When homework and revision are a challenge for students, many parents struggle to know how they can help. One simple way you can be involved is by setting aside a place at home where your student can work effectively. Environment plays a big role in supporting your child’s revision efforts. One 2015 study by the University of Salford found as much as a 16% difference in student performance could be attributed to environmental factors including lighting, temperature, and customisation.
Home learning environments are growing increasingly important as families look online for courses to help students maintain their skills or tutoring to help improve their scores.
Helping your student find a dedicated spot for homework and revision allows them to work more quickly and efficiently. The best space is quiet and has sufficient room for supplies and revision aids. Ample research has gone into how to make school and office environments more effective and these same ideas can be applied to your home too. Here are a few tips from the experts to help get you started.
- Ergonomic is best
A desk or table is the foundation of a good workspace. According to the charity BackCare, a quarter of all secondary students in the UK suffer from regular back pain. An appropriately sized desk plays an important role in keeping your student pain-free, both at school and at home. When it comes to purchasing a desk one size does not fit all. Consider instead buying classroom tables, which are available in multiple heights, so that you can select one in your child’s size.
- Light for Success
If possible, put your student near a window. The natural light and airflow has been shown to promote good health and create a positive learning environment. A quality desk lamp is also essential for those evening homework sessions.
- Well stocked
Whether it’s highlighters, notebooks or flashcards, the right tools can lead to more effective revision. Help your student stock and organise their workspace. Working together will give you a supportive, non-confrontational opportunity to discuss school and their work. Also make sure your student has space to store any notes and flashcards they may create.
- Comfortable yet cool
Experts say students work best in a comfortably cool space. The Association of Teachers and Lecturers recommends temperatures be at least 18 degrees for children. Work with your child to make sure their workspace is a temperature that suits them. Open a window for good airflow, keep down the draft with well-fitted blinds, or add a fan to stir up cooler temperatures.
- Make it their own
Giving your child some control fosters a greater sense of ownership of their work and can also be a source of inspiration. Research by Cornell University professor Clare Ulrich found that classrooms which featured student work promoted greater responsibility and involvement from students in the learning process. Work together with your student to build this homework space and mark sure your plans include room for them to hang work, notes, revision aids or other sources of inspiration on the walls.