From the time your child starts first grade here in our adopted home, they’ll start getting homework. One or two days a week to start. So why not plan ahead and create a space that will become your child’s dedicated space for homework now? Whether you carve out a space in your living room, their bedroom or in a home office, make the place organized, comfortable and welcoming, because what they study is just as important as where. For young students, say from preschool through 2nd or 3rd grade, it’s probably better to use a common space like the kitchen table. Younger students need a lot more guidance and supervision to get their homework done. These are the best years to create and introduce a dedicated homework space so that when they’re ready, it’s ready.
Where should it be?
It doesn’t matter. What does matter is how you position the desk. You want to have the main component, the desk, in a well-lit space, but not so that it is looking out the window at the birds and trees, and the playground across the street. These things can be distracting to little eyes. Put the desk in a corner or facing a wall.
Also, the ideal space is well organized so that there will be a minimum of getting up and searching for supplies needed (or wanted as the case may be).
Let the light shine in (well, on)
Make sure the space has great lighting. Focused lighting on the homework space is very important for young learners. Keep that desk well lit from above so that shadows don’t obscure their concentration.
Good lighting also creates an atmosphere of dedication to work. When that light at the desk goes on, it’s time to concentrate!
Keep the area properly stocked with school supplies
An important aspect to the ideal space is, that it is well stocked and well organized so that there will be a minimum of getting up and searching for supplies needed (or wanted as the case may be).
Pencils, pens, rulers and rubber bands. Keep them stocked and keep them neatly stored to keep your little one focused.
Get rid of electronics
Yep, never let a smartphone or tablet exist in the “Homework Realm”. Creating a separation of these two is important from the start. If there is an outlet on the wall, make sure it is occupied so that the charger doesn’t find a home there. Any gadget is a had gadget in their homework space.
Give them a space to show off!
Kids love displaying their own creations, drawings and other creative endeavours. Let them! While keeping a neat and tidy homework space is crucially important, you can also let them decorate it with their creations! Cork with pins on the wall or metal sheet with magnets work well and really perk up the place! Drawings, art projects, A+ quiz scores and more are all fair game.
Create a space for information
As kids get older, they will need to be aware of and reminded about important dates for tests, quizzes and due dates for long term assignments. A big wall calendar is a great solution, or a whiteboard can work too. Creating a space for this type of info can become a go-to spot for a broad overview of what’s coming in the days ahead, and will keep them honest.
No matter what kind of space you want to create, keep the concept of the space consistent. It’s a place for homework and concentration. Reading, writing, drawing and homework are all acceptable here in their dedicated space. Encourage healthy respect for this space, and it can become an important tool for future success!