Back-to-School Tips: How to Create a Productive Space for Your Child
A fresh school year is here and with it, a fresh opportunity for your child to succeed. For many parents, however, back to school means you’re back to the dreaded homework battle. Do you struggle to keep your kids focused on their academic achievements, despite your best efforts? If so, you’re not alone. No matter how studious your child is, it can be difficult to find the motivation to tackle homework assignments after a long day of school. For the parents, it can be difficult to remain patient and helpful during this process, especially after a tiring day of work and household duties. However, with a few small changes, your evening routine can go from stressful and chaotic, to smooth and productive. Use these back-to-school organization tips to help you create a productive space for your child.
Step #1: Personalize It
The most important thing you can do when creating your child’s homework space is to remember that it is for them. Be sure to keep their preferences and personalities in mind throughout the entire process. If you don’t, the space will feel forced and uncomfortable and your child may rebel against using it. On the other hand, if you create a space your child loves, he or she will be excited to use it.
- Use your child’s favorite colors. People feel inspired and comfortable when surrounded by their favorite colors. If your child loves blue, pick an ocean theme, or simply purchase office supplies in shades of blue. If yellow is more your child’s speed, dress the space in sunny shades or frame a photo of a sunflower to fuel inspiration.
- Include fun things. Yes, this is a space where your child needs to buckle down and get some studying done. But adding a little fun to the space won’t hurt. In fact, it might help your child associate the space with enjoyment and make them less resistant to homework time. Decorate the space with posters of your child’s favorite bands, or find a pencil holder shaped like their favorite animal.
Step #2: Consider Your Child’s Learning Style
How does your child learn? Is your child a visual learner? Does he like to ask a lot of questions? Perhaps she prefers to silently meditate in order to solve a problem? Use these clues to determine the best work environment for your child.
- Your child likes to ask questions. This is a sign that your child learns best when he can discuss a problem out loud. Some may refer to this as a social learner. In this case, make sure you create his homework station in a centralized location. A dedicated corner of the kitchen would be a perfect spot so that you can talk with your child and answer questions while you make dinner.
- Your child prefers peace and quiet. Some people simply cannot focus with background noise. If this is your child, make sure you create a peaceful, private environment for her to study. Designate an “office area” in her bedroom, for example. Sheltering this type of learner from outside distractions will help her focus and boost productivity.
Step #3: Streamline Efficiency
A truly productive workspace is set up to be efficient and easy to use. Choose the right furniture to create a clean and comfortable workspace and be sure to provide all the necessary learning tools to help your child complete any task.
- Provide comfortable seating and a sturdy work surface. These are the simplest ways to ensure your child is comfortable and productive. Choose a chair that fits your child’s body (hint: not an adult’s office chair or regular living room chair). Provide your child with a desk or table that is used exclusively for homework. Don’t allow it to become cluttered with non-school related items.
- Stock it with appropriate school supplies. Think of your child’s workspace as a mini-classroom. Imagine the tools your child might need to complete any homework assignment, from a hand-written essay to a 3-dimensional diorama. The specific items you need will depend on your child’s grade level, but a basic set of supplies should include: pens and pencils, colored pencils, markers, permanent markers, glue sticks, rulers, lined paper, blank white paper, construction paper, folders, and perhaps a binder.
Step #4: Keep It Clean
Once you’ve created the perfect homework space for your child, make sure you keep it clean. We know, if you’re the parent of a school-aged child, the last thing you want is one more surface to keep clean. However, a clear space is a clear mind and keeping your child’s workspace clean and organized is essential to productivity.
- Tidy it up after each homework session. Teach your child the importance of maintaining a clean work area. After each homework session, help your child put away supplies and regain a clean work surface. That way, the next time your child uses the work station, he can get right to work without having to take extra time to clean up after yesterday’s mess.
- Lighten your load. If you feel like you’re already overwhelmed with cleaning and parenting duties, take some time to prioritize. Eliminating other household chores can help give you more time to spend helping your child with his studies. Furthermore, getting some household help can majorly cut down on your stress, helping you stay patient and attentive to your child’s needs. Contact us at Greater Cincinnati Maids to help make this school year painless and productive.