You don’t need a whole room to dedicate to homework. Often, your child won’t work there as they will want to be close to you in the kitchen, living room, etc. When they are younger, they will also want and need assistance. Here are a few tips to help you create the perfect home work space any where in your home.
The first thing you need is a clear surface. It doesn’t need to be large, but big enough for your child to spread out a book and a laptop or notebook. Younger kids often need a little more space as they have arts and crafts projects or science projects. If you have a dedicated space, it’s easier for your child to sit down and start work right away. They can leave their items in the same spot every evening and they know where to pack them up in the mornings.
I like to put a hook or two nearby so they can store their backpack and easily grab books, folders or papers as they need them. As they finish homework, it goes right into the backpack and you’re ready to go in the morning without any stress.
Mount a magnetic board or strip within sight. This is perfect for holding memos, action items and things that need to be addressed. It’s also great to showcase awesome grades or artwork to serve as a motivator. Job ticket holders, like these are amazing to hold items you need to access over and over again, such as multiplication tables, maps or spelling words. http://www.containerstore.com/shop?productId=10032530&N=&Ntt=homework
Instead of searing all over the place for items that need to be signed and returned, have your child designate one folder or plastic pouch as an action needed container. Any permission slips or monetary requests can be put into this folder. As a parent, you know to check this folder, at least a few times a week, take the action needed and put it back into their backpack.
While any area of your home will do for a homework station, it’s important to make sure it’s not too noisy and distractions are kept to a minimum. Also, make sure it is well lit and outlets are available as needed.
Don’t store all your school supplies in this area. It will get too crowded. Create a “caddy” that holds the necessities and then stock it as necessary. Items to have on hand at all times depend on grade level. (See our shopping lists) but I like to have tape, pencils, a pencil sharpener, colored pencils, ruler, calculator, scissors, post it notes, index cards and extra paper.
I love a container like this one from Lakeshore Learning. They come in lots of colors, can easily be washed and are super inexpensive.
In addition to a caddy where you store supplies, make a spot for items that need to go back to school. Use a hanging file system or use a specialty folder like this one from Lakeshore Learning. It has pockets for items that are going to stay at home and items that need to go back to school such as permission slips and homework assignments.
Make sure to post a calendar. Even if your child isn’t old enough to be managing their own time, it’s important they are able to see when tests are taking place, when projects are due and when their sporting events are. This is how they build an understanding of time management.
It’s often overlook, but make sure the chair your child is sitting on is comfortable, promotes good posture and fits their size. If your child is smaller make sure they have a cushion or booster seat so they can see and write without strain.
Not sure where in your home to carve out a spot? Look at places that collect clutter now. I bet you can get it organized and create a spot for your child. You’ll feel great that you did!
Your Turn: Gather all of your school supplies and find ONE place to keep them. From there, create your caddy.
Let Us Know: Where does your child do their homework?