Helping their children to grow and learn is a top priority in the minds of most parents. However finding proactive ways to accomplish this can seem challenging. Assisting your kids is easier than you think.
Here are some ideas for ways to set up your home environment to encourage your child to thrive.
One of the first things you should do is set aside a particular work area for each child. It should be the place your kids go to for homework, studying and working on their extracurricular interests. Children can feel distracted in environments that are normally used for other activities, such as the kitchen or living room. Even if it’s quiet, with the television off and nobody cooking, the association of those areas can affect a child’s concentration. Instead, establish a private, structured, dedicated work area with a table or desk for each child.
Good for everyone.
Having a designated study space for your children can be advantageous to all parties involved. Parents reap important benefits, with reduced stress for all family members, and improved organization and routine. Note that it’s important for kids to weigh in on the selection and setup of the area. If they have ownership in the space, they are more inclined to be excited about it and engaged in their endeavors. The area doesn’t need to be big, but it needs to be personal, tailored and focused.
Is it working?
If you see your child wiggling around or shifting from the chair to the floor to another chair, Edutopia suggests this could indicate the space needs to be re-evaluated. An upright, seated position promotes focus and concentration. Consider a better chair, table height or changing the general location.
Keep supplies close.
The work areas for each child should include all their necessary supplies. Remember that ideally this is a space where they can focus on homework or whatever extracurricular activity they spend the most time on. For instance, your fledgling musician will benefit from keeping all the required music accessories close at hand, helping to achieve the next level of excellence. Establish an area with the instrument, sheet music and music stand alongside their basic homework supplies.
Kids who are STEM-savvy may need tech tools to bloom, such as a 3D printer and robot-building paraphernalia. Those who love to craft, sculpt and paint can benefit from keeping art supplies in their workspace. Consider adding an assortment of drawing tools, painting supplies, papers and art kits. Putting supplies for each individual child’s special interest next to their books, computers and notepads can be ideal in terms of efficiency, but also provides them with added enthusiasm about getting to work.
Good lighting is a key for children to be able to focus and remain comfortable while trying to perform, both academically and in their hobby interests. CBS Chicago explains each child’s workstation should offer appropriate lighting, both in the general room and desk areas. The more natural the light source, the better, and it’s important to avoid fluorescent bulbs. Natural lighting actually can improve the ability to learn and retain information, boosting your child’s benefit from the space.
Don’t discount the color of the walls in each child’s work area. Elementary-aged children benefit most from warm colors, such as peach, orange and yellow. These hues tend to be stimulating. Older kids do best with shades of blues, greens and lavenders, which help them to focus.
Concentrate on success.
Creating workspaces for your children’s academic and scholastic pursuits can help them succeed. Look for areas you can commit to their work, tailor them to their needs and organize the spaces with their materials. Whatever your child’s endeavors, a distraction-free area of their own can make a difference.
Written by: Susan Good
Susan Good recently retired from teaching after 38 years. And although she misses engaging with students, especially the satisfaction they feel when a concept finally clicks, she gets fulfillment these days from continuing to teach through her website at http://retirededucator.org. At Retired Educator, she shares lessons and resources on reading and writing for students, young and old.