Student Strategy: Five Things Your Child's Desk or Study Area Needs


A child’s study area should be comfortable for them and “fit” them. That means their feet should touch the floor (or a stool) and the chair should be high enough for their elbows to rest on the desk at an almost 90 degree angle.The following five things will also help them be more efficient and maybe even get their homework done sooner.

1. Good lighting is the number one thing your child needs in this area. The light should be white and not yellow and not buzz. It should be positioned over the desk area and not on the ceiling as the light will be behind your child’s head, casting a shadow. A good light can prevent eye strain.

2. A large desk or counter space where your child can spread out a book and a notebook without having to stack them. It is difficult to read and write when you have to keep moving things around.

3. Supplies should be within arm’s reach. The important things like a highlighter, ruler, pens, pencils, eraser, stapler, notebook paper, three hole punch, sticky notes, scissors and post it flags should all be nearby. If you child has to get up to get something then it may take up to 15 minutes to get his brain back into the kind of focus he had before he got up. A large trash can is also essential.

4. Calendar of the current month to use to plan out long term projects, keep track of upcoming tests, appointments and sports schedules. Having a month to look at provides a better picture of what is coming up so they can see what is important. Having the term ending dates and the progress report dates and no school days is also helpful.

5. Files for each subject or one giant one for the year is helpful (depending on the grade level) to keep tests and quizzes and last term’s notes to use as a study guide. Often times when kid’s clean out their backpacks they throw away anything that is not that night’s homework. This is a big mistake! Those tests and quizzes should be reviewed and corrected to be sure your child is not misunderstanding a major concept that could show up later. Older students need to save them for midterms and finals. You, the parent, may want to save them so that the term grade is not a surprise to you either.

Reprinted from our March newsletter. Sign up here. Need help getting your child through the last term of the school year? Come join us tonight at the Hingham Library at 7pm for strategies to help.

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