My son started middle school this year and this is my year to evaluate his study spaces now that he will be getting more homework. What’s interesting is that good study spaces are not what I thought: it’s better to mix it up rather than study in the same place all the time. This New York Times Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits article by Benedict Carey upends that idea that a specific place, a study room or a quiet corner of the library is good for retention. The research finds just the opposite.
Instead of sticking to one study location, simply alternating the room where a person studies improves retention. So does studying distinct but related skills or concepts in one sitting, rather than focusing intensely on a single thing.
My son likes to study in different spots around the house. The perfect study space for my tween is actually many locations: his room, my office, and the kitchen.
He likes to read, draw, or do homework in his bedroom lying down.
The reading nook in my office is a sunny spot to work on homework, and I’m near by if he has a question or wants me to quiz him on something like Spanish words.
He likes to do project work here, especially anything messy or arty. It’s really sunny and bright so it’s a nice creative work space.