Did you know that a dedicated home study space helps to maximize learning efficiency? It’s true. So, if you are moving into a new home soon and want to find a space that’s conducive to learning, whether you have a grade schooler, high schooler or college student, read on for more tips.
A learning environment that is filled with clutter, aesthetically boring, uncomfortable, and too noisy doesn’t allow your child to optimize their study time. And with more and more kids – and their parents – working and attending school from home these day, it’s more important than ever to create separate areas to increase focus.
Studies show that both information retention and work productivity increase when students study in a comfortable, familiar, distraction-free environment. Studies also show that regular, short breaks help kids focus, increase productivity, and reduce stress.
It’s important to create a customized study area for yourself and your kids. Here’s how.
Choose a Location
Just like in real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. If your new home has a spare room, this is the ideal situation. You can convert that space into a home study area that is separate from the main home. A finished basement, attic, or garage also works well. But even if you can’t dedicate a whole room to learning because you just don’t have enough space, you can get creative with other areas of the home.
Use room dividers to create a nook in the living room, or anywhere you can make a reasonable amount of space. Just make sure it’s not located next to a high-traffic or noisy area, such as the hallway or a laundry room.
However, if your kid is the type who prefers to have some background noise and the comfort of others around them, choose an area in the kitchen or near your office, says Khan Academy.
Consider the Purpose and Person in the Home Study Space
Who will be using the room? How many kids will be in there? Is it for school? Work for you? Knowing the who and why will help you discover the what. If it will be a shared study space between two siblings, add multiple desks and workstations with dividers as needed. Have them each decorate and design their space according to their needs and preferences.
Desks should be large enough to accommodate text books, a laptop, calculator, pens and pencils, and supplies. Just make sure it’s not too big that your kid is tempted to clutter it up. It should be simple yet sufficient.
Implement Custom Storage Solutions
Boost the functionality of the study space with the addition of extra storage systems, such as custom bookcases, bins, cubbies, shelves, and file cabinets. Add cork boards for attaching reminders, notes, photos and more.
Add Sufficient Lighting
Add LED lighting with touch switches for easy access. Make sure to incorporate all kinds of lighting, such as task, ambient and accent. Remember: nothing too harsh. Place desks near windows for as much natural light as possible. Did you know the paint colors you choose for the walls and ceiling can have a big effect on mood and concentration levels? Go with light greens, yellows, and blues, which are known to stimulate productivity.
Kids are easily distracted, so encourage them to hand over their phones so they aren’t tempted to check social media or respond to texts. If your child needs background music to relax, try some instrumental music apps that block out other sounds, which is especially helpful if you have a busy household with lots of smaller children and barking dogs. Keep TVs out of the space as well.
Make it Comfortable, But Not TOO Comfortable
You don’t want to make the space too comfortable so that your kids are tempted to take a nap or zone out. But chairs should be comfortable enough that they can sit still for long periods of time. Don’t use a bed as a learning space. This never ends well! If they begin to associate their beds with school work instead of sleep, they may have difficulty getting enough ZZZs at night.
Incentivize Kids to Keep a Clean Space
Once you have developed a clutter-free zone for their learning space, make sure it stays neat and organized for the long haul. Offer incentives for them to tidy up the space each week, such as a favorite snack or other small reward. Encourage them to personalize the space so it appeals to them, adding posters, artwork or photos so they can stay inspired and motivated.
If you have more than one child sharing the same space, you could stagger its use by coming up with a schedule for each kid. Color code it and post it in a central location. While you’re at it, come up with a daily school schedule that notifies each child when they have a break or lunch, for example. Older kids can come up with their own schedule and post it so the rest of the family knows when not to disrupt them.
Hang signs on the door that say “Zoom in session” or “studying for a test” so that they can get the privacy and quiet they need. This is a great idea for your home office, as well, so you’re not being interrupted every few seconds with snack requests or complaints among siblings.
Encourage your kids to take breaks for physical activity, fresh air and meals. Build these times into their schedule so they aren’t sitting at their desks for hours at a time. Often times, if they get a quick break between classes, they will just stay at their desks and stare at their phone. Make sure they’re getting up and moving at break times.
Contact Moving Proz
If you’re getting ready to move and need help setting up your new home study space, contact us for a free quote today.