Creating a homework station for your kids can be a game-changer for their school year. Not only can it help them to stay organized, but it can help you to support them with everything they need to get done.
Spending some time at the beginning of the school year creating a homework station can help things run smoothly all year. Even better, most of the things your homework station will need are easy to put together. Check out these simple tips for making your own homework station.
Creating a Homework Station
Start by creating an after-school clean-up area
After school is out for the day children often end up with a great deal of mess and clutter in their bags. Before setting up homework, it can help to have a clean-up area. This quick clean-up can help them to keep things organized and cut down on mess. Even better, if you make it a part of the routine from the start, you are more likely to keep things clean all year! Here are a few tips for creating an after-school clean-up area:
- Start with a place for school items – Set up a shoe and backpack area. It can be helpful to have a kid-safe all-purpose cleaner to wash down shoes and backpacks before storing them after school. (This can help to cut down on bringing school germs into your home.)
- Have a laundry bin/dumping location for dirty clothes/items – Kids are famous for getting dirty at school. Whether out at P.E. or because of other activities, it can be easy to bring dirt home. Set up a routine for putting all dirty clothes/items into a laundry bin to be washed with quality laundry soap.
- Set up a station for papers/forms – Children bring home a variety of papers throughout the school year. These can be forms that need to be signed, homework that needs to be looked at, or even works they’re proud of and want you to see. Set up a place for all of this paperwork to go and be addressed each night. It will help you to quickly sign what needs to be signed, dispose of what doesn’t, and keep the special items you want to treasure.
- Have a place for lunch boxes and trash – If your child packs their lunch, they will need to come in each day and dispose of those items. Make sure to set up a routine for cleaning out lunch waste and trash from their bags when they get into the home.
Get their homework desk/nook set up
It is important to note that the needs for a child’s homework desk or nook setup will vary based on their ages. For teens, you may be able to set up a full desk in their room. With younger children, a homework nook in the common area of the house may be better. The good news is, that most homework nooks/desks will need some of the same items. Here are a few things to consider when putting yours together:
- Have a separate set of home supplies – Where possible, it can help to have a set of home supplies. Items such as pencils, pens, crayons, and rulers can bring germs in from school. Have a set of items in your homework station that are specifically used for homework.
- Keep basic cleaning supplies in this area – If your child is going to be using calculators, computers, and other supplies from school for homework, it can help to have basic cleaning supplies in this area. A kid-safe all-purpose cleaner sprayed on a microfiber cloth is a great way to wipe these items off before using them in the home.
- It doesn’t have to be a dedicated area – Not every house allows for a dedicated room or area for homework. If you are low on space, it may help to have a rolling cart or storage container for homework supplies. This will allow you to pull out what your children need when they need it and store it away when homework has been completed.
- Set up a location for chargers and tech items – Schools have moved to more digital learning modes than prior years might have. This may mean that your child needs to do homework via a laptop or tablet. Set up a location for items such as chargers, a mouse for your devices, and even flash drives can be stored. Keeping these items in a consistent location will help to avoid damage and get homework done quickly and efficiently.
Equip your child to succeed
Life can get busy quickly during the school year. With a variety of activities and commitments, it can be easy to let things slide. Having a system in place can help your child to succeed and help you to step back and focus on all the things you have to. By spending a bit of time upfront, you can equip your child to succeed and use less help from you. Here are a few things to consider:
- Put together a car homework kit – Homework isn’t always done at home when life gets busy. Make sure to create a homework station in your car for those busy nights of practice and extracurriculars. This will vary based on the age of the child. The main goal is to make sure they have everything they need to succeed.
- Include organization in your homework nook – When putting together a homework nook, make sure to include organization. This could mean a calendar that your child logs work on or an agenda you sign off on. Encourage your child to get organized with homework to avoid missing assignments or working on things last minute.
- Help them find information easily – When building a homework nook it can help to make information easy to find. Part of homework and the schooling process is to teach children how to find information and how to learn. Include items such as dictionaries, a thesaurus, and math help apps as part of this area to help your child find information and work independently.
- Add a touch of fun to the homework area – Homework is not a favorite part of most children’s school day. In fact, it can be downright miserable for some. Add a little fun to their homework area to change this up a bit. This might mean adding a favorite character, letting them listen to music while working, or even keeping a few homework-only fidgets for them to use while working. The goal is to make this area special in some way for them.