Sunday, September 17, 2006

What the catalogs don't tell you about furnishing your child's homework space

Setting-up a workspace for kids ...

"Aparent who wants to know how to create an at-home study space that'll help the kids get into Harvard won't find a blueprint anywhere in the annals of academic research. The experts can't even agree that the space should be quiet, so how could they recommend the optimal chair, desk, lamp and accessories for a future Ivy Leaguer?

"I always needed to have a quiet space with zero distractions so I could concentrate," said Dr. Rick Bavaria, vice president of education for Sylvan Learning Centers. "But for others, that kind of quiet can be maddening, and they need to have some sort of distraction, some background noise.

"The best advice is to know your child and know what their best study habits are. There's no one recipe that works for every child."

Parents of more than one probably already know that. The rest are either out shopping for the desks they wanted when they were kids -- a parental "don't" on Bavaria's tip list -- or, worse, propping up Junior at the adult-scale household computer.

"That's like putting a size 12 shoe on a kid and letting them grow into it," said ergonomics expert Pete Johnson, assistant professor at the University of Washington's department of environmental and occupational health sciences. "The standard keyboard is designed for the largest male. And a lot of kids are developing neck and shoulder discomfort from having to look up at a monitor that's set at adult height."   (Continued via SF Gate)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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