School is back in session for many of you and if you are some of the one starting school later this month, getting a head start on today’s topic can eliminate future headaches.
Today I’m talking about having a homework station. This is just a place where little Johnny or Susan can sit down and do their homework in peace. There are several reasons to do this. One, it helps to establish good habits. Two, it reduces distractions. These distractions can be from other people in the fam, things in the room or can be the distraction of having to search for items needed to complete homework.
So, the question is: What do I need to have in my homework station?
The answer: It depends.
The first thing you need is a surface to work on. for many this is a desk in their room. Think about all the distractions for a kid in their room. My advice? Put a desk somewhere where you can easily monitor homework time. My kids are ADHD and can’t handle a desk in their room. We just moved to a smaller house and don’t have room upstairs for a separate desk. They do their homework on the dining room table. This lead to some organizational issues, but those have since been minimized. Here’s how:
Besides a flat surface to work on, you should always keep the following on hand:
- Hand held pencil sharpener
- Loose leaf paper
- Graph paper
- Glue sticks
Extras that you may need:
- Student dictionary
- Index cards
- Posterboard – no more late night trips to Target for them!
- Construction paper
It may seem like a lot, but if you are sitting down struggling to get through homework, the last thing you want to do is go searching for a pencil when the lead snaps.
Take all of the following and put them in a pencil box that ONLY YOU HAVE CONTROL OVER. It may seem like a little thing, but again, when you reallyreallyreally need a pencil or pen and you don’t have one because Johnny “borrowed” all the ones in the pencil box, you’ll see why.
The next part depends on how much space you have. If you have another room where you can set up a homework station, by all means do it. Then you have a place for supplies, for them to work and for papers to be filed.
Here’s a pic of my ideal homework station:
But then again, it would then imply that I had the rest of the Pottery Barn house to go with it.
If you don’t have a separate space for your supplies, here’s an easy fix – get a portable plastic file holder, put the pencil box in it and then get some hanging file folders and file papers there. This is the solution I am using now and it’s working great. I bring out the tote when it’s homework time and put it in the closet or laundry room when done. Easy peasy.
Here’s a few other ideas:
If you are crafty, you can make a caddy. Here’s one from the site Roots & Wings Co:
You could also use something like this:
This one kinda reminds me of a picnic silverware carrier. Which might also work…
Remember, the key is that you have some sort of system in place. Then, tweak as necessary.
One last thought – as I said, my kids have attention issues. I saw this while researching and am totally going to make my husband make one:
Isn’t this a FANTASTIC idea? I think my kids might still get distracted by the stuff stuck to the board and it would be a pain to store, but I LOVE the isolation!!
The question is – Do you have a homework station? Do you use a caddy for supplies? Did you <gasp> make one? As always, leave it in the comments.