Homework Furniture Homework Furniture

As the school year gets underway, you may be noticing the living room getting increasingly littered with lined notebook paper, pencils, and books with titles like "The People of Armenia" and "Fun with Fractions."

The first question of course is whether or not your kids are studying. Once you've determined that indeed they are hitting the books rather than hitting each other with the books, you may need to look at where they are studying.
Today, parents often erroneously assume their kids need what's known by the unfortunate appellation of "computer desk" or "workstation."

This may not be what your children need in order to study most comfortably and most effectively.

Think of it: if your child works on a classroom computer, does homework on Mom or Dad's laptop, and watches TV for a couple of hours, he's spending an inordinate amount of time in front of the old glowing screen. He may be better off with a work surface on which he can color pictures, mold something from clay, work with numbers, or write out a story long hand.

The first factor to consider is what kind of work your child does at home. Chances are he or she is doing some share of reading, writing and 'rithmatic, and the best place for this may still be a good old-fashioned desk, where the kid can be comfortable using pen and paper.

Think about the child's comfort. The desk should be child-sized, of course, but it should also allow for those growth spurts that can sometimes take you by surprise.

The best solution here is to get furniture that can adjust to your child's changing body dimensions. If your kid has a growth spurt and shoots up two inches in six months, you'll be happy to have a chair that can adjust in height. If the desk can also adjust, all the better.

Some homework furniture for kids can also serve dual purposes. If you can find a desk that will fit under a bunk bed, for example, you'll save room; likewise, a unit including a desk and bookshelf or desk and dresser can mean a smart use of limited space.

By paying attention to your child's work place at home you may be ensuring your child's educational future, possibly guaranteeing that your kid will be able to support you in high fashion in your golden years. Or, at least, you'll be able to find a place to sit down in the living room.

Reprinted with permission from the Sheffield School of Design

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