As summer vacation starts to wind down, it's time to shift gears and prepare for the upcoming back-to-school season. While getting your child's school supplies in order is essential, creating a positive and organized space at home is equally important. Creating a home space that feels positive, nurturing, organized, and free of distractions will help to set your child up for greater learning success. Today we’re looking at five strategic steps you can take to optimize your home environment.
Before diving into the practical tips, let's take a moment to understand why it’s important to instil a growth mindset for your child, and how creating a positive space at home is crucial for your child's academic success. A well-organized and inviting environment can enhance focus, concentration, and productivity. When children have a designated space to study and complete their homework, they feel a sense of ownership and responsibility, leading to improved performance and a more positive attitude towards learning.
Creating a positive space at home is one important step we all can take – from how we organize the layout, to making sure our kids have needed school supplies, to providing the comforts that also support a healthy learning environment.
Designated School Stations
Two strategic areas to designate are a school/homework station and a food station.
To optimize your child's study habits, it's essential to establish a designated homework station. Choose a quiet area in your home where your child can work without distractions. A kitchen corner or nook can make a perfect school/homework spot, with one additional advantage being the nearby presence of a parent or other adult during meal preparation times. A kitchen counter or dining room table can work well too, especially if you don’t really have other space options. One simple thing you can add is a designated school supply cart on wheels (or something similar) that you can roll up when needed. Just stock it with some essential school supplies, such as pens, pencils, and notebooks, and your student is ready to go!
Setting up a designated food station can promote healthy eating habits and minimize interruptions during homework time. Start by designating a drawer, pantry shelf, or cabinet area that’s easy for your kids to reach. You should ideally choose a spot with some separation from the cooking and washing areas. Stock it with favorite snacks, cereals, lunch items, and kid-friendly plates, water bottles, cups, and utensils. You can also designate a special spot in your fridge for yogurt, cheese sticks, fruits, drinks, and that sort of thing.
Create a Comfy Bedroom for Your Child
Getting the right amount and quality of sleep is essential to your child’s success and well-being. Children need a calm, tranquil space to be able to get away, relax, and sleep. Encourage your child to maintain a clutter-free environment by placing some bins, cubbies, and shelving for easy storage. A cozy area rug and reading chair are nice additions, too. To help your child be able to relax and unwind, you might also consider limiting the presence and use of electronics in the bedroom and adding curtains or blinds that effectively block out light.
Another important way to create the best environment for sleeping is to invest in a comfortable mattress and choose bedding for your child that’s soft, durable, safe, and easy to care for. Jennifer Adams is here to help! We’ve got plenty of great options for you to shop, including our ultra-soft Lux Collection, our luxurious 600 TC Egyptian Cotton Sheet Collection, and our new Bamboo Collection.
Organize Closets + Clothes
The back-to-school season is an ideal time to declutter and organize your child's wardrobe and closet. Start by having them try on their clothes to see what still fits. Then make a list of what they need and donate or discard any items that no longer fit or are not in good condition. Consider creating a capsule wardrobe, using versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched easily. This approach simplifies the morning routine and fosters independence in selecting appropriate outfits for school. Make sure that shoes and accessories are readily accessible, saving time and stress during busy mornings. You could also pick out a few outfit options for the first week of school together and put them together on hangers so they’re ready to go.
Create a System for Paper
When the school year starts, the influx of paper such as assignments, permission slips, and newsletters can quickly become overwhelming. So it’s a good idea to establish an effective paper organization system to keep track of important documents. Consider using labeled folders or binders for different categories, such as homework, school events, and administrative forms. Regularly review and purge unnecessary papers to maintain a clutter-free system. You could also keep a recycling bin near your front door, making it easy to toss junk mail, flyers, and documents that don’t need to be filed.
Set Up a Command Post for Family & School
A central ‘command post’ can serve as the communication hub for your family. Set apart some wall space in your home with a designated calendar and bulletin board. Use this space to keep track of deadlines, extracurricular activities, and any other information that requires your attention. Pin up and mark both family-related and school-related to-do lists, activities, and schedules. A dry erase board will also come in handy for jotting down reminders or messages to other family members. Just be sure to place it at a height that all family members can reach, or keep a step stool nearby!
By following these five tips, you can create a home environment that supports your child's academic success and overall well-being. By giving your child the space and opportunity to sleep well and dream well, you’re especially helping to lay the foundation for a healthy growth mindset to develop. In the process, you’ll also be helping to set your child up to experience a brighter future. Be well!