Why Students Need A Home Office
Developing strong study habits is an extremely important learning skill, but it’s often hard for kids to study at home with distractions such as TV and videogames, noisy siblings or family friends who drop in or frequently call on the phone.
Having a supportive and encouraging study space of their own can help students — whether they are in grade school, middle school, high school or even college — to develop good study and work habits. Here are some of the ideas we share with students who attend SuperCamp and with their parents:
1. Establish a defined study area
The most important factor in selecting a student’s study area is that it is quiet and away from distractions. It can be the student’s bedroom, a spare room, a den, a loft, or a bonus room in the basement or over the garage. Also, try to pull together a combination of furniture that fits his or her style. Lighting is also important. The space should be well lit without hurting the eyes.
2. Create affirmation signs for the study area
Positive signs have the ability to remind a student's subconscious mind of his or her potential to learn. You and your kids can make some signs that contain affirmations such as those listed below. When you make the signs, use lots of color (our brains love color!). Here are some ideas:
• EVERYONE HAS THE RESOURCES TO BE SUCCESSFUL
• I BELIEVE IN MYSELF
• EVERYTHING I DO DESERVES MY BEST EFFORT
• EVERY CHALLENGE OFFERS A GIFT
• I AM UNIQUE AND VALUABLE
• I AM RESPONSIBLE
• I CAN LEARN THIS!
3. Provide proper study tools
Stock the study environment with reference books, writing materials, textbooks, computers and notes. Get kids’ ideas on what will work for them and help them create it. Add a bulletin board where visual aids such as charts, lists, or pictures can go. Put up a bookshelf to promote better organization. And use a daily planner. While there are online options, the physical presence of a planner open to the current day or week is a good reminder of the immediate priorities.
4. Add some music to the mix
Some classical music is "brain friendly" and enhances the study environment. Baroque music helps students to focus and to access their most resourceful learning state. The music optimizes the functions of the brain that store and retrieve information. Many (most?!) children will think that their own music is best, but try to convince them to try Baroque. They may well notice that it makes their study time easier, and want more. By the way, this is a great tip for working parents as well as for learning students! Try some of the following:
5. Plan ahead for success
Teach teens to use a calendar to mark days for upcoming tests. Begin the study process by organizing thoughts and creating a game plan for what needs to be accomplished. Determine how many hours to allocate to cover the content. Following a planned approach when studying gives students an opportunity to review the content more than once, increases their ability to remember at test time and reduces stress.
Each moment contains magical opportunities. At SuperCamp we call this concept “This is it!” It’s one of our 8 Keys of Excellence that we teach campers throughout the 10 days. It’s about being fully engaged in the now. Kids who practice this in their study habits learn the focus, curiosity and work ethic that can earn them high marks in school, work and all their endeavors in life.