A dedicated homework zone can help your teen to knuckle down and study hard. Here’s what you need.
The pressure is really on in those final few years of school – and as parents, we want to do everything we can to help our kids succeed. A well-designed homework area can do wonders to help them knuckle down and focus.
REMOVE ALL DISTRACTIONS
Ideally, a ‘homework zone’ should be a designated area away from anything that can distract – out of earshot of the TV and Xbox, and away from any other siblings that may be running around. If your teen has his or her own phone, and it’s not a necessity for research, we recommend turning it off for this period. Give them something to play study music or ambient noise, as well as a good set of noise-cancelling headphones, which can be super helpful to block out any background distraction.
Teach your teen to get everything they need before they start. A dictionary, thesaurus and calculator are always a must, plus the necessary stationery and paper for making study notes and mindmaps. A whiteboard for sketching things out or brainstorming on can also be a very useful tool.
Gone are the days of encyclopedias – you can’t get by without a computer and an internet connection these days. But be sure not to let this tech get too outdated – that’s a recipe for frustration.
Last but not least, don’t forget to have a full water bottle, and some healthy snacks at hand.
Good posture is best learned while still young – and it can make a huge impact on your child’s body as they age. Make sure the desk and chair are the right height for them – and consider getting a standing desk so that they can alternate between sitting and standing for their comfort. If they’re working on a laptop, get an additional monitor and keyboard so that they don’t put a strain on their neck – the top of the monitor should be just below eye level, wrists should be neutral, and shoulders shouldn’t be lifted when typing.
Researchers have found that the ideal temperature for productivity is between 22 and 25ºC, so consider a fan or heater to regulate the temperature of the space. Good lighting is also really important. Put them somewhere with as much natural light as possible, and get a good desk lamp – especially if they’re going to be burning the midnight oil with exam prep.
MAKE IT LOOK NICE
Make the space comfortable and attractive to be in – it’s somewhere they’re going to spend time in every day, after all. Consider painting the walls blue or green – the former fosters concentration, while the latter promotes balance. Add one or two personal items for comfort – but not so many that they’re distracting, of course, and a few plants too. NASA has proved that plants can boost productivity by as much as 15%, and they also improve indoor air quality. Done right, you might find your kid likes this space so much they won’t want to leave – but try to preserve it as a designated space associated just with learning.
GIVE YOUR CHILD A GREAT FUTURE WITH AN RCS PERSONAL LOAN
All the extras can really add up when you’re already working hard to pay for school fees. Luckily, with an RCS Personal Loan of up to R250 000, your child won’t have to miss out. A loan is easy to apply for and it has flexible repayment options so you can give your kid the best shot at a successful future.