By Chris Edwards

Here is a simple fact that I have always believed to be true: good, productive study cannot be done in front of the television, at the breakfast table, or in bed. No matter how clever your child might be, it is impossible for them to get the most out of their homework and study time if they are distracted. Students need a dedicated study space, free from distractions. If your child is in VCE, then this is all the more important. The mid-year holidays are almost here, and if your child does not have a dedicated study space to use throughout the break NOW is the time to create one. Today, I will give you 4 simple tips for setting up a productive, distraction free study space for your child.

1. Get Rid Of Distractions

Students are terribly easy to distract. If they have homework on their lap, a mobile phone by their side, and a television in front of them, what do you think will be taking up the best part of their attention? I can guarantee that it will not be their homework. A good study space is one that is removed from any potential distractions: a desk or a table in a quiet room in your house, away from television, telephones, video games and younger siblings. Your child should know that when they are in the lounge room or in the backyard, they are in relaxation mode; when they are at their desk, they are in study mode.

2. Make Sure All Resources Are Available

Once your child has a nice quiet working space, the next thing that might possibly distract them is a lack of resources. How many times has your child complained that he or she can’t do their homework because they don’t have the book/file/pens/eraser/pencil sharpener/papers that they need? Once your child starts looking for missing resources, their focus is broken and it is often hard for them to get back on track. Before your child starts studying, make sure they have all the resources that they will need close by. That way, they won’t have to leave their desk until their study is done.

3. Get Organised

A messy, disorganised desk is not a productive desk. Make sure your child has a system for organising their notes. You might want to invest in a set of drawers, in-trays, or folders so that your child can keep each of their subjects separated and organised. It is also a good idea to have a calendar or to do list on or above the desk, so that your child always knows what needs to be done and when. You can access excellent free organisation printables via Emma’s Studyblr.

4. Make Sure Your Child Is Comfortable

If your child is in VCE, they may often have to study for many long hours at a time. If their study space is not well set up, this can lead to a sore back, legs, arms and neck. My mum is a physiotherapist, so when I was in VCE she was always making sure that my seat was at the right height, my computer screen was not too close or too far from my eyes, and that I was sitting correctly. This may sound a bit pedantic, but it meant that I could focus on my study for longer, without getting sore and uncomfortable. For more information, there are a lot of great blogs online about office ergonomics, like this one. Worth a read!

Does your child have a dedicated study space that you find particularly effective? Do you have any tips to share with other parents? If so, let me know in the comments!