When you imagine a homework station, what do you see? A desk with a chair? What if we told you that a homework station does not necessarily have to be that. Some children work best at the dining room table or laying down on the couch. It is important to take into consideration your child and the environment in which he or she works best. If you have a child that needs to move, Roland Rotz, PHD, and Sarah D. Wright’s ADDitude Magazine article may be helpful. If your child needs to fidget during the homework time, let her fidget. If your child needs to sing songs, let him sing songs. Remember, this is your chance to find what works for your children and family! Also, be prepared for your homework station to evolve. Each kid is different and there are so many variables that can change over time. Here are some tips to establish a homework station:
Set up your homework station in an area of your house that has the least distractions. For some kids, that might be their bedroom, but many parents prefer to separate school space from sleep space. Turn rooms that can take a break from their normal uses, such as bonus rooms, craft rooms, or kitchen desks, into homework stations for the year. Headphones, either noise canceling ones or music playing, are great tools to help remove distractions especially when there is limited space and multiple children.
Distance from distractions isn’t the only variable. Consider the proximity to power outlets, placement of laptop/tablet/computer, ample lighting, easy bathroom access, and comfortable seating and work surfaces. Incorporating a bean bag chair, therapy balls, or fidget toys may be the ticket to successful learning for your child. Also, depending upon the age and learning style of the child, the option to play music can be helpful. Whether it is soft background music or fun music for quick movement breaks, it may be helpful to have a device like Alexa available. In addition to music, Alexa can help children find answers to questions related to their school work.
After deciding upon the location, the next thing to think through is what should be included in a child’s work space? Our organizing moms emphasize the importance of having all supplies in the room, set up, and ready to go. If a pencil breaks, you do not want your child going on a wild goose chase to find another. Have backups at the ready! Have your supplies organized and give every item a home, but be wary of going overboard—if systems are too complicated, or there are too many supplies, it can be hard for kids to maintain order and avoid distraction.
This really goes back to the initial discussion of tuning in to your child. What works for one may not work for the next. In addition to the school supplies on the list for your city or county, here are some of our favorite organizing products for kids that can come in handy when you establish a homework area: rolling cart , Turntable, and a desk top calendar.
Paper storage is one of those things that is very personal. Take some time to think about what you need to contain your child’s documents. The organizing products that will serve you best may be completely different from those that work for others. There are so many variables, but it goes without saying that kids’ document can easily get out of control. This is why we recommend that you have an area specifically designated for paper. The following organizing tools are likely to come in handy: baskets, three-ring binders, folders, and magazine holders. These will help keep papers contained, organized, and easy to find.For more on saving kids’ documents for keepsake bins or letting paper go, here is a great blog post.
CLOCK AND/OR TIMER
Use a clock and/or timer in the homework station. Setting a timer is a great way to motivate your child and a clock helps you all remain aware of the time and stay on task. For visual learners or those who struggle with transitions, the Time Timer is a great option.
As we know, snacks are an incredibly important part of the day. If it makes more sense for you to have the goldfish stored with homework supplies so that you can use them for math problems on the kitchen table, then do so. Or maybe is it better for your child to completely take a break from homework and go to the kitchen for a snack break. There is no one right answer, but taking the time to think this through ahead of time prevents unnecessary disruptions to the scheduled time after school for homework. It is a great idea to equip every kid with a reusable water bottle that they can keep handy at their workstation.
Let’s see those homework stations! Share your photos in our Abundance Declutter Group on Facebook. This is also a great place to ask questions if you need some inspiration to establish your homework area. We love to hear from you!