Homework: It can be difficult to encourage children to complete their homework if it feels like a chore or an extension of school. The concept of “homework” should be introduced as not to make their teachers happy but to better themselves. This starts with establishing a system at home based on fun and rewards, rather than punishment. Building healthy homework habits from a young age helps them to stay on top of their academics and develop crucial organisational skills for when they are older.
Why it’s important for kids to have a homework area
When children do their homework sat at the breakfast table, or in the living room, parents and siblings are able to quickly and easily get involved with the schoolwork and help when needed. This support can benefit your child, who may struggle to maintain motivation if they get stuck, allowing you to encourage them to keep going and be there when they need further explanation or help with a question. The downside to this, however, is that family conversations or the TV being on in the background can distract them from their homework and make it harder to concentrate. Establishing a dedicated homework space in their bedroom can help them focus when it comes to their independent study.
It’s not enough to simply make it a rule that your child has to isolate themselves in their bedroom until the homework is complete or if they need any help. You may have the best intentions and believe that this enforcement will enable your child to study to the best of their ability, but your hard efforts may not pay off if you only go half the distance.
Without a homework area, confining children to their bedroom during study time doesn’t ensure that they get into good study habits early on. Most children will sit or even lay in bed to do their homework. Not only is this terrible for their posture, but it doesn’t do much to sustain their focus or productivity. This is also how you get stubborn ink stains on your bedding!
The surface of a desk allows your child to spread out all the necessary stationery, books and papers needed to complete their homework. Obviously, the more surface area the better! However, a small work space in the corner of a small bedroom is better than nothing and can make all the difference in your child’s performance.
Many parents may scoff and remark that, with a tiny bedroom, their child doesn’t have the luxury of a homework desk and things like the bed and the wardrobe take a far higher priority when it comes to limited floor space. A homework desk doesn’t have to be a traditional computer or office desk. Even the top of a chest of drawers can be used as a surface for homework. Investing in a multi-functional desk/dressing table is also a brilliant solution for smaller bedrooms that lack the room for both. Many styles of children’s desks are suitable for use as a dressing table and vice versa, with drawers built in that can be organised into spaces for paper and stationery with a separate drawer for hairbrushes and accessories.
How To Create A Homework Station Your Kids Will Actually Use
Those with home offices take pride in the décor of their work space, striving for a look that is both minimalist and personal, while also inspiring productivity. So why would you not take equal care in designing a work space that will achieve the same results for your child?
There’s no harm in decorating the area to be something a little more inspiring than a throwback to outdated office cubicles. You should know best what puts your child in a positive frame of mind. With the help of posters, artwork and other knick-knacks, you can easily create a homework station that doesn’t visually punish your child for doing their studying.
The important thing is to ensure that the area is well lit and well organised. Provide plenty of space to compartmentalise stationery, with pen pots or caddies, to encourage your child to stay organised. You will also want to ensure that the chair is comfortable to sit on, so that they don’t get restless in their seat. When kids become restless, they become easily distracted.
If you establish this work space as a fun area to “get things done” before your child even starts receiving home from from school, then you will already have won half the battle. Whether it’s sitting together at your child’s desk drawing or painting, or doing other “projects for Mummy and Daddy”, once they start receiving homework from school, they are already in the habit of sitting down at their homework station. You could even incorporate the homework area into a reading nook or library corner to encourage them to read more and get lost in their stories. A good homework area goes beyond just homework. It can help to ignite your child’s imagination and creative passions, by giving them the spacial capacity to explore their writing, artwork, crafts and other projects.