1) Get Organized
As they say, a cluttered desk leads to a cluttered mind. Getting organized is essential to your teen’s academic career, but doing so doesn’t have to mean going with boring adult office organizers. Instead, try stacking bookshelves in creative configurations to store not just books and notebooks but markers and pens, too. You’ll help your student get extra organized when you sort different kinds of materials into bins, which you can pick up at an office store or Ikea. Alternatively, if you’ll be buying new shoes, those boxes also make excellent organizers. And if your teen covers them with their favorite magazine covers, they’ll easily add their own distinct flavor to it.
For especially cluttered desks, don’t underestimate the power of a coat hook or wrack above the desk, from which you can hang anything with a string. Even a pegboard can be useful, as it enables you to easily hang more shelves or materials.
2) Devise a Wire Strategy
By far the best way to clean up your child’s desk and axe the distractions is to get on top of all of those wires. Going entirely wireless with Bluetooth technology is always a great option. Alternatively, don’t underestimate the organizing power of a simple binder clip. Just attach one to the edge of your child’s desk, thread all wires through it and you’ll never have tangles!
3) Opt for Comfort
Today’s students often operate on tablets and laptops from day one of kindergarten. This makes sense from an educational perspective. Hey, what teacher wouldn’t want to take advantage of a teaching device in which students are inherently interested? But, touchscreen technology puts a high demand on a growing child’s musculoskeletal system. This becomes all the more acute as your child ages and must do more traditional typing and mousing for papers, projects and even emailing their teachers a question.
Unfortunately, all of these activities greatly increase your child’s risk of developing a Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) at a young age. In turn, this can seriously inhibit their ability to excel at school and eventually at work. To reduce the likelihood that these types of injury will ever develop, consider buying your child an ergonomic keyboard. A good ergonomic keyboard will adjust to your child’s unique body type and typing style. It will guide them into the most natural position for them. The keyboard can be adjusted both horizontally and vertically. Together, these features prevent strain and injury, as your child won’t struggle to reach the keys. Keyboards like this also provide ample support, as do ergonomic mice and laptop and tablet stands, which will turn any device into an easy to read screen.
The best thing of all about all of these accessories? They’re designed to grow with your child, so once you buy one, you’ll be set even as they move into college.
4) Use a Whiteboard To Do List
Even on a neat desk, it’s easy for your child to misplace their calendar and to do list. It can also be difficult for them to visualize various deadlines. This is a skill they’ll need to master as their academic, social and extracurricular lives become increasingly full. A whiteboard to do list is a great solution, as it allows your child to see in colorful detail just what they’ve got coming up, and to manage the board as new tasks arise. A traditional whiteboard works well, or you can buy whiteboard or chalkboard paint for organization that also doubles as decoration.
5) Have Fun With Lighting
As the school year progresses, it’s important to look out for the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Symptoms include blurry vision, itchy red eyes, headaches and neck and back pain. If your child spends more than a couple of hours staring at any kind of screen, whether it belong to a tablet, computer or video game console, they’re at risk. Of course, the best thing you can do is encourage your child to take regular vision breaks and focus instead on a distance object. However, you’ll also do well to add an anti-glare cover to your child’s screen to prevent any harsh reflections from any nearby lights or windows.
Speaking of which, when choosing lighting, opt for a bulb that projects a nice, soft yellow light, rather than any harsher option. You can have a lot of fun with this. You can make creative hanging configurations out of holiday lights. Or you could make your own colored lamp shades to add a little bit of atmosphere. Just make sure you have enough light, so there’s no squinting needed, and that you place all lighting so that it doesn’t cast any shadows or create glare off of your child’s screens.
Getting your teenager’s desk right will set them up for a school year filled with creativity, productivity and academic superstardom. Where will you start?