Creating a Child's Study Space Without Breaking the Bank


My daughter is starting kindergarten this year and I want to encourage good study habits from the beginning.  Any tips on creating a study space for her without breaking the bank?

Believe it or not, budget really isn’t a huge factor—a study space can be carved out for little to no money.  Rather, it’s about figuring out what will best suit your child’s needs.

The first thing to consider is how your child works and learns.  A desk in her room may not actually be the best place.  In addition, the perfect location for one sibling may be completely wrong for another.  Take a look at:

·         How easily your child gets distracted.

·         What type of homework she will have (independent work vs. needing help).

·         How well she does when in another room and separated from other people.

Once you have a good idea as to what those criteria are, you should think about what your child needs in the space.  Make sure her study area has:

·         Good lighting.

·         A smooth, hard surface for writing.

·         A space large enough to spread out all necessary materials.

·         A comfy spot for reading.

·         Easy access to essential supplies.

·         Computer access, if required.

Now, scout out spots in your home that fit the bill.  Depending on your child, you may have to get a bit creative.  A friend of mine has a son who is fairly easily distracted but feels incredibly lonely when he isn’t near other people.  For that little boy, the dining room table is the perfect solution.  The room is open enough that he can still see and hear his mother, yet closed off enough that he can focus on his work.  (A table pad protects the table from damage.) 

Don’t forget that it’s a good idea to reassess your child’s needs every year.  The ideal study area for a kindergartner isn’t likely to be as ideal for a fourth grader, even less ideal for a high school senior.