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Creating a Kid-Friendly Study Area


by Pamela Cole Harris

Is your child's idea of a study area involve draping his legs over the back of the sofa and reading upside down with a bag of potato chips on his stomach? Does she study on the floor with the TV blasting and the cell phone to one ear? Does your children spend hours staring at their textbooks but very little time studying? It may be time to create a kid-friendly study area for your budding Einstein!

To ensure the study area meets your child's needs:

1. Find a space where your child can have some quiet, but will be close to help if he needs it. A corner of the kitchen, family room or even a bedroom will do as long as there is enough space to spread out books and materials.

2. Choose a desk that will last. Children are notoriously hard on furniture, so a solid, well-constructed desk will be worth the investment. Make certain the surface of the desk has a non-glare finish and that the desk is big enough to be comfortable without overwhelming the space.

3. Having a comfortable chair is vital. It is best to find an ergonomically correct chair although we know that very few children sit in an ergonomically correct fashion! Cushioned seats in bright colors or patterns will give your child little excuse not to stay at the desk until his/her homework is done. Unless you want your child to have chair-rolling races or play "spin the chair till you puke", it is probably not a good idea to have rollers or swivels on the chair.

4. Good lighting is very important in a child's study area. Although children seem to be able to see in any lighting (especially when you don't want them to see!), a desk lamp with a light pattern that covers a large area is a good investment. Make certain that the shade is at a height that ensures that the glare isn't directly into your child's eyes.

5. Make sure there is plenty of storage space in the study area. Plastic boxes with labels, cubby holes and shelves can help your child organize his/her "stuff." Bright colors and labels will make it more fun for your child to put things away.

6. Create place for your child to display his accomplishments, whether it is art work, gold stars, or "Well done!" We all need a little reminder of what we have done well!

Having a study space of their own can help your children develop good study habits. Having input into the colors and furnishings of that space can help your child develop a sense of "ownership" of the space. And having your children actually study will help you keep those gray hairs at bay!

Pamela Cole Harris is a writer, editor, marketer and eco-decorator with 35 years experience. Get her unique view of home decorating and remodeling free every month!
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