is clean and non-toxic.