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How to Design a Kid’s Study Room

A recent article in <em>Fast Company</em> draws attention to the connection between interior design and learning in its piece “Are Teachers Distracting Students with Bad Interior Design?” and the question deserves consideration. We can all probably remember what our school classrooms were like; those chalky, ill-colored cinderblock walls, the matte-grey clocks that ticked so loudly you could feel it in your bones and that awful linoleum that looked perpetually flecked with dried vomit. Honestly, it’s a wonder any of us learned anything in those dungeons. Or, is it? <strong>Decorative Distraction</strong> The <a title="Fast Company" href="http://www.fastcodesign.com/3031107/asides/are-teachers-distracting-students-with-bad-interior-design" target="_blank"><em>Fast Company </em>article</a> goes on to say how new studies have shown that more distraction leads to less learning – which should come as no surprise. When a teacher is droning on about math and the last thing you want to do is learn about math, you’re going to find something else to keep your attention. There’s little to suggest the same rules don’t apply at home, which is to say that allowing kids to study in places with high levels of distraction (their rooms, the TV room, etc.) may be undermining their abilities to focus. <strong>Colorful Inspiration  </strong> We’ve discussed the merits of color in learning at length <a title="How Kids Respond to Your Color Choices" href="http://ourblog.atgstores.com/how-kids-respond-to-your-color-choices/" target="_blank">in past articles</a> and have cited research materials that conclude that color stimulation can actually increase focus and retention, so how does that square with this new research decrying the dangers of distraction? One guess is that differences in color don’t amount to the level of distraction caused by actual decoration – the baubles, bells and whistles often found in a classroom (or a child’s room). It’s reasonable to assume that a smartphone or video game sitting idly by is far more distracting than a splash of color in an otherwise dull learning environment. <strong>Kid’s Study Room</strong> Put two and two together and you’ve got a recipe for how to develop an effective study lounge for your child at home. Some tips: - Remove all distractions and unneeded decoration; particularly electronic devices that can be used for purposes other than studying. - Keep in mind that even learning objects (maps, puzzles, etc.) can be distracting if not pertinent to the tasks at hand. - Create splashes of color to stimulate alertness and receptiveness. - Make it comfy (but not <em>too comfy) </em>with different seating/lounging areas. - Add <a title="Desk Lamps" href="http://www.atgstores.com/desk-lamps_131.html?linkloc=" target="_blank">task lighting</a> to natural light to create a bright workspace. - Try to provide some peace and quiet. Given these tools, you may find that little Jill and Johnny start making greater strides in their homework, even if it's so they can break free of the at-home study lounge in search of a more enjoyable distraction.
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