By Allison Webster
Back to school means back to the books! And if you want your child to have a successful year, it’s important that they have a quiet, distraction-free zone to work on homework, readings, and assignments. From researching to studying – having a space conducive to some serious academics is essential.
Whether you set up a desk in your child’s bedroom, an office space, or nook, there are certain items you can add to make the space comfortable and practical.
Take a boring cork board and turn it into something decorative and functional! Staple some fun fabric or paper to the board, then add elastic, pockets, funky push pins, and clothes pins to dress it up. Add notes, reminders, check-lists, and more to the board and hang it close to the desk so your child will never miss an important assignment!
The ideal study space should have some sort of calendar – preferably one you can write on. Either using a white board, or printed sheets, have a weekly calendar nearby. Keep track of assignments due, exams, texts, extracurriculars, sports, and family and social engagements.
Keep a variety of pens and pencils within reach, as well as markers and highlighters. While a lot of school work is done using computers today, students still have to use pen and paper for certain assignments. Have a fun pencil cup on the desk, and make sure your child has a pencil case with all the things they need to transport between home and school. If you’re good at sewing, you can make a quick zipper pouch style pencil case using fun fabric.
Did you know that children require more water than adults? According to the Natural Hydration Council in the UK, children need more water in relation to their body weight than fully grown adults. Dehydration can cause tiredness, headaches, and a loss of concentration – lowering one’s mental performance level. When your child is studying or working on homework, it’s important that they are sharp and alert. Having a refillable water bottle on the desk nearby will encourage them to keep drinking. If you have a hard time getting your kids to drink water, try infusing it with fruit and herbs to add some flavour.
As students grow older, homework assignments become more frequent, and complex. To help your son or daughter stay organized, add some stackable paper trays to the desk for different subjects, and to sort items by ‘To-Do’, ‘In Progress,’ and ‘Completed.’ You can make some using stacked cereal boxes covered in decorative paper, or lay inexpensive cardboard magazine files on their side, stacked for a creative look.
While kids probably have phones, laptops, and tablets all with a clock – a wall clock facing the desk isn’t the worst idea. Kids can lose track of time, and you don’t want to give them any excuses. Plus, for little kids, learning to tell time on a traditional clock might be a challenge, so it can be a study aid.
Mason jars have a great many uses when it comes to desk supplies. You can use them as pencil and pen holders, or they can store thumb tacks, paperclips, scissors, and more! You can use one as a drinking glass, or a vase for flowers to give the desk some character. You can paint them, add labels, or attach them together to make a desk organizer! The possibilities are endless!