Creating a study space or “homework station” just for your kids is a great way to encourage better study habits in your children. It also helps keep the home organized—and the kids engaged in their work away from an area that you might need after school (such as the kitchen table). Plus, as this article points out, establishing a designated study area can even help your child enjoy better work-life balance as they separate schoolwork from other aspects of life such as family time or sleep time.
A kid friendly study space, of course, is a little different from an adult’s ideal workspace. Here are some key tips for establishing a kid friendly study space or homework station in your home.
Find your ideal setting.
There isn’t any one perfect place for a kid friendly homework station; it will depend entirely on your family’s lifestyle. If your child needs a space with very little distraction, for example, you might consider moving a desk and chair into your child’s bedroom. If you would prefer to have your child complete homework in a community area, where you can monitor them and answer questions as needed, you might consider carving out a special area in your living room or dining room. You could even try converting an unused space in your home, such as a dining room, sun room, or loft, into the perfect study space.
Start with the basics: a table, a chair, and a free wall.
All you really need to create a basic homework station are a table or desk, a chair, and a free wall. In spaces like your child’s bedroom where you have some room to spare, you might consider investing in a desk that includes drawers and other useful organization features. If all you have is a free wall in the living room, on the other hand, you could instead opt for a narrow table positioned right up against the wall. (Narrow tables, in particular, are great because you can arrange one or two against the wall and create multiple homework stations!)
Bonus tip: If you want to create two separate homework stations in one space, consider setting a tall open bookshelf sideways against the wall and then setting a small table on either side. The bookcase in the middle will offer storage while separating the two study spaces.
Once you have the fundamentals down, it’s a good time to start thinking about color. Making your child’s homework station colorful will make it more inviting and a more fun place to work. It could even inspire creativity. You might paint the table or chair a bright color, or you might plan to incorporate colorful accents and desk supplies into the space later on.
Be sure to create some organization at your child’s homework station. You might, for example, install a shelf on the wall for your child’s textbooks and study aids. You might also include a large dry erase calendar on the wall for writing in daily assignments and long-term projects. File folders, bins, pencil cups, and hooks for backpacks can also help round out the space.
Stock up on essentials.
As you’re beginning to organize your child’s study space, now is a good time to consider all of the school supplies your child might need. Here is a brief list of the most common essentials for a homework station:
- Pencils and pens
- Erasers and correction fluid
- Colored pens and highlighters
- Colored pencils, crayons, and markers
- Paper clips and a stapler
- Lined loose leaf paper
- Blank computer paper
As with color, a homework station that’s lacking in fun decor is not going to be very inviting. Look for fun accents that you can incorporate into your child’s space. You might install a cork board, where you can hang favorite photos and important reminders. You might add a colorful globe or wooden block letters. Fun bookends, a decorative pencil cup, a colorful lamp—look for things that will appeal to your child’s taste.
Where do your kids study in your home? Share your creative ideas for your children’s homework stations below!
Guest post by: Maurine Anderson