As a mother of three children who are all attending school, I am continuously looking for ways to help make homework easier on everyone. One way I’ve done this is by creating a clean and comfortable environment to study and play at home. This is where the right flooring has proven to be a bonus. Vinyl flooring has helped my children study more effectively.
Firstly, what makes for a good study space? In my research I came across a couple of things to think about. The first is a study space that doubles as a good place to take a break.
In a study conducted by Alejandro Lleras, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois, he noted, “Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task!” People who take brief breaks while doing homework will be more focused and more likely to work for longer periods.
Regular breaks are important. And the types of breaks a student takes are also important. Some types of breaks are better than others. A recent survey cited by John Dick of CivicScience suggests participating in social media is not a good way to spend a break. In fact participation in social media can create stress. A student who needs to unwind and relax when on his break, needs to do something other than surfing the internet. In the study, it was found that the people who did NOT actively participate in social media were more inclined to characterize their lives as “not stressful at all” whereas people who did participate in social media said their lives were “somewhat stressful.”
Moreover a study conducted at Princeton suggests people who are active and exercise will produce more GABA. GABA is a neurotransmitter that has been proven to settle a person’s mind and reduce nervousness and stress.
Exercise doesn’t have to be too complicated. My kids when studying will take a 10 minute break and in those ten minutes, will do as many jumping jacks, lunges and squats as they can do. This, done every 30 minutes, during a study period is an amazing way to squeeze in some physical activity and help your children re-focus.
Here’s a link to a website that outlines the many ways you can exercise in the house, or in any confined space like a child’s bedroom.
A good study area will not only have a place where they can exercise and study, but it’s now also proven that naps are a great way to help your child study.
In a study conducted by Case Western Reserve University and Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, it has been proven that a 10-20 minute nap can increase a child’s focus and productivity.
When my kids come home from school, with a stack of papers and books to read, they have everything they need in one single space to be as focused and productive as possible. This means they have a place to study, a place to exercise and a place to nap. Which is why I decided to refurbish my kid’s bedrooms into multi-purposed study areas and exercise rooms.
My first step was to change the flooring in my kids rooms. If my kids are to exercise and study in their rooms, then they’ll need a particular flooring. I selected Gerflor vinyl planks. The planks are kid friendly, comfortable and can be installed in 1-2 hours without glue directly over many existing floors.
Gerflor vinyl flooring is forgiving. My children jump up and down and do exercises like squats, lunges and jumping jacks. The floors are also easy to lay on. When my children want to change positions and move from their desks they can bring their materials to the floor and study while they lie down.
My husband and I love these floors because they are easy to clean. Sometimes my youngest son will end up dragging more marker on the floor then on his paper, which is annoying but not the end of the world. The markers can be cleaned off the floor using a damp cloth and eucalyptus oil. We can allow my son to draw as he wishes without creating energy-draining drama. Moreover, the floors can withstand books, staplers and lamps being dropped onto the floors. It’s not often but certainly does happen that something will fall over the side of the desk and land on the floor. However, the floors do a good job of absorbing the fallen object, this means not only that the floor stays intact, but the object will keep together as well. Even an overturned glass of water or a glass of juice is not a problem. These floors are water resistant.
We don’t have to worry about mould or mildew as the floors are mould and mildew resistant.
Installing Vinyl Planks for a Study Area
Finally, the plank floors are easy to install. Measure your floor. Choose your colour. Purchase 10% more flooring for scraps, cuts and spare planks.
At home, pull the planks out of their packaging and lie them down for 24 hours in a room where the temperature is between 15-28 degrees Celsius. While the floors are adjusting to the heat and humidity level in your room, start preparing your subfloor (the base floor on which you are laying down your new planks or tiles.) The subfloor needs to be smooth, clean, dry, flat, hard and dust free. Make sure there aren’t any grooves or crevices larger than 3 mm in width. Have a look at this video for a quick overview on how Gerflor Senso Adjust is installed.
When it comes to actually laying down the floor, there are little things you’ll need to do in order to make sure you’re getting the most out of your floors.
Firstly, you’ll need to figure out in what direction the planks will lay, it is recommended that you lay them in the same direction as the sunlight entering the room.
Next you’re going to dissect the room in two with a white line marked with a stick of chalk. The line should be drawn in the same direction you plan on laying down the planks. Next, you’ll need to make sure that your last row of planks will be similar in width as your first row of planks.
You can now remove the protecting paper from the planks and begin laying them down. Make sure that each subsequent row is offset by half or one third of a length of a plank. Meaning, you start each new row with a half, or one third of a length of a regular plank. Also, when the planks meet a wall or any other object, make sure to give the planks a 2mm distance from either the wall or the object. That is, unless your room exceeds 10m in length, in that case you give 5 mm.
Now that you’ve installed your floor, make sure you limit exposure to direct sunlight to maintain a consistent temperature between 15-28 degrees Celsius. After you’ve followed all of these directions you are free to furnish the room with the furniture you like. However, you make sure to use felt or plastic pads under the feet of your furniture to protect your floor from scratches. Avoid putting anything rubber on the Senso Adjust floors as rubber can leave an indelible mark.
Installing a Senso Adjust floor in a bedroom should take you 1 -2 hours. There is no glue and no clicking. If you make a mistake simply lift the plank and reposition it.
Now that you’re done installing your floor, start placing the bed, desk and other furniture. For my kids I went with a desk I bought at a local furniture store. Over the desk I made sure to include a good lamp and several filing containers for their papers.
It’s not a difficult process and it truly does make a difference in the school life for your child. It’s an easy way to make sure you’re giving your kids all they need in order to feel comfortable doing school work. And this, I don’t think I have to mention, makes life as a mother much, much easier.