As a parent, it’s important to demonstrate to your child that you are dedicated to their learning. One way to do so is to set up a dedicated space within your home where they can study with limited interruptions and distractions. Unfortunately, not many of us are lucky enough to have a home office or spare bedroom we can use as a study space, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do so. I have teamed up with a sixth form in Somerset to share some of the most important elements of a study space that you should consider when setting one up.
Wherever you set up the study space, it must be tidy and organised. If your child has to spend time rummaging through sheets of paper or other strewn items to look for a ruler, they will waste valuable study time and probably lose momentum. It’s also difficult to concentrate when surrounding by clutter. With this in mind, invest in some stationery pots, folders or even some drawers to keep things neat and organised.
Your child’s study space should also be fully stocked with all of the relevant tools and equipment they need to get the job done. Make sure they have suitable stationery, a calculator and their revision guides and textbooks.
Believe it or not, lighting has a huge impact on productivity, even for adults. This is because, as humans, we are fine tuned to work during daylight and rest when it’s dark. If setting up the study space near a window isn’t an option, make sure your child has a desk lamp that illuminates the task at hand. It would also be wise to encourage them to take regular breaks to rest their eyes, as poor lighting can lead to eye strain.
Of course, it goes without saying that if your child is trying to study while people are chatting next to them or watching TV, they will struggle to focus. With that said, try and set up the space away from any distractions. You should also chat to the rest of your family/other children about respecting your child’s study space and ask them to keep the noise down while your child is doing their homework or revising.
Consider the furniture in the study space because it’s important that your child is comfortable. Their desk and chair should be an appropriate height so that that they don’t have to stretch, hunch or bend their arms or wrists in an uncomfortable manner. If they are uncomfortable or even in pain, they won’t be able to concentrate on the task at hand. Perhaps consider investing in adjustable equipment so that you don’t have to replace it all every time your child has a growth spurt.