If you or your partner works outside the home, you’re likely familiar with Fairfax’s lean job market. What’s interesting (and a little troubling) is that many of our kids are also aware and already feeling pressure to succeed. To get a good job, it helps to have a degree from a competitive college, which in turn requires great grades and a variety of extracurriculars. We have some great universities, but the admission rates for a private school like Carnegie-Mellon is about 16%, and even a public institution like the University of Virginia accepts less than 30% of applicants.
If you have big dreams for your kids, it’s important to instill a good work ethic and productive habits early on. A great first step is to encourage them to take their studies seriously. How do you do this? The US Department of Education recommends that your child has access to a quiet, dedicated study area with proper lighting. If you’re worried you don’t have room in your home for a proper set-up, a custom design offers two great options.
Option 1: Turn a Corner of Your Child’s Room into a Study Space
A lot of kids end up doing homework on their beds or at the kitchen table, which is less than ideal. A custom workstation in your child’s room spares them from the distraction of siblings, pets, and the TV—and can be fit virtually anywhere.
There are a few design features you’ll want to consider. First, it’s a good idea to give your kid lots of open space to spread out their books, notes, and laptop. If you’re dealing with a small room, our designers may suggest an L-shaped corner desk or a shallow work surface that takes up less floor space.
We’d also suggest adding a shelving unit above or below your desk. This provides space for textbooks and binders but takes up less space than a standalone bookshelf. We can add adjustable shelving, which comes in handy if your child decides to take AP courses next year and needs to widen their shelf height to accommodate their materials. And when the whole desk unit is built from durable materials with 3mm edge banding and is warrantied for double the life of your home, you can be sure it will serve your child well for as long as they need it—probably far longer.
Option 2: Create Space for Them in Your Home Office
Many clients also choose to incorporate space for their kids into their existing home offices. This set-up offers a few benefits.
First, even if your kid has a dedicated study area in their room, it’s easy for them to waste time watching YouTube videos or playing games, so many parents welcome the chance for additional supervision. Working in a dedicated office also helps your child recognize that the work they’re doing is just as important as the work their parents do, which can encourage them to apply themselves fully. One final benefit? A shared space allows you to answer (and ask!) questions about their assignments, helping you stay more connected.
If you go this route, we suggest incorporating adjustable, split-level desks so that everyone’s workspace is at an appropriate height. Alternately, you might install a smaller work area for your kid alongside your existing desk—it’s usually not difficult for us to match this addition with your room’s existing decor, thanks to our wide range of finish options.
If multiple people are working in the same room, it’s a good idea to install task lighting for each workstation so that someone reading and someone using the computer can amicably share space. And of course, we can incorporate additional storage cabinets and shelving so that everyone has separate, designated storage for their own needs.
We Can Help You Help Your Kids Get Ahead
We’re sure that you, like most parents, want the best for your children, and a big part of that involves giving them a great education. Enrolling them in one of Fairfax’s great schools is only the beginning.
A custom, dedicated study space helps them do their best and stay excited about learning as they prepare for the future. If you’re looking to give your child a boost in the right direction, get in touch with us for a free design consultation. Once we get a sense of their particular needs and aspirations, we can begin designing the perfect work area just for them.