Setting Up a Study Space for Your Kids (or Yourself)
With many schools still closed or offering the option of distance learning, back-to-school preparations look a little different this year. Creating a comfortable and functional study space for your kids—or any adult learners in your home, for that matter—helps impart a sense of routine and sets up students for academic success. Even after everyone is back in the (physical) classroom, a home study space provides a place to focus on homework, personal writing projects, self-directed learning, and more.
While providing our signature house cleaning services, our cleaning experts at Merry Maids® have seen study spaces of all kinds. Below, you’ll find tips on how to set up a successful home classroom or study space using what you have, along with some helpful additions for increased focus and productivity.
The Basics of a Good Study Space
Plenty of students throughout history have done their homework at the kitchen table. While this is tried-and-true for an hour or two of math equations, it isn’t the best long-term solution. Ideally, at-home learners should have a dedicated space away from distractions like the television, the kitchen, or common rooms where they’ll be frequently disrupted.
On a basic level, a study space should consist of:
Desk or writing surface
Computer or laptop
Access to an outlet
Internet or Wi-Fi
Comfortable, supportive chair
Notebook or pad of paper
Pens, pencils, and a highlighter
A clean environment with minimal distractions
The idea is to put together a space comfortable enough for extended study periods—or all-day virtual learning—but not so comfortable the student loses focus or falls asleep. Ergonomics are important, too. When sitting at the desk, feet should be able to rest flat on the floor, and elbows should be able to touch the desk without raising shoulders or slouching over very far. Computer screens or monitors should be 18-30” away from the face for better posture and to reduce eye strain. If using a laptop computer, an external keyboard and mouse can be much more comfortable for extended use than a trackpad, plus they allow you to position the screen at a better height to prevent hunching.
Modifying What You Already Have
If you have a desk and chair ready to use but your child is a little too short to sit comfortably, add a thick cushion to the seat and a box or step stool on the floor as a makeshift foot rest. For taller students, make sure the monitor or computer screen is high enough to allow for good posture with the head in a neutral position—not tilted too far up or down. Buy an adjustable monitor stand or simply use a box or a stack of sturdy books to get the right height.
Creating a Space for Distraction-Free Learning
One of the bigger challenges of virtual learning or studying at home is all of the distractions. Just as many employees had to adjust to working from home, students need to modify their study space for better distance-learning success.
Beyond the basics, here are some optional—but helpful—elements for distraction-free learning:
Paper calendar - Especially relevant for high school students and older, having a paper calendar to check the date at a glance without opening their phone or the computer’s calendar can prevent giving into the temptation of the internet. It also offers a more grounded sense of time and date.
Desk or wall clock - Similar to a paper calendar, a clock that is not on the phone or computer eliminates another distraction. A desk clock with a built-in timer feature can also be useful for time management.
Desk lamp - Good lighting is vital. If overhead lights in the room are cool in tone, opt for a desk lamp with warm light, and vice versa. Better yet, find a lamp with adjustable color control, since studies suggest different light temperatures offer different benefits, depending on the task.
Noise-canceling headphones - Choose a good pair of headphones to block out the background noise from other family members, household appliances, or even outside construction or traffic. Bonus: The rest of the household won’t have to listen in to lessons or lectures.
Decoration - Too much clutter can be distracting, but spending time in their study space can be more enjoyable if students feel like it’s their own. Hang a poster on the wall, pick out fun desk organizers or pencil holders, add a low-maintenance plant—anything that brings in a touch of personality.
How Cleaning Services from Merry Maids Can Help
Our team understands that this is no ordinary school year, but more time in the house doesn’t have to mean more mess. Home cleaning services from Merry Maids® let you focus on your family in a clean, healthy environment without having to lift a finger. Worried about disruptions to your already-hectic routine? We’re flexible! Our cleaning experts work with you to set up a time that works best with your family’s schedule, and we pride ourselves on cleaning methods that minimize disruptions.
Our cleaning services are designed to address all the new functions of your home, from restaurant to office to classroom. You have enough on your plate. Reach out to us to talk about how we can ease some of your stress with our convenient and customizable house cleaning services. Request an estimate today!