Build a study room that inspires your child

News Canada (NC)–For students across Canada, September means back to school and the onslaught of the dreaded ??h-word? ? homework. Studying at home can be a challenge. Distractions such as television, noise, telephone calls and frequent interruptions make it hard to stay on task and can affect retention. Establishing a study room or study in which to do homework will help create routine and organization- essentials to good study habits.

The first step in establishing a study area is choosing the location. Privacy and silence are important. A separate room with a closing door is ideal, but any out-of-the-way area of your home is suitable. High-traffic areas such as the kitchen or living room should be avoided, as should any room with a television. Try to choose a room with good ventilation and temperature control. A warm, stuffy room can lead to premature fatigue and headaches. Also, the study area should be permanent ? a place where books and supplies can be left.

Choose a desk or table with plenty of surface area. There should be room to lay out several books, room to write and space for a computer or laptop. For maximum comfort select a cushioned, fully adjustable office chair.

Light in the room should be bright, well distributed and free of glare. An adjustable desk lamp can supplement the main light source. Adjust the laptop or monitor screen so it can be viewed staring straight ahead. Positioning the monitor or screen too high or low can cause strain on the neck.

Lastly, plan ahead and ask about the tools and supplies your children use regularly and have them easily accessible. A bookshelf containing a dictionary, thesaurus and encyclopedia are essentials. Internet access is a necessity when it comes to research. A whiteboard or chalkboard can also be added to a nearby wall surface for spelling practice or math problems.

Having a well-organized study room will help your children focus, will be more productive and give your children that extra chance to succeed in school. By establishing simple rules and completing homework in a study, your children will be more apt to follow a schedule ensuring all homework is completed on time. More information on this topic is available online at

Hitting the books can be fun online

(NC)–Are you looking for a way to help your kids regain the study habits they lost over the summer? Let them join the 50,000 other students and teachers who are already checking out the free online resources available through the Virtual School Society?s educational portal LearnNowBC.

Charged up for Math and Science, available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, gives students the opportunity to sample provincial exam questions and also offers streaming video explanations.

StudyBUZZ, available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, allows students to test themselves and assess which areas of study require more review and practice.

Live Tutor, available Sundays through Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., provides students with the ability to speak to peer tutors, as well as to access course content and sample tests.

Students can also find out about academic and careers options available to them by checking the resources in the advising section of the site:

Academic Advising offers information on course selection, prerequisites, graduation planning and post-secondary options and planning. We have a dedicated academic advisor who can be reached by email ( or toll-free at 1 888 952 4285.

Trades and Career Advising offers information on apprenticeship opportunities, work experience options, help evaluating career options and post-secondary options and planning. There is a dedicated Trades & Career Advisor who can be reached by email ( or toll-free at 1 800 663 3381 (x2460).

To give students additional choice, they can access a database of Counselling Contacts which lets them search for academic and career counsellors from over 50 BC distributed learning schools.

– News Canada