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Published August 10th, 2016
Smart Ideas for Your Student's Learning Environment
Photo Andy Scheck

"The secret to getting ahead is getting started." - Mark Twain

As the promise of a new school year begins it's a timely exercise to review and perhaps redesign for success our student's study area and improve their ability to concentrate on their school work. Feng Shui can help.
Let's start with a review of the self-knowledge and cultivation (skills and wisdom) Bagua area of the Bagua map.
The location on the Feng Shui map for self-knowledge and wisdom is along the front door wall to the left corner. Remember to keep in mind that each Bagua area occupies a third of the total floorplan layout, not just the corner area.
As the new school year approaches we can help set up a student's study area to be more peaceful, powerful and successful for them with easy and fun Feng Shui adjustments. Children may not always have a choice of where they sit in a classroom and most classrooms may not be arranged with positive Feng Shui alignment. But at home we can improve their ability to focus, concentrate and retain what they study.
First begin with a review your child's home study area and ask yourself if it worked well in the last school year. If not, it may first be a good idea to consider, if possible, changing the study location in your home altogether. If you have limited space and the dining or kitchen table remains the only spot in your home, don't fret as there are still many Feng Shui enhancements that will help a student succeed in studying. For example, make sure the student sits at the end of the table that is rarely used for eating so they can leave their work undisturbed and create more permanency.
Students should sit ideally with their backs to a solid wall facing the entrance to the room (The Commanding Position), so they are "in command" and feel more powerful about the work they must complete.
Next, it is extremely important to keep all study areas free of clutter, so invest in storage options that tidy the study room. Also check the lighting and use stylish floor lamps if necessary to create lots of bright light to illuminate their work.
If it is possible, based on your home's layout, to place a student's study area in the self-knowledge and wisdom area of the Feng Shui Bagua (the entry wall to left) of your home, this the most powerful area for them to study and work on their schoolwork. This also holds true for the possible placement for your home office as well.
If you cannot place a student's study area in the self-knowledge and wisdom area of your home - say if it is your attached garage or a closet - do not worry as other areas can also work well with individually created Feng Shui enhancements. The most important task in any room a student uses to study is decluttering the area where they study as much as possible, to
create calm and reduce the overall chaotic energy cutter creates, so make sure to consistently tidy this area.
If a student studies in their room or another room in the home, placing the desk, also in the knowledge and wisdom area (entry door wall) of that room, if possible, is highly recommended. Next, placing the child's desk also in the Commanding Position is the single most important feature of any study environment. Having a solid wall behind the student while they study gives them the physical support of the Mountain behind them, and allows them to be in command of their work.
Declutter, tidy and organize where a student studies. Items that represent growth and creativity, like tape measures, encyclopedias and other educational resources, should also be smartly placed in the wisdom area. Bookcases, pens, colored pencils and writing tablets or notebooks are perfectly placed here, as well as globes of our wonderful Earth. Placing lighting to illuminate what students' study is easy to address with table and floor lamps so remember a 60-watt lamp is not sufficient. Bump up all lamps to 100 watts and let the learning begin.
Also, try to review the actual desk set-up beyond the Commanding Position. Does the student have adequate room to spread out their school work? If not, consider purchasing or making a new desk that is slightly larger and customized to your student's needs. Check to make sure the chair and the chair height offer comfort and support.
Place inspirational and calming images of majestic mountains to climb or the wonder of our Earth on study area walls and allow them to dream, too. You can also place some of the shells and rocks collected on summer beach excursions to the study area to activate the Earth element. Or paint the walls a soothing and soft light blue or green to stimulate growth and development.
Remind a student to develop good study habits that include tackling the toughest assignments first, work before play, time management, and also personal care with small breaks to stretch, eat, hydrate and rest to refresh.
Present the idea of being a lifelong learner with your child and as such, all the ways that they learn are important. Limit social media access and instead allow your child to softly play classical music in the background that will stimulates concentration and creativity. Place at least one healthy plant in the study room to stimulate upward growth and bring life force (Qi) into the area.
As the new school year approaches be motivated to model your own commitment to a student's success through your proactive interest in reviewing and making positive changes to their study environment in your home.
Proactively placing emphasis on creating an energized and calming place for the learning adventures of our children will set the right tone and start the school year out on a positive note.
Quick guide to Self Knowledge and Wisdom Bagua Area of Child's Bedroom:
 De-clutter, tidy and organize;
 Activate the self-knowledge area - the left area along wall of the
entry door;
 It's ruled by the Earth element and supported by the Fire element
 Minimize Wood and Water elements;
 The strong color is blue;
 The I CHING Imagery is Mountain
 Wisdom is more than the accumulation of knowledge so this area rules
our skillful self-reflection and cultivation, contemplative capacity as well.

The Bagua Map: Front Door
Michele Duffy, BTB M.F.S. is an Orinda resident who, since 1999, enjoys creating "Space as Medicine" Feng Shui one space at a time, as well as hiking in nature, cooking, and spending time with her family; Canyon Ranch Feng Shui Master, International Feng Shui Guild (IFSG) Red Ribbon Professional. To schedule a professional 2016 Feng Shui Consultation, contact Michele at (520) 647-4887 or send an email to spaceharmony@gmail.com.

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