6 Steps to a Smart Study Space

A smart way to encourage good homework habits for your kids is to set up a designated study space that's just for them. Make sure it's comfortable, well lit and a little bit fun, and it will become a place they don't mind settling into with their assignments. Whether it's part of a home office you already have or occupies a portion of one of your home's living spaces, it needs just a few basic elements to fire up little scholars.

6 Tips for Setting Up a Study Space
  • Choose furniture that's sized for kids.

    It's tough to concentrate if you're not comfortable, so make sure the chair and desk are scaled to kids' proportions. An adjustable chair is a smart idea, since it will grow as they do.

  • Make sure it has adequate lighting.

    Help protect your child's eyesight by establishing some focused task lighting on the main work surface.

  • Take cues from schoolrooms.

    Celebrate the opportunities for learning that are all around by accessorizing the space with fun educational tools, like a collection of globes, some framed vintage flashcards or a colorful abacus. If possible, paint a nearby wall with a chalkboard finish, so they can practice math problems, writing and drawing just like they do in the classroom.

  • Include some display space.

    A corkboard, shelves or cubbies are key so they can display favorite report cards, trophies, artwork or other accomplishments they're proud of.

  • Set up a spot for reading nearby.

    A lot of homework includes reading assignments, so set up a soft, comfy chair with good lighting so they can concentrate.

  • Don't forget storage.

    You'll need drawers and containers for the tools they use – writing utensils, notepads, art supplies, etc. – as well as deeper drawers and bins or boxes for completed projects that they want to keep.