Make back to school (and back to the books) a fun experience for your kids by creating a cool area for studying. Good news is that you don’t actually need an additional (study) room to do so, all it takes is a few simple ideas…
1. Desk it and decorate it
We get it: not every home and family is lucky enough to have a separate study or room that can be dedicated to homework. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a special hub for your kids to get stuck in with their homework. All it takes to create such a space is a desk – preferably one that can either fit into your child’s room or anywhere in the living space area of your home.
Studies have also proven that kids who study from the same place – such as a dedicated desk space – tend to excel at school and be more successful in memorising work that they study.
Once you’ve found the space and have set up the desk, add the right supplies that will further entice your child to want to work from there. Think: a supportive desk chair (NB!); a desk lamp (well lit space will help with concentration); pencil holder with highlighters, pens, pencils and a ruler (for making notes fun); Post-It Notes and notepad or notebooks. Encourage your child to help you set it up and ask them how they want to arrange the desk – it’ll help them commit to the space.
Lastly, make sure the desk zone is phone-free, TV-free and noise-free to minimise any distractions.
2. Note it on a calendar
One of the greatest things you can teach your child is how to best manage their homework and project deadlines. And it’s simple to do: get an A3 or A2 desk calendar (with monthly pages) to hang above their desk. Encourage them to write down deadlines and to track it throughout the month. Don’t forget to get colourful pens and/or stickers that they can use when they reach certain milestones in completing their deadlines. You can thank us later when your child says that they love doing their homework!
3. Creative organiser
Struggling to get your child to keep their desk neat and tidy? Get around this problem by hanging a shoe rack (one where the space for the shoe looks like a pocket) next to their desk – in each of the pockets your child can organise their study and arts and craft supplies. It’s also a fun way for them to always ensure their work space is neat and clean. Less clutter = less chaos and increased concentration.
4. Blackboard a wall
So, you’ve got that wall between the kitchen and the lounge that you’ve just never got around to decorating with picture frames… Here’s an idea: turn it into a chalkboard wall! It’ll come in handy when your teen needs to work through tough math problems or for the little (or big) artist who needs a creative outlet. Your kids can also use it to highlight deadlines for projects and/or to write their weekly to-do lists. Voila!
5. The book bag hook or nook
Create a designated spot in your child’s room (preferably near to their desk) where they can hang or place their suitcase when they get home from school. Encourage your children to pack their books once done with their home work back into the suitcase so that it’s ready for school the next morning – no more rushing around before school!
6. The traveling homework station
For those parents who work full-time and whose children have to stay at day care or grandma’s/a sitter’s house after school, here’s a smart hack: organise a small box where your child can store all the study necessities they would have on their desk at home (think: pencil, highlighter, calculator etc.). Make sure it’s compact enough for your child to carry with them to wherever they need to do homework – it’s even great for that time your child sleeps over at a friend’s house or when your child wants to work from a different room in your home.