the below article was featured in the july 2018 issue of invironments magazine. due to the current COVID pandemic, i’m re-sharing this to help parents, caregivers, and families as we navigate a variety of new scenarios with school for our children in the 2020-2021 school year. if you have any tips + tricks that work wonderfully for your children’s home study space, i’d love to share them! please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
The start of the school year always brings with it planning and preparation. There are school supplies, new shoes, clothes, and many activities to plan for. And, of course, there are the inevitable schedule shifts to make sure there’s time for homework in the evenings.
The summer before my oldest son headed to kindergarten, I realized our home didn’t have a great place for him to learn, color, eventually do homework, and still be centered around our family area in the home. It was time to set up a more structured desk area that would work not only for our kids, but also the whole family.
To set up an organized desk space, it’s important to first identify an area in your home where having this station will work best for you and your family. For me, we had an ideal, open space as part of our kitchen and eating area.
This space is great for our family because we spend 90 percent of our time together as a family between the kitchen, eating area, and connected great room. By using this space, a family member who needs the desk space, can always feel included with the rest of our family.
The next important steps we took was measuring the space and then looking online at some furniture retailers that had desk options in a style that matched our home. We looked at options from Target, West Elm, Wayfair.com, and IKEA. We loved the modular and storage options that were available through IKEA, and the style fit the more modern look of our home.
When adding a desk area to your home, here are a couple of tips and tricks to think about when putting yours together:
- Once your space is identified, measure, measure, measure. It’s key to make sure that whatever desk and storage pieces you buy will fit in your space. It can be a little overwhelming to have to return and exchange large pieces of furniture!
- Think beyond just the desk or work surface. Adding a desk space is also an opportunity to add storage too.
- Make it a fun space! Buy small buckets (available at Target or other craft stores) and keep crayons, markers, and colored pencils in view on the desktop to remind your kids that this is also a place to be creative. It can also be a great place to store other fun, creative tools for kids — such as Play-Doh, kinetic sand, construction paper, and stickers!
- Your desk space can also be a great place to store those important school papers that come home. For our space, I purchased a couple of binders to store the school directory, report cards, spelling lists, letters from the teacher, and flash cards.
- Don’t forget this can also be a great space for parents to use too! I often use our desk as my writing space, where I can still have full view to my kids. The space can even include a charging station for devices!
Heading back to school and taking on homework can be made so much easier (and more fun!) with a dedicated space for entertainment and learning!