The well-being of your kids is the most important part of your life. So you moved into one of our SJV homes because it offered more space and better facilities for them. You even picked the development based on its surrounding school district. Now that fall has started, you’ve sent your little ones to school with the hope that they get a good education. Rev up their chances of academic success with these tips.
Set up a study center.
Laying out a place just for your kids to study in elevates their efforts to something special. A logical location would be their bedrooms but only if your children are disciplined students. Otherwise, their bedrooms contain too many distractions, such as toys and video games. You want to put the study center in an area that’s free from distraction and where you can keep an eye on them. A spare room that doubles as your office would be ideal. Another possibility is a corner of the great room where you can watch them even while you’re cooking or tending to household chores.
Include the right furniture and supplies.
At minimum, the study center should have an expansive desk to set out homework or projects, a straight-backed chair to encourage good posture, and a bright light that is either overhead or attached to a wall to maximize the desk surface. Include plenty of well-organized materials, such as pens, pencils, rulers, paper, rulers, and scissors, so you kids don’t waste time looking for supplies. A black board or dry erase board is helpful for jotting down ideas and notes while a bulletin board can hold calendars and notices. A computer and printer are also necessities.
Remove toys, comic books, sporting gear, and other distractions from the study center. Keep pets outside or in another room. Technology is often the biggest time-sink, so turn off entertainment units, unplug video games, shut off the ringers of the landline phones, and keep smartphones turned off and in a drawer. Block access to social media sites or gaming pages on the study computer. If necessary, put up a sign saying “Do Not Disturb” or “Study Time,” so everyone in the family knows what’s going on.
Schedule the same time for study every school day.
The best way to make study time a regular part of your kids’ day is to schedule the same block of time for it every school day. This gets them into the habit of taking care of their academic needs in the same way that they schedule dinner or brushing their teeth. Even if they don’t have any homework to take care of for that particular time, they can read or work on individual projects to broaden their knowledge.
Arguably, the most important thing you can do to improve your children’s education at home is to make yourself an active participant. That doesn’t mean that you do their homework for them but that you’re available to answer their questions or to help with special projects. It also means that you can’t be using their study time for sequestering yourself on your computer, taking long tub baths, or watching TV.
Ideally, you set up a desk next to theirs where you can sit and tend to your own work during study time. Then you can catch up on work that you took home, deal with household bills and accounts, or even catch up on emails or Internet news on your own computer at the study center. However, be prepared to drop everything to deal with your children’s questions. Because you’re taking their education seriously, they will too. They’ll also cherish their study time as a way to spend more hours with the most important person in their lives: you.
If you want to check out our models in person to see what interior areas would work for a study center, please contact us.