A New School Year Means It’s Time to Revamp Study Areas

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By Barbara Kaplan –

Now that the kids are back in school, what changes do you need to make to your home to accommodate the new academic year? Your children have grown in size, and their maturity level has grown as well. This increase it may require a shift in the space for everyone, because they have new educational needs.

This is an opportunity to talk with your children about their goals for the coming academic year and what they would like to achieve. This can lead to an interesting and fun discussion of what environment they need to succeed. (What do they need to work comfortably and how does that look and feel for them?)

Since this may be the first time they have ever reflected on this, it can be a learning experience for them to create a setting that works for them and helps them to achieve. It could lay the foundation for them to create awareness about their living space, and they can realize they have control over it.

The home environment is always a learning place, but to formalize it as an extension of the classroom requires thought and a personalization of space to help your child reach (their) peak performance. So here are some sample questions to either be asked or answered: (As the parent you might already know all the answers, however it’s always good to get the input from your children.)

  • Where do you prefer doing your homework? Would you rather be in your own room, at the kitchen table/counter, or in the family room?
  • Would you rather sit on the floor or at a desk?
  • Do you like to sit up or recline?
  • Do you like to sit in a chair, sofa, or bed?
  • Do you like to work outside on the patio in nature?
  • Do you need the phone close by?  (Maybe the question should be…do you want a phone close by?)
  • Do you need a computer?
  • What is the best lighting for you? (And how much lighting do you require?)
  • Do you need quiet, or do you like to have the radio or TV on?
  • Would you like to work in solitude or do you like having people around?
  • Does music or a burning candle soothe you?
  • What are your storage needs? (And do you have room for your supplies?)

Even though you may not agree with your child’s answers, it is important to listen and be open to the different ways they may like to work. Together you can come to an understanding that will work for you both.

This is also the time to note if your children have grown to the point of redecorating their room.  Do they need a bigger bed, (more) clothes storage, book cases or areas to house their growing interests, such as computers, electronic equipment, etc.?  Rooms can be designed to grow with your children. Consider the permanent pieces of furniture and make them more neutral.  Then you can be more creative and personal with the less-expensive pieces such as bedding, window treatment, paint and accessories. Most often these items can change as children grow. Our environment influences us even when we don’t realize it. Here’s your opportunity to create an environment that is conducive to learning and having happier children.

As I always say, “Rooms have no feelings, YOU do!” and that’s true for your children’s rooms as well.

Barbara Kaplan, Allied ASID, IFDA, a Scottsdale based interior designer, creator and author of The Bajaro Method, Rooms Have No Feelings, You Do! and founder and influencer of Barbara’s Picks, a design and lifestyle online resource directory.

Photo on Foter.com
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