As home schooling becomes the new normal, we’ve looked at ways to set up a space where your kids can work at home that’s practical and looks stylish
Similar to home classroom: Setting up a home office
CLOSE THE DOOR
As much as adults want to close the door on work at the end of the day, so do children. If possible, set up their work space in a room that can be closed off at night and on weekends. If dedicating a whole room to their classroom is not an option, designate a cupboard, drawer, basket or box where their school work can be put away at the end of the day. This gives them a sense of separation between worktime and playtime.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
Make sure that your child’s desk or work surface is well lit as eye strain can cause headaches and fatigue. Include a desk lamp and if possible, place the desk near a window to take advantage of natural light. This home office designed by interior designer Kirsty Lindley has side-by-side work areas separated by cupboards and a drawer and adjustable desk lamps.
COMFORT IS KEY
It’s difficult for children to focus if they’re uncomfortable, so make sure your child has a comfortable chair the right height for the desk. Place a cushion on the seat or against the backrest to improve the comfort level. Dangling legs can also be distracting so if your little one’s feet can’t reach the floor, use a box or a stack of books or magazines as a foot rest. This also helps children to sit up straight. For young children, a child-sized table and chairs like these Malawi chairs and low table in Sarah McGregor’s home, is ideal as it’s less intimidating than working at a dining room table or mom’s desk.
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KEEP IT SIMPLE
Although it’s tempting to stick up pictures and posters to make the space colourful, lots of bright pictures can be distracting, especially for younger children. Keep the area uncluttered and bring in colour with stationery and books. A minimalist look also helps to keep the study space neat, especially if it’s in your living area or their bedroom. In her home office, Sarah McGregor chose a clean, minimal look that’s stylish but not distracting. The only pattern is in the chair covers.
If you don’t have a white board, stick a few pieces of white paper behind the glass of a window or door so you can write on the glass with whiteboard markers. A simple, temporary and cost-effective solution.
To improve concentration, incorporate a small trampoline or a gym ball so that kids can move around and get some exercise in between lessons. A few minutes of bouncing can improve their ability to focus.
Reading forms a big part of learning so set up an inviting corner where children can curl up and read. It needn’t be elaborate, just a few cushions or an old cot mattress placed on a rug will provide the perfect spot for spending time between the pages of a book. Add a blanket or two for chilly days. Décor by Kirsty Lindley of Lindley and Co.
Lindley and Co lindleyandco.co.za