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Knowledge is amazing. Especially in the digital age where we have access to all known human information with a few taps of a keyboard. Everything anyone has ever written, spoken about, discovered, if it’s been uncovered, if we know anything about it, even if we know relatively little about a topic, the information is there and waiting for you to enlighten yourself.
As this quick access to information is fairly new, it can be overwhelming, the need to continuously click through, to learn more and more about something that takes our interest, or skills that we want to teach ourselves. For a child or developing pre-teen, it can be both unentertaining, when compared to other avenues of play on the internet and confusing, with the sheer amount of information available that goes into a thorough explanation. By extension, it’s important that you work with your child to create a study space that offers little distraction and helps increase focus, especially as they get older and are expected to sit exams such as SATs and GCSEs.
Where Is A Good Space?
First, choosing a comfortable study area is necessary. It should be somewhere with plenty of natural light or have space to add soft lighting that is easier on the eyes than harsh bright lights. In their bedroom might not be the best option if there are lots of bright colours and toys available to add to distraction, although, the main lounge or family room is likely to be too noisy to offer a safe for study. Usually the kitchen or dining room are great places to have a small study corner, depending on your available space and offer less distraction. Consider what is available to your child in the spaces available and move things around to create a distraction-free space where necessary.
What Equipment Should I Provide?
Your child is going to need access to study material and writing material in their space, if you are using a desk, you can fill drawers with paper and pens, bright colours are great at creating thought boards on topics and can help individuals memorise information easier. Having unrestricted access to the internet is the worst sort of distraction to anyone, adult or child, but rather than simply filling the area with books, consider a dedicated programme that reduces distraction by preventing access to certain websites or stops access to the internet entirely. Stop Procrastinating is a software that was designed to assist students, freelancers and other computer users getting distracted when studying or working by preventing access to certain websites for a set period between one minute to 24 hours.
Alternatively, if you would prefer your child learn from physical reading material, consider making a cosy reading nook, with comfortable seating like bean bags, cushions or a child’s reading chair, soft lighting and provide a bookshelf with books of appropriate reading age. This allows your child to take themselves off to their area at their leisure and encourages the pursuit of knowledge from a younger age.
Keeping Children Focused
Removing all distractions is difficult, especially when providing an area with natural light, you are likely near to a window to the outside world which can hold plenty of wonders for a growing child. To help get them in the study mood, break study periods up into manageable times with plenty of breaks and rewards in between when your child manages to make it through an entire period without getting distracted or restless. Free play is good at encouraging children into the right frame of mind to focus and relax after spending some time reading or studying.
You can also work with your child’s school to create a study area that helps encourage focus and uses similar materials to help get your child in the right frame of mind. If you are going down the home education route, you will know best how your child works and what helps their direct their interaction. Although as they get older and the material becomes more difficult and involved and they get closer to exams, you might wish to discuss options with a tutor. For example, visit this website for advice from tutors dedicated to helping Cambridge, Oxford or prestigious university-bound students to achieve their necessary grades.
While there is nothing preventing us from learning topics to expert level as an adult, life tends to get in the way and we find less time for personal study in between working fulltime jobs or managing households, especially as our ability to understand new information reduces with age. By gifting your child a dedicated area to focus on their study, you cultivate an early love of education and knowledge that will benefit your child long into their adulthood and help them retain information easier even as they grow up and start their own lives.