Product Recycling Fund
The price of this item includes a contribution to a Product recycling fund to ensure that waste electrical and electronic equipment is collected and recycled in a responsible manner.
BACK TO SCHOOL 2017
Study your way and be brilliant
Do you envision a desk and a chair when you think of a workspace for doing homework or studying? You’re not alone. Many of us still think that’s the best way to go, and so it is – for some. But the fact is that we all have different needs when we’re to concentrate on a new and difficult task. By creating workspaces that meet those unique needs, we don’t only increase the chance of greater results – we make it easier and more fun to focus.
A family gathered in the kitchen, the children are doing their homework and the parents are making dinner.
What does it take for you to concentrate?
There are many, sometimes competing, theories about learning – and it’s a complex area. To get a better idea of how IKEA can contribute, we asked Helle Fisker, teacher and Certified Learning Styles Trainer, to give us some pointers. She told us about the impact of light, seating and sound. She also told us about tactile learners, who need to use their hands while focusing (that annoying fiddling with the pen might be just right!) and about kinestethic learners, who need to move around when they concentrate. In addition we learned that some of us actually need a nibble when we focus, and that others must be allowed breaks in-between sessions. And of course that all kids need frequent breaks not to get super restless.
No Youtube Player
xx
A quick guide to better studies
Below we present some of the aspects to consider when planning your study space. Take note of your preferences and compare them with those in the solutions further down the page, to get tangible tips on how to adapt to your kids’, or your own, unique needs.
Before you start:
Take time to observe your child in the study situation; what does she or he need in order to concentrate on a new and difficult task? (The same question is applicable to grown-ups. Make sure to give your answers a fair bit of thought, though – maybe even try them out. We all have preconceived ideas about learning and our everyday way isn’t necessarily what works best.) Finally, remember that we don’t always have a strong preference – and that’s just fine.
A girl sitting on a white/pink swivel chair by a white/pink height adjustable desk doing her homework.A study corner featuring a white height adjustable desk and a black swivel chair.
Formal seating
You concentrate best when you sit upright at a desk. Just make sure that both the chair and the desk is the right size so that they work for your needs.
A boy sitting in a small sofa doing his homework. The sofa is placed under a loft bed.A man and his son is sitting on a storage bench, the boy has a laptop support on his knee and is making a drawing.
Informal seating
You focus best sitting in a soft chair, slumped back in a sofa or lying on the floor. Overall, it’s a relaxed and comfortable environment that’s your cup of tea.
A girl doing her homework in the light of a white work lamp.Close-up of a black clamp spotlight attached to a shelf.
Bright light
You prefer studying in a brightly lit room; that’s when you concentrate the best. You also like sitting next to a window, since that gives you as much daylight as possible.
A boy sitting in a small sofa doing his homework. The sofa is placed under a loft bed.A girl sitting in a sofa reading a book and on the wall behind the sofa hangs a lighting chain with clear light bulbs.
Soft light
You concentrate best when the light is soft (and you have a strong dislike for fluorescent and bright lights when studying).
A girl swinging in an indoor swing.Close-up of a white storage bench with small plastic boxes in white and larger ones in orange.
Breaks to move
You need to pause and move around in order to regain concentration when you study. Bear in mind that all kids need frequent breaks and can’t remain focused for more than 20 minutes at the time, max.
A girl swinging in an indoor swing.A girl swinging in an indoor swing.
Sound
You concentrate best when listening to music, and have no problem with people chatting in the background when you focus. If it’s too quiet you might actually make sounds yourself, just to break the silence.
A girl sitting on a black swivel chair suitable for young persons.A girl sitting on a standing support by a white height adjustable desk doing her homework.
Kinesthetic learning/movement
You concentrate best when you’re allowed to move meanwhile – whether tapping your feet or spinning in your chair, or something completely different.
A boy having a laptop support on his knee and is making a drawing with coloured pencils.Close-up of a girl putting stickers on a book.
Tactile learning
One of the things that help you concentrate on a new and difficult task, is to tinker with something – a pen, a cuddly toy, an empty water bottle, a paper clip...
Close-up of a black cushion with arithmetical problems in white.A girl curled up in a sleeping bag reading a book.
Warm indoor climate
You love to cuddle up next to the radiator or somewhere else where it’s warm. That’s when you concentrate the best.
A round pink tray with a glass of milk and snacks.A girl doing her homework at a small desk top mounted on the wall and above the desk several shelves storing boxes.
Food and drink
You need to have something to nibble on in order to concentrate, and prefer to have a small stash of edibles close at hand right from the start of the study session.
orange bar
The place in the centre
Some of us need to be right in the middle of things in order to concentrate, and aren’t able to focus sitting up straight at a desk. Luckily, it’s super easy to add functions to whatever room is at the heart of family life at the moment. A bench with a mattress and a bunch of pillows on top, works fine as soft seating and takes care of the storage situation at the same time. Don’t worry if you can’t decide on style; just change the cushion covers for an entirely different feel. A laptop support is brilliant for practising the alphabet, and a trolley comes in handy as the place to keep, and move around, pens, papers and other essentials.

The place in the centre is based on the need for:
Informal seating
Soft light
Sound
Tactile learning
The secluded workspace
If your child needs to sit upright at a desk in order to concentrate, make sure to choose a table in the right size, preferably one that grows with the child. With an adjustable swivel chair it’s easy to get into the right seating position. Creating an ergonomic workspace is all about customising it to personal needs. Although it’s vital to sit in a correct way, it’s equally important to be as mobile as possible, so alternate between standing, sitting and leaning. (Your child’s likely to do that whether told to or not. The human body is made to move.)
Some of us, however, need to move more than others. If your child has to move around to regain concentration in between study sessions, make room for a swing or a rope ladder or anything else that encourages physical activity. That’s not only great for homework – it adds a pretty perfect playfulness to any room.

The secluded workspace is based on the need for:
Formal seating
Bright light
Breaks to move
Tactile learning
The study nook
Many of us want our own workspace while still being in the middle of things. By creating a dedicated study nook in the kitchen, living room or even in the hallway, you can quite easily combine the two. Settle for a small desktop that you mount on the wall. Combined with a neat swivel chair it makes for great studies and takes up little room. Use shelves for storage (and a poster as a flexible backdrop – be as bold as you like). Mini chests and boxes in different sizes don’t only help you keep track of the small things, they look great while doing it. Add and adjustable lamp for a light that’s just right, and your nook is complete.

The study nook is based on the need for:
Formal seating
Bright light
Sound
Kinesthetic learning/Movement
The snug hideout
Sometimes studying slumped back in a sofa is the best way possible to get greater results. Allow for soft seating and equally soft light – enough to see what you read, but nothing even near fluorescent lamps. Go for surfaces and textiles in rich colours to create the right cosy hideaway feel. Make sure that you’ve got something to nibble on handy, right from the start of the study session. Also remember smart storage solutions. You’ll need somewhere to put away your stuff when you’re done with homework.

The snug hideout is based on the need for:
Informal seating
Soft light
Breaks to move
Food and drink
The flexible space
The human body is made for movement and so, ideally, we should all change positions often. For some, however, it’s absolutely essential to be able to move while concentrating. Luckily it’s easy to adapt most study spaces to allowfor more movement. A swivel chair or a standing support might very well do the trick. As a bonus you get a more ergonomic workspace, adjusted to your particular needs – not least if you add an height-adjustable table. Use a pegboard to create a flexible wall with room for all your pretty things and your favourite words of wisdom.

The flexible space is based on the need for:
Formal seating
Bright light
Kinesthetic learning/Movement
Tactile learning
The more the merrier
Whether you share a dorm room or just prefer to study together with friends it’s a great idea to create a space that allows for more preferences than one. Combine soft, generous seating and dim light (try draping a lighting chain on the wall for that perfect soft light) with a well lit desk by the window and you’ve already come a long way. A great, big pouffe that can hang on the wall when it’s not needed is perfect for when even more people come around. The same goes for foldable chairs and stackable stools that double as side tables. Add headphones for the music lovers and warm throws for the freezing, and it’s a wrap.

The more the merrier is based on the need for:
Informal seating
Soft light
Sound
Warm indoor climate