And just like that summer is over and the kids are back at school.
They're growing up fast and it's time to tackle homework.
Whether you're starting small with phonetics or you have an older child with a substantial homework load, it's important to create a calm space for them to study.
With some smart design and the right furniture, you can create a workable study nook for your child almost anywhere.
Here are 7 tips to consider when creating a study corner for your child.
Finding the space for study
The first consideration is where to create the homework station.
There are two main factors to think through.
Firstly, where do you have the space?
Take a look around your apartment for any unused corners. Think about how you could re-organize your current layout to make room for a child's desk.
Often parents put childrens' desks into bedrooms, which is where you might be able to more easily make room, especially if you clear out some toys! For older children, a raised bed with a study nook underneath really optimizes small spaces.
While bedrooms are a quieter, more private study environment, small children might be more distracted by the toys and things around them. And bedrooms are not a good option if the kids share a room and there's trouble enough trying to fit multiple beds in, let alone a desk!
Another major consideration is your child's personal disposition.
Where would they learn best?
Some kids prefer their room, where they can shut the door and concentrate, but others can find it isolating. Some children are comforted being in the central ebb and flow of the home.
If your child is reluctant to do homework, you might want to be close by to answer questions and encourage them. In that case, a better option could be to make a homework station in the shared space of the house.
Wherever you pick, you want to establish an environment of calm and concentration. If it's going to be in common living space, try to make a 'study bubble', perhaps with lighting and/or sound.
If you can't partition off distraction, position the child so that their back is facing the action. Put any TVs in the background on mute (or make the viewers wear headphones), make sure any loud games siblings may be involved in is going on elsewhere!
This little study nook that Medina from @grillo_designs created for her son is just perfect
Image: @grillo_designs instagram
The Child Mind Institute advises that establishing routine is important for children. Creating a dedicated study nook for your child helps create the routine of sitting down, in the same spot every day, to work. Try stick to a regular time of day as well.
Creating a routine with an inviting study corner and set time to study, makes it easier to habitualize and commit to learning.
Motivate your child
Once upon a time before Netflix, it was easier to commit to homework because there wasn't 24/7 fun accessable at the swipe of a screen. 'Entertainment' was often an hour or two of kid's TV programming that wrapped up with Alex Mack.
If your child is lacking motivation, use rewards. Postpone screen-time until homework is completed. While it's technology creates distraction, it can also empower you as a parent, since kids are no longer committed to that 4-5 block of children's programming- TV and games can wait.
Perhaps you could also bring some Scandi hygge into the equation. 20 minutes of reading a day is so much more fun with a cup of hot chocolate, cozied up on the couch with a blanket!
Furniture at child's height
Image credit: Urbansize
Floating desks are great for study nooks in common areas of the house since they take up such little space! It makes it much easier to find a spot for a homework nook.
A desk should be big enough to do homework comfortably, but not so spacious as to become a dumping ground for unwieldy art projects or Lego builds. Impose order that the study nook is just for homework and Lego and craft extravaganzas happen elsewhere.
Make it personal
Sticking to light, white tones is not only, clean, calm and focused, but a neutral backdrop you can spruce up with some more personal elements that can change over time as your child grows.
Source some alphabet artwork. Or frame your child's work. Corkboards are handy to pin the latest achievement - a great test paper, dinosaur drawing, or even just their school schedule.
A mug or caddy in easy reach, stocked with plenty of sharp pencils makes it quick to get down to work. No excuses. Fill a crate with all the supplies they need like a calculator, tape or dictionary. Or a calendar on hand to keep track of assignments.