Back to School

You know that commercial they play at the beginning of every school year? You know the one we’re talking about; the one where they’re playing “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” by Andy Williams while parents are shopping for school supplies. While it is an amusing commercial, it does bring up the thought of preparing your child for their school year. One facet of that preparation is making sure your child’s room is adequately equipped, decorated and organized for a conducive learning environment.

Here are some easy organization and decorating strategies to calm clutter and create an enjoyable learning environment to kids’ rooms.

Start by taking your child’s point of view. Get down to your child’s eye level to help him or her get organized. Look at your child’s space, storage, furniture and possessions from his or her vantage point. The view may surprise you. Adult furniture and organizing systems don’t translate well to children’s needs. Sticky dresser drawers are hard for small hands to manage. Folding closet doors pinch fingers and jump their rails when pushed from the bottom. Closet hanging rods are out of reach, while adult hangers don’t fit smaller clothing. Traditional toy boxes house a tangled jumble of mixed and scattered toy parts. To organize a child’s room, solutions must fit the child. For younger children, remove closet doors entirely. Lower clothing rods and invest in child-sized hangers. Use floor-level open containers to hold toys, open plastic baskets to store socks and underwear.

If there’s space in your child’s room add a desk or small table. Working in a quiet room is preferable over a public area like the dining room table, where there may be too many distractions from other family members. For larger areas, modular workspaces are a great option because you can add to them as kids grow older and their needs change.

Good lighting is one of the most crucial components of an at-home study station. Since homework assignments for older kids often go into the evening hours, it is important that a homework space has sufficient lighting. Invest in a really good desk lamp or overhead lighting to help your child see the light of day when it comes to schoolwork. It’s important to steer clear of fluorescent lighting (you know, like the kind they have at school) and go for more natural light. Hanging sheers can also be helpful in lightening the room overall.

Certain colours are conducive to learning. Psychological colour studies have shown that children in elementary school grades benefit from the stimulation of warm colours (think yellow-orange and peach), while older children concentrate better when surrounded by cooler hues, like light blue, green or violet. If your child’s study space is located in an area that you can enhance with paint, consider painting the walls a cool shade to give him or her an edge with studying.

With some organization and decorative adjustments, your child will feel more comfortable and eager to tackle his or her homework and get a handle on the school year.