As your child gets older, homework becomes an ever-growing part of their school life. One of the ways in which you can help as a parent is by creating a comfortable and well-designed space for them to study in. Doing homework to a good standard is important, but it shouldn’t become a source of stress, and this is where a well-designed space comes into its own for your child.
Even for children just starting school, having a quiet place for learning at home is a good idea. If this is sounding expensive, it doesn’t have to be. Here’s our handy guide to help you create the flawless homework headquarters.
Find the perfect location
First things first – decide on where you’re going to put the study area. If space permits, the most obvious place is in your child’s bedroom, but a quiet corner of a hallway, living room or kitchen would also work. In fact, younger children need to be doing homework in a place where you are close at hand, not hovering over them but instantly available to supervise. This is when a corner of the kitchen or living room works best.
Choose the furnishings wisely
A desk and chair, the right lighting and a few inexpensive and well-thought out pieces of furniture are all you need to make a comfortable homework space. When choosing a desk and chair, make sure they’re comfortable and allow room for your child to grow. Think about using bright colours to make the space attractive, stimulating and child-friendly.
Get the light right. Invest in a good, angle-poise desk lamp to create a focused pool of light that helps your child concentrate and avoid eye-strain.
Organisation is key
A wall-planner or calendar is very helpful as a reminder of when homework needs to be handed in, but also for tracking those all-important things like when to bring in PE kit, cookery ingredients, permission slips or costumes for the school play. Staples’ downloadable homework and activity planners will help make sure you capture all the essentials.
An in-tray and an out-tray might sound a little ‘corporate’ but they can be life-savers in helping your child and you remember those bits of paper that need to be filled in and sent back to school. Keeping the desk tidy and clutter-free will help create a calm environment where your child can think and work. Pots and desk-tidies will help keep stray pencils and pens in check.
Stay on top with tech
Sometimes you can’t beat the old pencil and notepad for studying, but with the plethora of technology gadgets in the modern age, adding a few to your child’s study space could be a wise decision. Rather than a laptop, invest in a desktop PC for your child to work on, so it feels like they are actually in school when doing their homework. Or if they are a little bit younger, a tablet could be the perfect way for them to engross themselves in interactive and educational games. If they’re in secondary school, getting a printer could be a good idea, so your child can print out homework or revision notes.
Stock up on stationery
As this will be your child’s homework headquarters, they’re going to need everything they can get in the classroom in the comfort of their own home. Make sure you’re fully stocked up on everything from pens, pencils and Post-It flags to having a protractor and compass at hand for any tricky maths problems. Have a drawer dedicated to stationery, so you can be 100% sure your child has everything they need and don’t forget that a few notebooks will come in handy too.
With a bit of planning, creative thinking and a few well-chosen purchases, you can create a peaceful yet stimulating haven to help your child do their homework in the perfect environment. Who knows, your child may even enjoy it!
Download Staples’ activity and study planners here.