The right study space goes a long way in helping students have a productive, distraction-free, and interruption-free online learning experience. Unfortunately, many parents put minimal effort into setting up their children’s study space.
As students continually get distracted and fixate on other objects, they struggle to pay attention to their lessons. Over time, this affects knowledge absorption and retention rates.
In this blog, we’ll help you create the perfect online school study space for your children. Are there certain tips you should follow? Which mistakes should be avoided? We’ll cover everything. Keep reading! If you have any questions, please ask our education specialists towards the end of this blog. Let’s begin.
1. Create a Separate Study Room
You may feel tempted to set up a study corner in your child’s bedroom. While this is an easy, quick approach, it’s not the most suitable for young students. Older students can get away with studying in their bedroom only if they don’t have trouble focusing on their studies. However, if they struggle to pay consistent attention to classes and coursework, you’ll have to select a separate study room.
Why is this important? The bedroom is replete with distractions: gaming consoles, comic books, gadgets and gizmos, toys, and distractive accessories.
Young students can easily lose the gist of their lesson, grab anything within sight, and start playing with it. While older students have more self-control, they can also fall into this trap.
At Cambridge Home School Online, our MA/MSc/PhD qualified subject specialist teachers help students maintain high attention levels. However, this doesn’t mean that students have ample distractions within reach.
Start by creating a separate study room for your children. Most parents turn the guest room into a study room. You can also use the library as a study space. If there are extra rooms in your house, select the quietest room. While not necessary, try to use a soundproof door or ensure that the house is quiet during your children’s study hours. There should be no noise or distractions.
The room should include all the essentials: a big study table, comfortable study chair, desktop computer, lamp, coursebooks, notebooks, stationery, and other accessories that may be needed to supplement the learning process. You can replace the desktop computer with a laptop; we have no qualms about this approach. However, a desktop computer is the preferred option out of the two. Avoid using a tablet unless absolutely necessary.
Make sure the study room gets ample sunlight. It should be bright and sunny, not dark and gloomy. Older students love a darker room for privacy and the overall vibe it creates. However, make sure you’re firm about keeping the study room bright. It’ll have an uplifting effect and increase motivation levels.
2. Get Rid of Clutter
Now that you’ve set up a study room, it’s time to start focusing on the study station and overall space. Make sure you get rid of clutter and keep the space clean, organised, and neat. Clutter reduces productivity levels and negatively affects the learning process. As you get rid of extra, unnecessary items, you’ll freshen up the room.
We also recommend selecting a visually appealing colour palette and design scheme for the room. Opt for light, refreshing colours. Pastels work incredibly well for study spaces. Add some artwork to the room to brighten it up. However, avoid going overboard. While you want to design an engaging, uplifting space, you also want to be careful about attentiveness. If the space includes too many accessories and artwork, your children may lose focus and get distracted.
Opt for a balanced scheme that motivates and inspires them. Make sure you ask for their preferences before you start working on the room. At the end of the day, you’re creating a space for them, not you. Your children may want specific elements in the room. As long as they pass the distraction test, you’re good to go.
Get your children’s thoughts on the colour palette, artwork, and other room components. This will also build anticipation about their upcoming switch to online learning. The more exciting the process, the better! Present it as a positive, fun transition for your children. They’ll actively participate in the process and look forward to the switch.
3. Double Down on Comfort
While the overall aesthetic appeal of the space is important, comfort ultimately takes precedence over everything. To be effective, the study space must be comfortable. Make sure you select a comfortable, ergonomic study chair. The table should also be spacious and at the perfect height. Ideally, the study room should include a thick, comfortable rug where students can work on projects that require more space.
Every study room should include 2–3 places where students can work. This is a great way to avoid boredom. Students often get tired of sitting and studying in the same spot time and time again. As you diversify their space a tad, you’ll manage to boost productivity and focus levels. Take a closer look at these vibrant yet balanced study rugs on Etsy.
We also recommend selecting lighting fixtures that exude a soft, warm light instead of a harsh light. Opt for LED fixtures over incandescent bulbs. This will make the room more inviting, not off-putting. It’s important to note that the room should be comfortable, not relaxing to the extent that it induces sleep. Your children will be productive and active when you get the balance right.
4. Add a Touch of Personalisation
You’re not creating a generic study space; you’re creating a study space for your children. Each child’s interests should become evident as you walk into the room. If your older son is an excellent tennis player, add a poster of their favourite star to the room. You can also frame their collection of medals/certificates and display them in the room.
If your youngest daughter loves science, display a molecular model or hang the periodic table in her room. These little touches will help your children develop a genuine interest in spending time in the room. They’ll enjoy the space!
Pro tip: Motivational quotes always brighten up a room and encourage students to do their best. Ask your children for their favourite quotes or adages. Find relevant images on Google and print them out! As you put them on display in the room, they’ll make the space look more appealing and inspire your children to perform well in school.
5. Set Rules
As a parent, you’ll have to enforce certain rules. For starters, ensure your children are prohibited from bringing games to the study room. If they want to play a board game or enjoy a session of League of Legends, make sure they do so in their bedroom or the living room. The study room shouldn’t include any such distractions, even for a little while.
We also suggest telling your children they’re not allowed to watch movies/TV shows in the study room. This rule is stricter to enforce. However, simply informing your children is enough. They’ll understand the importance of utilising the study space for studying, not entertainment. Even if they break the rule every now and then, the space will predominantly be reserved for coursework, homework, revision, and any other school-related work.
Keep tabs on your children as far as their time utilisation in the study room is concerned. However, don’t be overbearing. While you want your children to follow the rules, you don’t want them to start hating the study room. Leave some room for flexibility while maintaining structure for the most part. A little lapse here and there is fine as long as your children stay on track for the most part!
Encourage your children to bring healthy snacks into the room, but not full meals. If they want to enjoy a meal, they should head to the dining room or their bedroom, if you allow that. What’s wrong with enjoying a full meal in the study room? In most cases, students like eating meals and watching a movie/TV show at the same time. This correlation is extremely strong. If you give them a pass for this, they’ll become a lot more lax and start utilising the study space for entertainment purposes. Snacks are completely fine, but avoid the meal-and-entertainment combination.
Recommended Read: How to Set Rules for Kids: The 5 Cs of Effective Discipline
6. Encourage a Healthy Routine
Your children shouldn’t spend all day in the study room. This means they’re either overworking themselves or using the study space for entertainment. Both scenarios are bad. As a parent, you may like the sound of your children spending a lot of time in the study room. However, this isn’t exactly a good thing.
Online students must enjoy a healthy school-life balance; this is imperative. If they overwork themselves, they can easily develop academic stress, anxiety, and burnout. Over time, your child’s mental health will be affected.
At Cambridge Home School Online, we strongly encourage students to develop a healthy routine that promotes healthy academic, personal, social, and extracurricular growth. Your children should spend anywhere between 2 and 5 hours in the study room depending on how much work they have. If they exceed this number, start planning some activities for them.
In addition to studying, students should also play sports, hang out with their friends, spend time with their family, explore non-academic interests and hobbies, go on excursions, travel, participate in competitions, and so on. If most of these boxes are checked off the list, your children are on the right track. If not, introduce more activities to their routine.
As children’s mental health improves, their academic performance is also elevated. As always, maintain a healthy balance. You shouldn’t exclusively focus on non-academic growth to the point that your children lose interest in their studies. As you encourage them to prioritise both academics and extracurriculars, you’ll help them become healthy, happy, and motivated learners.
7. Display Your Child’s Schedule in the Room
Today, you can find dozens of wall planners online. You can also opt for a digital version as long as you can display it in the room using an LED screen. Every student should have a schedule. As you hang it up in the room, it’ll serve as a big reminder of what your child has planned for the day.
You can also sync the schedule across your child’s desktop computer. However, we prefer setting up another schedule in the room that’s visible at all times. Physical schedules can get a little tricky as you may have to adjust them frequently. Opt for a whiteboard to avoid spending a ton of time making changes. This is a much better option than the standard handwritten schedule.
As you start implementing these strategies, make sure you take your children’s feedback into account every step of the way. They should be involved in the process as much as possible. This is also a great way to help young children understand that their opinions hold weight.
Over time, this little practice helps students develop self-confidence and self-assurance. You’ll also manage to tweak the space in accordance with what your children want, which will help them have a productive, positive learning experience.
Make the Switch to Online Schooling Today
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