As soon as your child starts school, you need to set up a place for academic work. Even your preschooler needs a place to colour and do crafts. The earlier you create an area specifically designed for studying, the sooner you can establish responsible “homework” habits. No matter what grade you child is in, creating a good homework space is not difficult if you take the following steps:
Pick a Perfect Area
The space and the location necessary for your child’s homework area is somewhat dependent on their grade and size. A younger child needs a smaller space than your long-legged secondary schooler. Your preschooler and lower level child needs a location where some supervision is possible, as they may need encouragement to stay on task. Your secondary schooler may want peace, quiet, and privacy, so set their space up in their bedroom, if they work well on their own.
If you have multiple children, consider a shared space in a high-traffic area with a schedule for it use. Three or four children can use the same space in a high-traffic area with supervision. Provide individual caddies with pencils, pens, and other items they might not which to share along with a few folders for their work and paper.
Set Up Your Child’s Study Space
It is important to have a comfortable desk and chair the right size for your child. You will probably need to update every two to three years. The desk or table surface needs to be smooth and kept clear of clutter. When your child is little, it is best to have a washable top for painting and other crafts.
Make sure there is sufficient lighting for reading and writing, either from lamps or an exterior window. Choose energy efficient lighting that reduces eyestrain and glare.
Supplies for completing work also need to be available for your child. Below we have listed by age some basic items to provide for your child’s desk:
White paper for drawing
• Lower/primary school child:
Handwriting practice paper
• Upper/secondary school child
Pencils and pens
Folders for work
Additionally, consider a computer for word processing and research when they reach a point in their schooling where such assignments are given.
Hang a painted pegboard or cork bulletin board on the wall over and behind the desk. There are inexpensive containers you can purchase to hang on pegboard perfect for pencils, paper clips and other supplies. Cork board is useful for hanging assignments and completed work. Don’t forget a colourful or themed wastebasket.
Children’s Homework Tips:
• Post some motivational, age-appropriate quotes to encourage completion of assignments.
• Check on your children to make sure they stay on task.
• Give your children help when needed, but remember you want them to work independently as much as possible.
• Provide your children with healthy, easy-to-eat snacks such as pretzel or vegetable sticks.
An organised and effective work space makes the task of doing homework more enjoyable. Remember, however, that every child is different and so are their needs when it comes to having a good homework space. Design one especially for the age and personality of your son or daughter.
Whatever the age or school level of your child, creating a good homework space will develop the study skills necessary for them to excel in school. Additionally, they are building a foundation of responsible behaviour and good study habits that will last a lifetime.