Never has the importance of study space in the home been of more importance than it has in the past year or so, and this just keeps gaining importance. Remote learning for both children, teenagers, and young adults has been on the increase, for obvious reasons, so a lot of homes have had to adapt to the times and create learning spaces for their children.
This does not have to be daunting, as to whether you have an entire room to work with or a small corner, there are ways you can successfully create a workspace. Going back to school means going back to work and it is important to nourish your child's education in and out of the classroom - whether this means a continuation of remote learning or being physically present. Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating a study space for your children.
Just like the many people around the world that are working from home, when your children are remote learning you have to try and make the most of what you have, and in many cases that means adapting - or trying to adapt, a bedroom to factor in a workspace. If you are able to do so, there are many ways you can. If not, there are ways you can use what space you have to create a small but efficient working zone.
First let's assume you have space in your child's bedroom - perfect! Desks come in all shapes and sizes, therefore you are bound to find one to fit any size area that your kid's bedroom is providing you with for use. After all, children are smaller than adults so fitting a desk for a smaller person in a room if you have the space should be no problem. Add a chair, the necessary work tools for homework, and such, and here you have created the perfect study zone for your child.
If the room is unable to be adapted to fit in a desk, don't panic! You still have options. There are lots of things on the market right now that factor in space issues when it comes to things like this and an alternative to a desk could be a pop-up or foldable desk that can be placed in the room during study times and taken away just as easily. These could be literal portable desks or ones that are secured to the wall and propped up when needed and then folded away when not. It may not be perfect but it's better than no desk at all!
Guest Room Study Zone
Not everyone has the luxury of a spare room/guest room but if you do then there are many ways you can keep it functioning as such but adapt it to your children's needs - after all, it is (hopefully) only temporary! When it comes to these spare rooms, anything you add can always be taken away and unless you want to overhaul the room entirely, to begin with, and turn it into a workspace at home and guest room combination, then adding some space for a study zone should be easy enough.
Assuming your guest room is smaller than your bedroom, it would be easy to adapt it into a small work area by simply adding a desk and a few study essentials, like how you would if you were adopting a bedroom. Again, if the space does not allow this, remember you do have other options but let's imagine that the guest room is simple - a bed, nightstand, and wardrobe, then any remaining space can be utilized for a study area and again, if not, then a portable desk could always come into use.
If you're going for the entire rehaul of the room then of course you are in control here. Instead of having a bed in the room, think about installing a sofa bed that can be used for both your kids reading comfortably, for you to have a space to relax, and also works as a bed when needed should you have guests over to stay. After this, the other furniture should fit in no problem. Add the necessary wardrobe or drawers for the guest section of the room and then fill the study area with a desk, chair, books, equipment, and any other studying essentials and here you have successfully adapted the room into a multifunctional space.
Living Area Learning
We know that not everyone has the luxury of extra space and sometimes as we have mentioned, the idea of adapting the bedroom or the reality of having a spare room is just not an option, so therefore in these situations, you really are to make the best of what you have available to you. Whether you are a city dweller or live in the suburbs, chances are you have a living area, and here is where you can make the adaptations needed to successfully provide your kids with a study zone at home.
Although not ideal, find a corner of your living room or set aside some space, and here is where you can install the necessary fixtures. Add a small desk, a chair and utilize the vertical space with shelves and storage to keep all of the essential study bits neat and tidy as well as out of view.
If an entire study zone is just not possible, you can at least try to provide a small reading zone. This would be a great bonding exercise for you and your kids in which you both could get comfortable and your child can study any books they have been assigned.
While many people may shy away from the idea of implementing a study space for their kids in their living areas, sometimes it may be the only option. As an added benefit, at least you will be able to keep an eye on them so they get their work done and stay out of trouble!
As mentioned, not everyone will be on board with the idea of adapting their living areas to provide a study space or - like the bedroom and spare room tips, it just may not be an option. This is where adaptability comes into play and this is more important than ever given the times we are living in.
A dedicated study space may be hard to come by but wherever you live, in whatever type of home, you more than likely have some type of desktop or countertop space and this is where you can show your ability to adapt and be pragmatic.
Whether it is a sectioned off part of the dining table that is now strictly dedicated to your kid's schoolwork or simply allowing them to study at the coffee bar or countertop, any of these options is better than having no desk space or work zone at all, as it very important that your child is provided with even a small semblance of normality when learning from home in these unnormal times. It may seem like a small thing, but adapting and providing any type of workspace for your child will help them remain in an educational mindset and benefit them in the long run.
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When you have the space figured out, it may not just simply be a case of planting a desk and off they go. You may want to think about what type of colors and designs you would like in your child's workspace. Obviously, this is not feasible should you opt for the living area or dining room workspace idea but if you are thinking of changing your guest room into a multifunctional space or adding a study zone into your child's bedroom it might be worth thinking about switching up the paint color or wallpaper. Here are some ideas to inspire you!
When it comes to painting colors in a room or area that is strictly for work or study, again the psychology of colors comes into play here, however, this is a little different than using colors and their psychology for office space as you are working with an area that is for a child or young adult.
Safe colors to go for are ones that you are probably already using in your home and, in some cases, are used in classrooms universally. White is simple and fresh - mimicking a blank canvas and great for fostering creativity. It's relaxing and sleek which makes it the perfect choice for not just a study space for your child, but any other area in your home, too.
Blue is also relaxing and certain shades can represent knowledge and power, making it a great choice for a workspace - be it for a boy or a girl. Another idea is black as this is simple and functional, however can be a little overwhelming if you want to create a workspace that is a little different than the standard of a classroom, for example, if you wanted your child to study in a more creative way. One idea to transform the use of black and foster this creativity is to install a blackboard wall that your child can draw and create on, instead of just a plain black painted wall.
You are not limited to these options, they are just more common. More recently there has been a trend in parents adapting their children's remote learning zones into more playful and beautiful spaces as an alternative to the uniformity of a classroom - however still keeping education paramount. We have seen trends in pastel-colored walls, furniture, and stationery. While other parents have decided to embrace nature and have their children study outdoors, whether that is on a balcony or terrace for the apartment residents, or on a lawn or patio for those in the suburbs. These all provide a different standard of learning which can benefit children in a number of ways while keeping education key.
When you have the area picked, the desk and chairs chosen, and the color palette settled then now is your time to add the essentials to create a finished product. While notebooks, pens, books, and other similar items all go without saying, there are ways you can help your child's remote learning experience and also help keep their workspace looking great.
Shelves are always a great option! Not only are they extremely useful when you are low on space as they allow you to utilize the wall and vertical space, but they also look great and allow you to add certain pieces of decor to complete the vibe that you are going for. In terms of your child's workspace, they will allow you to keep their desk uncluttered, providing storage spaces for unneeded stationery or books, and also help you add less "typical" study space-related things. For example, as your child is now at home more they are not outdoors or they might not have a view from their workspace to keep them connected with the natural world. A simple solution to this is to layer the shelves and add a nice houseplant on each for that organic touch!
Likewise, you do not want to make your child's study space too simple and boring so you could think about promoting their productivity by installing posters from their favorite movies or TV shows, or even of their favorite artist or band. While this is not education-related, it will remind them during "school" hours that eventually they will be able to pursue their own interests once their work has been done. If you or your kid wants to stay on theme and keep this space “educational” then there are plenty of options such as a world map, or alphabet and mathematics-themed posters. Believe it or not, this makes the work get done faster in some cases.
While we all know that lighting is incredibly important, it is up to you to provide it for your child. If you are trying to mimic that classroom atmosphere then you would be best allowing your child to work in a room with natural light as, usually, classrooms have huge windows. Although we understand this is not always possible therefore you must look for suitable alternatives. Task lighting works great here and in any type of work environment as it is used to illuminate the area to aid you in doing the work at hand. Depending on the style, you can go for a simple lamp to match the vibe of the room, or let your child pick so that they feel like they had a hand in creating their space!
Homework has always been a reality for kids and now with the increase in remote learning, it seems like children are going to have to get used to part of their education being from home. In these circumstances, it has never been more important for the kids to feel as though they have an adequate study space at home for them to succeed as much as they would should they be studying in a classroom as normal.
As we have discussed, some options are more realistic than others, however, we all know that when it comes to your children, you will do anything for them to succeed therefore there are ways for everyone to provide a workspace for and successfully have their kids learn from home. We hope these tips will help you in providing this space for your child and help towards their success in education!