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How to Create a Study Space for Kids

  • Michael Kraus

    Your mini-scholar will be better able to focus on her work if her area is stocked with the right gear. Here's what she'll need for her homework headquarters:

    Desk 

    Look for one with enough space on top to spread out papers and books, but bear in mind that there are also “floor kids” and those who prefer to stand up at the kitchen counter when working, explains Ann Dolin, president of Educational Connections, a tutoring service in Washington, DC. If your kid tends to sprawl on the carpet, consider a lap desk, with a soft, beanbag-like bottom and a hard surface on top.

    Stockholm paper drawers, $20, containerstore.com. Cat tape dispenser, $13, perpetualkid.com. Bella leather pencil cup, $34, seejanework.com. Emtec Animal USB flash drives, $10 each, officedepot.com. Perpetual calendar, $15, momastore.org.

  • Michael Kraus

    Desk lamp and a clock 

    A clock may help your child pace himself, but Dolin prefers a timer for the tough subjects. “Set it for just ten minutes and you'll probably find he works right past the buzzer and gets it done.” Forså work lamp, $30, ikea.com; Maples alarm clock, $12, wayfair.com

  • Michael Kraus

    Supplies 

    Keep them corralled in a box, basket, or bin. Portability is good; research shows that kids who study in a couple of different areas retain more than those who stick to one spot, says Dolin.

  • istockphoto.com

    Worst: Mom Hacks Kids’ Grades
    Why earn your marks when your mommy can just go into your school’s computer system and change them? Pennsylvania mother Catherine Venusto set a seriously bad example for her kids when she used the computer password she obtained while working as school secretary to change her daughter’s failing grade to a medical exception, and her son’s 98 to a 99 (really?). She also logged into the system more than 100 times to snoop into the grades of other kids. She was caught and charged with computer trespass and unlawful use of a computer.

  • Veer

    Chair

    A seat that swivels or tips back may seem comfortable and “office-y,” but a simple, straight-backed chair will also do the job (especially if your kid tends to be squirmy).

  • Veer

    Backpack bin or hook 

    A designated spot for his bookbag will help with organization. Have him pack it up as soon as the homework is done so it's ready to go in the morning.

  • Veer

    Dry-erase or bulletin board 

    Permission slips, sports schedules, and field-trip information can be tacked up; use the white board, with a different color for each kid, to outline long-term assignments.

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