If you've been following me for a while, you know that feng shui is the study of how the environment effects the people that live and work (and learn!) there. Feng Shui works by shifting the balance and flow of Chi -- an invisible, vital energy that animates all life -- so that it's supportive and positive, giving everyone in the space an advantage.
With just a few deliberate changes in your home and/or study spaces you can help your student(s) stay more focused, feel more confident, retain information better, and find more enjoyment from learning and school! Here's some tips on how to create good feng shui to support the student(s) in your life: (Click HERE for a printable summarized list of all the tips below)
Designate a space that's exclusive for studying and learning
Setting up on the bed, the living room floor, the dining table, or a different space every day may be tempting, but these temporary study arrangements can detract from learning. Precious study time is wasted with setting up and breaking down for each study session, and multi-purpose spaces pose tempting distractions (like napping, snacking or watching tv!). A designated and permanent homework space can provide all the necessary tools for studying, helps create boundaries that alleviate distractions, and prevents multi-tasking. Most importantly, a space that's used exclusively for learning elevates the importance of the study tasks and makes it a priority.
Position your student for success
If possible, arrange the study area so that the student is in the command position with their back against the wall and a clear view of the room and entrance. This position provides protection and support which eases the mind and gives them a sense of control over whatever they're facing. If this position isn’t possible, try giving them a side view of the entrance, or place a mirror so that they can see what’s behind them.
Encourage focus by keeping clutter to a minimum
Encourage learners to keep their desk area/study space free of clutter. Clutter equals distraction and procrastination which doesn’t support successful learning! On the other hand, a clear space equals a clear mind which makes plenty of room for retaining all of those lessons.
Make sure the study area has sufficient lighting
Multiple levels of lighting can be beneficial - try blending overhead lighting with task lighting on the study surface. Use full spectrum lighting whenever possible. Other types of lighting are distracting to the brain and nervous system, having a detrimental effect on overall comfort, concentration, and the ability to retain material. Fluorescent lighting is especially distracting so avoid it if possible.
Provide all the tools
Stock the study area with all the tools and supplies that will be required for studying, including pens, rulers, scissors, calculators (do they still use those!?!) and paper. This way they won’t waste precious study time collecting what they need.
Motivate and Inspire
What motivates and inspires your student? Place reminders of this around the study area. Are they trying to keep their grades up to stay on the sports teams? Hang a picture of the team mascot on the wall. Do rewards and recognition keep them on track? Hang a chart documenting their accomplishments. Is there a word, quote or song lyric that speaks to them? Let them print it out and keep it visible while they do their schoolwork.
Use color to your advantage:
In the feng shui tips for classrooms post I mentioned how each color has its own energetic vibration that adds a different 'personality' to a space when it's included. Adding or reducing color in a room can change the overall vibe and effect behavior and mood. Greens are good to encourage growth and learning, Blues are calming, Reds and oranges are stimulating, and yellows are generally uplifting and cheerful. Which of these would support your student? Try adding pops of that color around the desk and study area.
Use sounds to keep the energy flowing
Sound vibrations are an easy way to shift energy and focus. Background sounds like soft music, wind chimes or water features can encourage a calm flow in the room that keeps your student motivated while they do homework. Students can also use sound to wake them up when lessons become thick and heavy - a quick break of clapping, singing or cheering will help get the chi moving again so it supports learning.
Diffusing pure essential oils into a space stimulates the senses and eases the energy of the room and it's occupants. You can make a room spray, use an electric diffuser, or just place a few drops of the oils on cotton balls placed near the vents to distribute the scents through a room. Is your student nervous about an upcoming presentation? Try diffusing lavender or chamomile when they practice. Does the afternoon slump hit them hard? The scent of citrus oils can give them the boost they need. Is there a big test coming up? Oils like rosemary and peppermint can stimulate mental acuity and help them stay focused and retain material. (Be sure to use pure plant essential oils and avoid synthetic perfumes and fragrances. Some oils have contraindications so do your research and follow directions and dilution instructions.)
Use crystals to support clarity and concentration
Natural crystals are grounding and energetically tapped. Adding a nice sized quartz crystal to the desk area can bring ease to the study tasks while also enhancing focus and concentration. Holding a crystal while studying or while taking a test can bring calm and clarity. For best results let your student choose their own crystal for the desk and another to carry with them at school.
Apply the feng shui bagua map to stimulate higher learning
The bagua map is a tool used in feng shui to show where specific energy centers are within a space. You can apply it to the desk, study room, child's bedroom and even the whole house. Once you know where each energy center is you can enhance them to support what you want. To support school success, there are two areas to focus on: First, enhance the Knowledge Area with symbols of learning, and add the metal element to support logic and thinking. Next, enhance the Recognition Area with examples of awards and praise, and add the fire element to support esteem and visibility. (Learn more about using the bagua map in my previous post and download a printable bagua with instructions to use in any space.)
Get struggling students unstuck
If your learner hits a study slump during the year and gets discouraged, try moving things around. Start by opening the doors and windows for a while (even if it's cold!). All that fresh air will carry revitalizing chi in with it and will help push out the stagnant heaviness that comes with stress and overwhelm! You could also bring a fan into the room and turn it on for a while. If it's feasible, try moving some of the furnishings around for a bit - you can always move them back later. Or just switch out the chair they study in for a exercise ball. Shaking things up in the study area can really help to call in new energy, inspiration and ideas to help your student get unstuck.
As always, keep your own child and their specific learning needs in mind as you decide what to apply from the tips above. Be willing to change things back if the results you get aren't working in a positive way. I hope these feng shui tips for study spaces help your child succeed in school and encourage them to love learning in the process.
Thanks for taking the time to read through -- let me know if you try anything and what worked or didn't work for you in the comments below.
Please SHARE this list of feng shui tips with parent or students that will benefit from it. Here's a printable summarized list of all the tips.
Happy Feng Shui-ing!