Whether your child is just learning to write his name, or putting together his final term paper for English Lit, you may want to consider creating a dedicated study space for him.
1. The desk & chair.
Of course your kitchen table could do the trick as a dedicated study space, but the kitchen is often hectic and distracting. Plus, you need to set the table for dinner. Here are some things to consider when choosing a desk and location for your children.
- Location – Your kid’s desk can go in their bedroom, the family room or other shared spaces within the house. If you’re placing a desk in a shared space, consider a wall mounted version like our Sloane desks, which can be mixed with modular bookcases, to add a space for decor.
- Size – If you have the room, a desk with a hutch has a ton of built in storage. If you have a smaller space, consider a slim desk style with built-in storage that won’t overwhelm and crowd your space. When you’re tight on space, utilize wall shelving to store papers, supplies or arts and crafts.
- Now & Later – When investing in a desk, choose one that can live elsewhere in your home down the road. Could it become a vanity, a desk in your office, a sideboard by your front door or in a hallway? It’s important to consider the overall height of the desk in this decision. Spending a lot on a “kid-sized” desk may not be a wise investment if you’re hoping to repurpose the item down the road. If you’re set on investing in a piece for the long term, be sure it’s full-sized so your family won’t outgrow it.
- Future Desk – If your child’s still a bit small for a desk, consider a play table with adjustable legs. These can easily go from toddler (coffee table) height to preschool height to desk (table) height. These are a great piece that grows right along with your child.
- Technology – Schoolwork can require the use of iPads and laptops. So, look for a desk with cord management options, so chargers can be readily available without the kids having to go near electrical outlets.
- Desk Chair – If you have a desk, it stands to reason that you’ll need a chair. This is a great place to be a little playful. Add a pop of color. Or, use it as an opportunity to introduce another material into your space, like leather, metal, or even acrylic. While it’s likely you’ll only buy a single desk, you’re free to change the style and look of the study space as your child grows by changing up their chair over the years for a smaller investment.
Was there ever a space that didn’t require storage? A kids desk is no exception. You’ll need all sorts of storage.
- Wall Storage – Add a bulletin board or magnet boards, so your child can change out the decor, reminders and other paraphernalia on their own. Also, add some wall shelves to keep items like scissors and glue out of reach of younger siblings.
- Paper Storage – Kids generate a crazy amount of paperwork. And, once they get into school, this quadruples. Consider magazine files or flat file bins to house their assignments, construction paper and art projects.
- Desktop Storage – You’ll need a place for pens, pencils, markers and crayons. Look for divided storage, so everything has a place.
- Floor Storage – You’ll probably want a trash can nearby, as well as a floor bin where she can toss her backpack and textbooks.
3.The task lighting.
Add a clip lamp or desk lamp with an adjustable neck. They’re great for directing the light appropriately to illuminate text books as well as shadow puppet shows.
4.The overall design.
Consider your child’s learning style when designing his study space.
- Easily Distracted – Resist the temptation to include a lot of wall decor or toys nearby. Create the study space in his bedroom or in a quiet corner, away from the TV and other siblings’ play spaces.
- Needs Guidance – If your child often needs your help or reassurance with homework, think about placing her desk in a shared space where you’ll be nearby. In this instance, the kitchen may be a great place, so she can work on homework while you’re prepping dinner. Or in your home office, where you can work side by side.
Overall, the goal is to create a space where your child can be comfortable, and actually want to spend time, hopefully making the job of getting them to do their homework just a bit easier.