We’ve taken to the web to put together tools for back-to-school when it comes to setting up a productive study space for your child.
Fussing about furniture
Desk control is all about finding a table with a top that rests somewhere between your waist and ribcage when sitting down, allowing your elbows to rest easily without hunching. If using a computer, you want enough depth in your desk to place it 1.5 to 2.5 feet away from you.
How you sit can be a chairy issue. You want your feet to rest flat on the ground. Chairs that rotate, recline and lift may be fancy but may also be distractions.
Dark lighting may send you on a snooze and lose attention – but perhaps most importantly, it can strain your eyes. Harsh fluorescent lighting can also be bad for your eyes.
The combination of a desk lamp and nearby table or overhead light will brighten your specific work space overall area, respectively. The sun can be fun and help refresh and calm your mood. But, beware of peering procrastination when staring out the window. Consider translucent drapes or facing away from the window.
Equipped into shape
Every warrior has their weapons so don’t let missing pencils, erasers, paper, notecards and highlighters lead to a search down the rabbit hole, taking time away from study. Avoid supply shortage by updating and tidying your desk drawer. Support local small business and check out the Court Street stationery store in Brooklyn.
Having a traditional dictionary, thesaurus and calculator can help prevent a reliance on cell phones that can open up a Pandora’s Box of distractions.
A clock may help you sprint towards deadlines or goals you set yourself. You could push yourself to get a certain amount of work done in an “hour of power” simultaneously training yourself for SATs and ACTs by timing your work – and reward yourself after!
Skills alive to the sound of study
Multitasking is a myth. Save Facebook browsing, listening to music and watching television for pure leisure time so you can REALLY get into it. If your study space unavoidably draws in television and conversation noise elsewhere, create your own background sounds. Different apps and websites provide soothing white noise and sounds of rain. Or if you prefer music, opt for instrumental and classical tunes without lyrics to distract you. Use speakers instead of headphones as the latter has been found to hinder memory retention and doesn’t serve the purpose of blending into the background, allowing studies to stay in the forefront of your mind.
Mark your study territory however you can. This could mean cornering off a section of a room, using a closet as a wall and separating your study space on a specially chosen rug. Multipurpose spaces aren’t ideal as habits grow over time and you’ll want to become accustomed to setting and focusing whenever in this space.
The bedroom seems like a logical choice but for some people it’s too closely associated with rest. If it’s available to you, try using the basement or garage – away from everything and everyone else.
Personalize and decorate
Just like your office space, inspiring photos of things that matter to your child can help push them through a seemingly tough task.
Motivational moments to adorn the study space can include family photos, professional athletes, potential colleges, successful exam papers from the past, pets and vacation destinations. Creating a portable collage board allows you to take your personalization anywhere you study, especially if using shared spaces such as dining tables.
The senses of study
When choosing anything from decorations and notecards to highlighters – colors can crack the code to success. Cool colors like blue, purple, and green tend to inspire feelings of peace and balance for those who may be anxious and rattled. Warmer colors like red, yellow, and orange tend to inspire activity and force, great for those who may need an extra kick-start.
Scents such as lemon, lavender, jasmine, rosemary, cinnamon, and peppermint seem to boost mood and productivity in some people. Try out different scented candles and essential oils.