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Whether you’re a parent who wants to optimize your kid’s homework space or a tutor looking to create an effective education environment at home, there are plenty of ways you can make the area you have to work with ripe for learning. To create a study space that actually works, ask yourself the following questions.
1. Does the student have a comfortable chair?
When trying to memorise lines of Shakespeare or understand mathematical theorems, the last thing a teenager needs is backache. Ensure you provide a comfortable chair that can adjust to the student’s height, is wide and deep enough to bear them and provides adequate lumbar support. It’s also a good idea to choose a seat that swivels so that the young person doesn’t have to strain themselves to reach different areas of their desk. For inspiration, take a look at the ergonomically designed office chairs on offer from furniture suppliers like Calibre and try to get something similar to suit your scholar.
2. Does the desk fulfill the student’s needs?
If a student is distracted by a wobbly desk, unable to find the relevant book or notepad due to a lack of surface space or is forced into uncomfortable positions because of the height of their workstation, their concentration is likely to suffer. To avoid these problems, select a desk that is in good working order, large enough to accommodate everything your child or tutee needs to study and of a height that does not compromise posture or cause joint or muscle pain.
3. Is the space quiet enough?
Trying to absorb and make sense of complex information presents enough of a challenge without adding incessant car horns, thumping music or raucous laughter to the mix. Intrusive background noises like these can increase stress levels, leading to migraines and raised blood pressure. Some studies show that even low-level background noise can damage concentration and heighten tension. To help a teen get the most from their studies, ensure their learning space is situated in a quiet part of the home and as far away from the main hubs of activity as possible. Be mindful of the student’s need for quiet when studying by not playing loud music, carrying out conversations nearby and by keeping small children away from them.
4. Is the lighting adequate?
Being exposed to bright fluorescent lights and having to strain the eyes to see in dim conditions can lead to headaches, sore eyes and problems focusing. It can also lead to pain in the back, neck and shoulders from sitting in an incorrect posture. Make sure your youngster works in a well-lit room, preferably with plenty of natural light. When choosing bulbs, try to get ones that mimic natural daylight too. A dimmable desk lamp with a flexible arm or moveable base is a great choice as it can be adjusted to suit the child’s preferences. You should also make sure that a quality ceiling light is available too so that the student has a full range of options.
Creating a functional area for a student to get on with their studies doesn’t require a PhD in education or design. By putting yourself in your teen’s position and using some common sense, you should be able to fashion a learning space worthy of the next Einstein, Eliot or Euclid.