Design Learning Spaces That Can Grow With Your Child

Middle school students need the best of both worlds: a room of their own, where they can retreat for some peaceful study time, and a shared workspace in a common area like the living or dining room.

Here are three things to consider when setting up study space for your Grade 6, 7 or 8 student — plus a few suggestions for things that can help them gear up for the fall.

1. Create a common-area safe zone

Students in this age group should be supervised when using the internet for homework, research or for fun. By keeping the family computer in a common area such as the kitchen or another busy living area, parents can be present for their kids’ online activities, helping to protect them from bullying, cyber scams and inappropriate websites.

2. Help them get organized

As homework expectations increase, students should be prepared to pace their workload so they can get their “deliverables” in on time without having to resort to late-night panic sessions. Remind your child that planning ahead can reduce anxiety and help them feel more confident about the quality of their work. Explore organization tools that can help them in this goal, from planners and calendars to computer and smartphone apps.

3. Separate work and rest zones in the bedroom

A middle school student’s study space shouldn’t overwhelm their bedroom. Promote nighttime restfulness by designing clear work, and rest, zones. Discourage them from working in bed, as this practice is associated with poor sleep and anxiety. Choose a desk that’s big enough for functionality, but small enough to leave plenty of free space in your child’s private retreat.

Here are our picks for a stellar study space.

Smart desks that make space

Common area desk: A minimalist workspace

Need a space-saving secondary workspace for the kitchen or living room? Try a sleek desk that’s just big enough for textbooks or a laptop but not clutter.

Sunjoy Jayne Writing Desk (Item 2829563), $229.99

Bedroom desk: Maximum storage and style

This modular workspace features an on-trend white-and-reclaimed-wood aesthetic and combines a desktop with a space-saving cabinet, drawers and cupboard for maximum storage.

Winsome 18322 Kenner 3-Piece Set Modular Desk, Reclaimed Wood/White Finish (Item 2936615), $447.99

Comfortable chair

Chair: Sleek and ergonomic

This desk chair promotes proper posture and has a mesh back so your scholar won’t have to sweat through their study sessions. The nylon casters roll across low-pile carpet but for added zoom, consider pairing it with a desk mat.

Monarch Mesh Multi Position Office Chair, White and Grey (Item 2873703), $199.99

Light it up

Desk lighting: Stay on task

Task lighting is easier on the eyes compared to relying on overhead lighting alone. Choose a desk lamp or, for added versatility, a floor lamp. We like this one because it means less desk clutter and it’s easy to move around for desktop studying and bedtime reading.

Royal Sovereign RFL-1300 Contemporary LED Floor Lamp (Item 2926045), $129.99

Organize toward deadlines

Get organized: Try a calendar

This wall calendar pairs a cool preppy aesthetic with space to write and plan. The month-at-a-glance format is ideal for noting due dates, sports and social events, but without the granularity of homework specifics.

At A Glance 2020-2021 Emily Ley Happy Stripe Wall Calendar (Item 24421037), $20.99

Get organized: Or try a day planner For in-depth planning, you can’t beat an academic agenda book. There’s plenty of room to jot down homework specifics, project details, group-work contacts and more. Twelve calendars provide a month-at-a-glance review option as well.

Pierre Belvedere Weekly Academic Calendar, Bilingual (Item 2970893), $22.99

By Staples Canada

July 31, 2020

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