Guide

Using Home Office Design to Inspire Your Child's Homework Room or Workspace

If you're one of the many parents who pivoted to homeschooling in the past few years, you'll know that creating an efficient at-home workspace for your child is easier said than done. Similar to designing a home office for an adult, you want to create a space that's conducive to productivity, creativity, and comfort while steering clear of any decor that might unwittingly be distracting. You also want to ensure the space is undoubtedly child-friendly—somewhere your child will enjoy spending time in—but it can be tough to achieve a balance between child-friendly and homework-friendly.

We see you, parents, and we're here to help! In this guide, we explain how to balance fun and functionality in your child's homework room or workspace. We also explain how you can use three tried-and-true concepts of home office design to better support your child's at-home learning journey.

1. Choose the location wisely

If space permits, it can be a nice idea to give your child their own room to work in. The private room approach works best if your child is older and can be trusted to get their work done without parental supervision. Your child might find it easier to concentrate alone. Additionally, parents and other family members can carry on with their day-to-day activities without becoming a distraction. 

One thing to be wary of, if you're going the private room route, is sending your child to their bedroom to work. A child's bedroom is often full of distractions. Moreover, if your child has issues falling asleep at night, having them do homework in their bedroom can end up worsening sleep issues because they may start to associate the space with being active and alert. So, if you can swing it, set your child up in a room that's not their bedroom. 

Kid's workspace

If your child is on the young side, they are more likely to benefit from parental supervision while they work. In this case, you might want to set up a workspace somewhere open and accessible, such as the kitchen, living room, or dining room. Generally speaking, children under the age of ten benefit from parental supervision, while children older than ten can probably manage on their own.

Whatever location you choose, be aware of anything that could pose a distraction to your child. For instance, having your child work near a window might seem like a good idea because of the natural light, but if there's noise or activity outside of that window, the location can end up being counterproductive. If you find your child is easily distracted, consider placing their desk facing a wall or in a corner.

2. Be strategic (and judicious!) with your use of color

If you're aware of color psychology, you'll know that different colors are linked to different inner responses. For instance, purple, yellow, and orange are known to spark creativity, while shades of blue and green are known to promote calmness and concentration. These are all good colors to use in your child's homework room or workspace. Additionally, neutral colors are always a safe bet, although your child may not enjoy a neutral color palette as much as something more colorful. 

When designing a space for a child, it can be tempting to incorporate their favorite color (or colors) in big ways. This is not necessarily a wrong approach, but if their favorite color isn't conducive to concentration and productivity, you might want to consider using that color in an accenting way. For instance, a red pencil cup or red notebooks, rather than an entirely red wall.

It's also worth putting some thought into color saturation levels. Bright colors, such as yellow, orange, and red, can be quite polarizing, and subsequently, distracting. That said, the vibrancy of any color can be brought down by simply tinting it with white.

Blue children's room

3. Consider ergonomics when it comes to furniture, screens, and lighting

It's in your child's best interests to design their home workspace with ergonomics in mind. Doing so can help to prevent health problems in the long-term (think back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and vision problems), while promoting comfort in the short-term. 

Let's start with furniture. When you're investing in a desk and chair for your child, opt for models that are height-adjustable. This way, as your child grows, they can still use the items effectively.

When your child is sitting at their desk, make sure they are sitting straight, with the weight of their head directly above their neck. If you're noticing your child is leaning forward while working, adjust the distance between the chair and the desk. Your child's feet should comfortably reach the floor when sitting. If not, use a footrest or lower the chair. If your child is particularly restless or resistant to sitting in a chair, they might appreciate a standing desk. 

Modern child room

The positioning of the computer monitor is also important. The computer screen should be positioned just below eye level, with the monitor at least an arm's length away to prevent eye strain.

Lighting is also a major component of ergonomics. Inappropriate lighting can result in eye strain, headaches, and fatigue. Natural lighting is almost always ideal, but avoid placing a computer monitor in front a window, which can result in screen glare. Even if you have great natural light in the room, it's a good idea to supplement with task lighting, such as a table lamp. If you're on a budget, adhesive push lights are a quick fix and can be purchased at the dollar store.

Here are some final tips for creating a homework room or workspace that your child will benefit from spending time in…

  • Make it a no phone zone. If you're going to go through the trouble of making your child's workspace a distraction-free zone, make sure you are removing the biggest distraction of all: their smartphone. Staying on top of your child's phone use during homework time will help them to get their work done more efficiently, while encouraging healthy technology habits.

  • Get ahead of clutter. Even if we aren't always aware of it, clutter can be an enemy to concentration. To nip clutter in the bud, make sure your child's workspace has plenty of storage options and make it a point to designate specific spots for their items. You can even go as far as to use labels so that it's clear to the child where things are supposed to go. At the end of each day, have your child tidy up their own workspace so that it eventually becomes a habit. 

  • Create an information center. Make sure you are giving your child all the tools they need to stay on top of their workload. Hang a large calendar in their workspace and have them write down their due dates, extra-curricular activities, special occasions, and other commitments. You can also encourage them to use a chalkboard, whiteboard, or notepad for jotting down daily to-dos. And since it's a no-phone-zone, it might be beneficial to put a clock somewhere in their workspace, so that they can get used to keeping track of time.

  • Make it personal and multi-purpose. Your child's homework room or workspace doesn't have to be exclusively for homework. Make it a spot that they enjoy being in by personalizing it to suit any hobbies that they might have. For example, if your child likes to read, make one corner of the room into a reading nook, with a comfy chair, book shelves, and a reading lamp. Or if they like to paint or draw, you could incorporate an art space. If you're not sure how to personalize the space, ask your child for their input. This will help to give them a sense of pride in the space, as well as a feeling of ownership.

Foter Magazine is a premier architecture, decoration, interiors and design website. We inspire and guide you to make your home a more attractive place.

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