Finding the right place for your child to do homework is a great way to start them off on the road to success. Ideally, you are looking for a calm, quiet, uncluttered, well-lit space that has easy access to the supplies your young student needs.
Think about your child’s personality and growth stage. Are they distracted easily? If so, quiet and secluded is probably best for them. Maybe a desk in their bedroom, a work table in the play room that’s off limits to playing during homework time.
Are they more productive around others, or need lots of guidance and oversight? A spot in the kitchen or family room might be the right choice. Possibly you have the perfect spot to add a desk to one of these open spaces, maybe the kitchen table or kitchen counter could be a great spot to get lots done.
In either case, here’s what you need to focus on to make sure you have a homework space that is productive as possible for your little Einstein:
Shed some light on it: US Department of Education recommends bright light. While natural light is great, a big open window may be too much of a distraction. Kitchens tables and counters probably already have great overhead lighting. But if you are setting up a desk, check out some desktop lamps to keep things bright.
Comfortable seating: You want a seat that fits so they can sit comfortable and minimize the squirming. If their feet don’t reach the floor, opt for an adjustable chair, or get small box or stool to use as a foot rest. If the work surface is too high in relation to the chair, maybe a pillow can prop them up to the right height.
Relatively Quiet with Minimal Distractions – even if the work space is out in the family room, set rules for no TV and no loud music during study time. You’ll also want to set guidelines on phone calls, texts and other electronics. There is no need for these distractions when they are little, as they get older, coordinating with their classmates is often part of their homework but your guidelines will help them keep these distractions in check.
Easy Access to Supplies: If you have a desk set up just for homework and studying, then make sure it is well stocked with the supplies needed on a daily basis. If you are using a shared/mixed space, try and set up some storage or cubbies nearby to house supplies, or a storage bin that can be pulled out when it is homework time. Keep things handy like pencils, pens, colored pencils and crayons, markers, paper, ruler, scissors, glue stick, dictionary, thesaurus, calculator and paper.
Computer Time: If computers are used for homework, make sure you are paying attention to good ergonomics. Have the monitor at your child’s eye level an about 1 ½ - 2 ½ feet away. Look for anti-glare monitor or move your lighting so that it doesn’t reflect off the screen.