College has started but Covid restrictions has everyone attending lectures remotely for at least the next two weeks. Schools are back, but occasionally classes are being sent home as health precaution, and students are having to work online again. The need for a good study space is essential as it is now potentially both the classroom and homework desk.
Creating a dedicated spot in your home for children to do their work will improve focus and develop proper study habits. This might be the kitchen table or a desk under the stairs or the child’s bedroom. A study area doesn’t have to be a very serious place. In fact, a fun, quirky desk can make studying a far more pleasurable event. If you are using the kitchen table, then set the table for studying and when eating, remove the books and technology and set the table for eating. Keeping the two events separate is important as it creates boundaries.
Here are some tips that make for a good study space:
Sockets: Studying online is going to need power. When deciding on a great location be sure to consider where the plug points are. You are going to need lots! Invest in extension leads if necessary and tape them down well if they are in a high traffic area.
Heat: The study area needs to be warm but take care not to overheat the room as this can make the student drowsy
Ventilation: Fresh air is really important. If possible, open the windows for a while when the kids are at school. A good supply of oxygen will help the brain remain focused for longer.
Quiet: While our brain becomes really good at blocking out continuous background sounds over time, it is important to create a calm and relatively quiet study area.
Lighting: Good light is essential. A bright desk lamp coupled with softer overhead lighting works really well.
Hardware: PC, laptop, tablet or phone. Every child needs access to at least one of these. The Department of Education has allocated funds to help parents provide these, so contact your school or college to see if you qualify.
Software: Get familiar with the software your child is using for school.
Wi-Fi: Be sure to have good internet access at the study spot. If the signal is poor invest in a booster. It will repay itself over and over in hours saved from listening to moaning about bad Wi-Fi!
Plants: Plants lift the sterile look of a desk, brings actual life to the table and if you use a plant such as a Peace Lily or Spider plant, even increases the oxygen levels in the room, making plants an aid to studying.
Desk: It is really important to get a desk that suits the child. It doesn’t have to be an office type desk. If using the kitchen table then the chair becomes important.
Good Chair: This is vital. Your child is going to be sitting for a long time & needs to have good posture to prevent back problems in the future and also to maximise oxygen intake. If they are vertically challenged (like me), put a step under the desk for them to rest their feet on. It also helps them be more grounded/focused. For younger children, a cushion behind them will help, especially if using a kitchen chair. Have movement breaks!
Storage boxes: Keep everything tidy in cool storage boxes or tins, especially if more than one child is studying in the same place. Convert old boxes or tins you have already into something bespoke to reflect your child’s personality.
Clock: A silent one – no ticking but an alarm can be handy! It will help to train the student to work within time constraints – vital when doing exams.
Bookshelves: Great for keeping a desk tidy& having reference books & stationery to hand
Having a defined space to study creates a pattern in our brain. Just as picking up your car keys brings you into a type of automation for driving (for example, without thinking you automatically go to the driver’s side), sitting at your homework spot immediately tells your brain I’m going studying and I need to focus.
The time to set up the study spot at home is now. That way if the school or college suddenly reverts to remote learning, you are all ready to go in a calm and controlled manner.
For more information on our 4 session, one to one, Study Skills Program called Study Success for second and third-level students. Call now 087 2996054 or email firstname.lastname@example.org