Creating a special space for students to study

Posture patrol: Ideally the top of the computer screen should be set at eye level or slightly lower and the screen should be about one arm’s length away.
Posture patrol: Ideally the top of the computer screen should be set at eye level or slightly lower and the screen should be about one arm’s length away.

With most kids back to school this week, now is the time to set the tone for a year of productive study.

Getting kids to do their homework can be challenging at the best of times, but having a dedicated study space that is comfortable, and dare we hope, somewhere they would like to be, might give you a helping hand.

Here are a few tips to create that space:

Pick the location

This depends on the age of the child. Those in primary might be better off set up on a desk in a quiet corner of the living area, so you can be on hand to help with homework.

However for older students, aim to set up separate work and play spaces. While this can be tricky with teenagers where everything happens on a computer screen, get creative with the furniture: try assigning a chair and desk for study, beanbag for social and gaming. 

Seeing red: If you don't want a vibrant colour for the whole room, create a feature wall near the study area to keep your student alert.

Seeing red: If you don't want a vibrant colour for the whole room, create a feature wall near the study area to keep your student alert.

Study the colours

A study reported by the Science Network of Western Australia reported that participants were asked to read a passage and answer multiple-choice questions adopted from the American SAT university entrance test in rooms with different color schemes—pale and vivid blue, red and yellow.

Their reading comprehension scores were significantly higher in the vivid red and yellow rooms.

If you really like blues and greens, opt for the brighter versions such as turquoise or lime. It doesn’t have to be the whole room – a feature wall near the study area will do.

Sitting pretty

Here’s a checklist to choosing the right study chair, and how your child should sit relative to their desk:

  • You should be able to fit two-to-three finger widths between the front of the chair and the back of the knees, and also between the thighs and the side of the chair.
  • Feet should be flat on the floor, or on a foot rest. 
  • The knees should be slightly lower than the hips (100 – 120 degrees)
  • The curved lower part of the chair’s backrest should fit into the lower back or the lumbar curve.

The best idea is to take your child with you to test the chair before buying.

Then when it comes to sitting at the desk:

  • the top of the computer screen should be set at eye level or slightly lower. 
  • the screen should be about one arm’s length away.

Decor for Dux

As the aim is to get the student staying at their desk as long as possible, they need to be looking at something they like. Perhaps try a corkboard where they can pin assignment reminders alongside photos and mementos. A world map might also motivate learning. 

Incorporate lots of shelves and storage spaces to ensure the desk doesn’t get too cluttered.