Design the Perfect Home Learning Corner for Your Child

Guest post by Susan Good

The kitchen table might seem like the best spot for your child to do homework, but the truth is, it’s far from an ideal space for learning. Sure, it lets you keep an eye on your little one, but it’s also an area rife with distraction. Not to mention, using a multi-purpose space for homework means paper, pencils, and other supplies have to be brought in and cleaned up every day, and that takes time. Instead of sitting your kids down in the busiest spot in the house, create a distraction-free learning corner where they can get lost in their studies.

A learning corner doesn’t need to be a dedicated room, but it should be a quiet area without much traffic. A corner of your own home office, a guest bedroom, or a formal dining room are all good candidates. Make sure no one else will be using the space to watch TV or do anything else that will pull your child’s attention away from learning.

Outfit your child’s learning corner with a desk or table stocked with all the supplies he needs. When homework supplies are where your child needs them, there’s no getting up every five minutes to grab something.

Don’t eschew technology in the learning corner; computers and tablets can be great educational tools. If your child is prone to online distraction, use parental controls to block specific sites during homework time. While there are a number of ways to apply parental controls, browser extensions are the easiest. Read TechNorms’ guide to learn how to use them.

Don’t let the learning corner turn into an “out of sight, out of mind” problem. Check in regularly to see if your child needs help and keep him on track so homework doesn’t drag on forever.

Finally, remember that homework isn’t the only form that learning takes. Create a space that invites all sorts of learning, not just studying at a desk. Do this by incorporating fun elements that make children want to spend time in their learning corner.

Here are some ideas that kids are sure to love:

  • Art supplies: Art isn’t just fun for kids, it also plays an important role in their development. According to PBS, making art strengthens motor skills, language development, visual learning, decision making, and more. When art supplies are kept in your child’s learning corner, it’s easier to keep messes contained.
  • Educational magazines: If you have a reluctant reader, stock your learning corner with educational magazines. Magazines are less intimidating than books and they’re full of images to keep kids engaged. Even for avid readers, magazines are a great way to mix up your child’s reading material. For great educational magazines to stock in your home, check out these suggestions from We are Teachers.
  • A bean bag chair: It’s the little things that make life fun, like sitting in a bean bag chair while getting lost in a story. Plus, bean bag chairs come in a variety of sizes, which makes them easy to fit into a variety of spaces and to stow away in a closet if need be. You can find a ton of great options online — involve your child in the choice to make her feel more included in the set up.
  • A colorful rug: You don’t have to redecorate the entire room to make the learning corner kid-friendly. With a colorful patterned rug, you can turn any old corner into a space your kid thinks is cool. Other ideas for decorating the learning corner include educational posters and maps, floating bookshelves, and a fabric bulletin board.

If you had to sit at the kitchen table to do all your work, you probably wouldn’t be thrilled about it either. By creating a learning corner in your home, you cut out distractions and reinforce routines so your child can become immersed in the learning experience. Another benefit? You finally get your kitchen table back, so there’s no more fighting for space when dinner time rolls around.

Rethinking When To Take The SAT/ACT

Dealing with the SAT/ACT is similar to the check engine light on our car. Until it alerts us, we’re not proactive about handling it.

Ask most and Spring for Juniors and Fall for Seniors are the most popular times to take the tests, but they aren’t necessarily the best times for a maximum score.

For example, summer time or winter break are when students least prefer to take the SAT/ACT, but contextually it’s when they have the least amount of schoolwork.

Preparing for the SAT/ACT is like reviewing for Finals. Cramming doesn’t work and the more focused time without distractions from other classes gives you the best chance to get higher scores.

As a parent, convincing your teen to prep for the SAT/ACT will be like pulling teeth so you might as well suggest the optimal time to increase their chances of succeeding in fewer tries.

Since both tests are offered on average every other month, there’s not really a “best time” to take them. A one size fits all approach shouldn’t be considered. Help your child step back and take a big picture look at their academic schedule in high school. From there carve out a few months where they’ll have the least amount of other activities so they can put in the time to get their desired results.

You shouldn’t be pressured into taking the test because your friends are taking it at a certain time. There’s an “ignorance” factor with SAT/ACT prep where we default to the popular times because we’re too lazy to do our own research.

One way we an alleviate some of that stress you may be feeling is by filling out this Student Profile Form and we’ll set up a complimentary 30 minute video meet and greet to discuss test taking strategy. Once you have a game plan you can execute on it.

Without one it’s like throwing darts with a blindfold on.

Let us help you “see” the best option for your teen.

What I Love About Matchmaking

This story began years ago when I was a Church Youth Director and Youth Basketball Coach.

Part of leading a youth group entails programs such as summer camp. One of my favorite tasks was to put students in cabins with youth leaders.

As a basketball coach, it’s more of a long-term partnership where the players don’t change much, but the dynamics do. At certain points in the game individual players mesh better, perform better or match up better against the competition. It’s a constant chess match that I love.

The reason the examples above are relevant for Online SAT/ACT test prep is because synergy matters.

This part skill, part art form of matching the right tutor and student is guided by profile questions, but ultimately an intuitive process.

There’s never a guarantee when matching two people together similar to online dating. But the chances of student’s being motivated to work harder because they actually like their tutor increase dramatically when done thoughtfully.

Because I don’t do the actual tutoring with students, I experience victory indirectly through the parents, students and tutors. My role is to set them up for success, then support and be a cheerleader along the way.

It’s extremely gratifying to be a part of a successful partnership. It’s the impactful testimonials that drive me.

That’s why I love matchmaking.

The Ultimate Payoff For Test Prep

If you Google search “SAT Tips” there are endless strategies and tactics to get you prepared for the test, but that doesn’t motivate the average high school student.

Think as a consumer: do you buy what you want or what you need?

If you answered the former, you’re being honest.

Outside of necessities, we are drawn to purchase what interests us.

Case in point: SAT/ACT tutoring is NOT attractive.

But you know what is? Your dream college.

Most high school students don’t know what they’re going to eat for lunch today, but where and why you’re going to college should be discussed early and often.

Statistics show most students will accumulate debt post-college and won’t land a job in their major. But a lot of that has to do with the backwards process of college counseling.

In high school, you’re urged to apply for college, but not guided on what you want to do as a career.

Attending college won’t solve that question for you. At best it will provide the resources and network to make life after college a smoother transition.

My point is: we are committed to increase your chances of getting into your dream school.

As mentioned earlier, GPA’s are more competitive now so the differentiator of college acceptance falls on SAT/ACT scores.

Focusing on your dream school is thinking big picture. That’s why test prep should be viewed as an investment for your future.

To be honest the education at a more prestigious University may not be better than your local college, yet once you decide what industry you’re interested in the higher SAT/ACT score gives you more options to choose from.

Motivation is about what’s next so if you’re thinking about working with us, know that our goal is to expand your college options. Where you decide to go is up to you.

Why Your Company Story Matters

The About Us Page.

Normally scrolled over, but the “why” behind what you do matters.

Let me explain.

Sales is what separates a hobby from a business, but what makes a customer choose you over the competition can be the story of how you started.

Recently I shared about my (SAT/ACT prep) company to a group of high school parents online. The positive responses from moms who messaged me were about me and my values as a person, not about price or other differentiators.

What that told me is when my story connects to my customers it positively impacts them. If what I value speaks to the heart of an individual it is the deciding factor.

Another business I run, Behind My Brand, believes in the same theory: when people fall in love with your story, they buy your product/service.

The average consumer is way more savvy these days. They want to know the origin of what they’re buying. Clarifying your story can be the difference.

Whenever you hear culture, mission or core values of a company it means alignment – personal with organizational. If there’s no overlap, the best you can expect is a simple transaction.

I want to fall in love with a creator’s story. If I do, I will follow and support them.

I think you want that too.

Story matters.

A lot.