Creating a homework space that is productive and fun
Most kids see homework as a tedious chore, but it doesn’t have to be. After all, a lot of kids love going to school, so why shouldn’t homework be fun in the same way – full of the joy of learning? Designing the right environment for doing homework can make a big difference. It’s well worth the effort, and not just because it will make your child happier in the immediate term. Learning to deal with homework when young helps children to develop a positive attitude to work that will be a big asset in later life.
The most basic needs of your child’s homework space are a desk, a suitable chair (preferably adjustable so it can keep up with your child’s growth), a nearby power outlet, a wastebasket and adequate storage space. Filing cabinets aren’t really designed with kids’ aesthetic preferences in mind, but an ordinary set of drawers can easily be converted for filing use with the addition of some bright, colored cardboard dividers. If materials like pens, pencils, and rulers can’t be kept on the desk itself, it’s a good idea to have shelving within easy reach.
These days children do need computers for schoolwork. If space is limited, the best option is usually a laptop, which can be tucked out of the way when the desk is needed for paper-based work. Adjustable lighting helps to accommodate different tasks and you can find desk lamps available in many different child-friendly designs.
A homework space that’s constantly within view when your child is trying to relax can lead to misery, especially when there is anxiety about school work. There are various ways you can resolve this problem. Beds with hidden desk space are a great solution and also work well for saving space. Fitting a desk into an alcove means it can be closed off with curtains and also creates a good place for kids to keep their secret things, like a sort of magic grotto. If it’s not going to cut off daylight, freestanding shelving can be used to divide a room and make more space for books and toys at the same time, but if you take this route then you should make sure it’s well secured, as kids tend to be more physical with furniture than adults are.
Making it personal
To work the way it should, a homework space needs to reflect the particular needs and preferences of the child who’s going to be using it. For most children, the bedroom is the perfect place but, if you have a child who wants a lot of input into the tasks at hand or who likes to share ideas, it’s better to create one in a part of the house where there will be other people around at the right time of day.
A workspace needs to be fun so, as far as possible, kids should get to choose the color scheme and decorations. It should be a cool space they can proudly show to friends. Constructed like this, the workspace can positively encourage doing homework and make it a fun part of the daily routine.