Help Your Child Prosper With the Right Learning Environment
By Susan Good
Oftentimes parents are reactive when it comes to finding ways to help their kids prosper in school. Don’t wait until your youngsters’ grades reflect an unstructured in-home learning environment. With a well-thought-out work area, your child can thrive. Here is how to make a space that is distraction-free and brings out the best in your kid.
Dedicate space. Creating an area dedicated to your children’s learning is a key in helping them to bloom. As This Old House points out, children can find it encouraging to have their own space for their work. Allow your kids to provide input into the selection of various features, such as the location and set up. Provide them with a distraction-free reading nookusing a permanent space, such as a converted closet, or one that can be put up and taken down like an indoor tent. This can be a place for them to read, do homework, or just escape.
Consider orientation. How the work area is positioned can play a major role in a child’s ability to focus, so it is best to limit distraction. For instance, a window view can mean staring outside and daydreaming, so you may be better off with a desk facing away from windows. It’s also important not to have electronic devices interrupting your children’s focus.
Keep everything close. Think through all the items each of your children need in order to engage with their homework and extracurricular activities, and ensure those things are available. With supplies close at hand, your youngsters don’t need to interrupt their learning to search for items. For example, children who are involved with STEM activities may need a dry-erase board, implements for experiments, calculators, and other age- and activity-appropriate STEM tools. Artistic kids will need their various art supplies, such as paint brushes, papers, canvas, drawing tools, sculpting media, and an easel.
Choose colors wisely. While it may not seem important, some studies showthe colors in the rooms where children work can enhance or inhibit their performance. Kid-Smart Spacessuggests a three-pronged approach to best improve levels of concentration, focus, analytical abilities, retention, and critical thinking:
Adapt as necessary. Just because you set up an area doesn’t mean it will work forever. Sometimes you and your child may think you found the best spot, but you may need to change plansif it isn’t as effective as you hoped, or as your children grow and evolve.
Environment matters. As a parent, you want to help your children grow. Create a designated area that is tailored to each child’s needs. A well-thought-out environment can equate to thriving in both academic and extracurricular pursuits.