With many kids heading back to school this week, it’s a good time to establish a good study space. Homework doesn’t have a ton in common with real estate, but one concept applies to both: location, location, location! For kids, the place where the homework happens can make all the difference. Here are some options to consider depending on your kids’ needs and how life works in your home.
Do you have enough space to devote a whole room to homework? Here’s how to make the most of it. If you have more than one kid, try to think about how well they work together. Sometimes facing the little ones away from each other can minimize distraction and squabbling. If you decide to put them next to each other, a bit of visual separation can help, such as a shelf or divider.
Give separation a positive spin by creating a place for them to display the projects or artwork they’re most proud of. For kids who work well together, or for older kids who might need tutoring sessions or a place to work on group assignments, opt for an open table with plenty of seating. Or, create options for working both alone and together.
More Than Homework
Build happy associations with homework by creating a mixed-use space. This can let kids do more than one kind of work, and offer them possibilities for “reward” fun like craft projects or TV once they get through a tough assignment. For instance, a play area nearby can create the option of taking short breaks.
Art supplies can be a carrot at the end of the stick for creative kids who don’t love science homework.
You can also weave homework time into the fabric of your day, making it part of a comfortable routine that lets you multi-task as a parent. A homework area in the kitchen means you can answer questions while you make dinner.
If you’d rather not worry about spilling milk on a math assignment, think about creating a nook just outside a common area, like the kitchen or living room. That way, you’ll still hear it when your young one asks what ten times eight is, or how to spell “chrysanthemum.”
Some kids love the idea of being little grown-ups. Try taking them to work! They’ll feel mature and responsible if you invite them to work in the office right next to you.
On the other end of the spectrum, some kids, especially older ones, prefer a bit of privacy. For tweens who like having their own space, work a desk into their bedroom so they can study and hang out on their own.
Have fun with the project and make sure to get input from your children. They know what they need and its up to you to figure out the balance between style and functionality. Remember this equation:Your kid’s personality + The space you have available X A little creative thinking = The perfect homework location.