Work­ing up an ap­petite for study

Get set for a suc­cess­ful school year with a com­fort­able and pro­duc­tive study space, writes Robyn Wil­lis

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - RENOVATE - Robyn.wil­lis@news.com.au

Uni­forms have been washed and checked for size, school lunches are back on the menu and you’ve made the trip to Of­fice­works for school sup­plies. Yes, it’s time to get back to work. For those start­ing or re­turn­ing to high school, one of the key con­sid­er­a­tions is cre­at­ing a suit­able study space at home.

While not ev­ery­one has the space for a sep­a­rate of­fice — or even a desk in the bed­room — there are some sim­ple steps you can take to help your stu­dent set up good work­ing habits for the year.

Light on learn­ing

Whereas most high school stu­dents would be used to mov­ing from class­room to class­room, hav­ing a des­ig­nated space for study at home is prefer­able to help them stay on task.

Although the style of it is a mat­ter of per­sonal taste, a space with ac­cess to good nat­u­ral light and ven­ti­la­tion will help with con­cen­tra­tion and re­duce fa­tigue.

Good task light­ing in the form of a desk lamp is a wel­come ad­di­tion.

Hot de­sk­ing

Most par­ents know the value of a good desk cou­pled with an er­gonomic chair.

Go for an ad­justable chair on a swivel base if pos­si­ble for greater flex­i­bil­ity and com­fort that will keep your child alert and fo­cused.

The kind of desk that best suits your stu­dent will de­pend on their study habits but, as a gen­eral rule, some­thing sturdy with a few draw­ers for sta­tionery is a good op­tion. If you don’t have room for over­head shelv­ing, look for a deep desk­top for stor­ing mag­a­zine or file hold­ers and wire bas­kets and trays while still of­fer­ing plenty of room for work­ing.

Open stor­age sys­tems are prefer­able — although they may re­quire more tidy­ing — to keep ev­ery­thing they need within easy ac­cess.

Don’t un­der­es­ti­mate the value of old-school study sys­tems such as wall cal­en­dars and plan­ners where you can see ev­ery­thing at a glance.

Ex­pe­ri­enc­ing tech­ni­cal is­sues

Like it or not, tech­nol­ogy is a cen­tral part of to­day’s learn­ing. Hav­ing mul­ti­ple power out­lets and even wire­less charg­ing sys­tems will en­sure your stu­dent has ev­ery­thing at the ready for school the fol­low­ing day. It may also help them re­lax and stay fo­cused to have mu­sic in their study space, so a com­bined ra­dio, clock and iPod dock may be a worth­while in­vest­ment.

If their desk is in their bed­room, you might con­sider lo­cat­ing the charg­ing dock in a cen­tral part of the house, like the hall­way, to en­sure they get a good night’s sleep.

Safe spa­ces

While most par­ents are keen to cre­ate an op­ti­mum study space for their stu­dent, keep in mind that it’s their home, not the class­room.

Of­fer some crea­ture comforts like floor cush­ions or a squishy bean­bag or two to kick back and lis­ten to some mu­sic, to read or to en­ter­tain friends when they drop by.

When tem­per­a­tures drop, a heated throw rug is a great en­ergy ef­fi­cient op­tion.

Fam­ily pets are of­ten a great source of com­fort to hard­work­ing stu­dents so con­sider some­where for them to rest in the room.

Stud­ies have shown that in­door plants im­prove air qual­ity, with hardy species such as the peace lily and mother-in-law’s tongue among the most ef­fec­tive.

If your stu­dent is reach­ing their fi­nal years of school or univer­sity, give them a say in how to dec­o­rate their space.

It may not be to your taste, but if it keeps them study­ing, you’ll learn to love it.

This lap­top case from Typo keeps ev­ery­thing se­cure and is per­fect for get­ting around cam­pus.

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