The return to school routine also brings perennial challenges: packing lunches, streamlining morning regimens, and — perhaps the most difficult — inspiring kids to do homework. One solution is to create a homework station just for them.
A designated space helps kids focus, and having everything they need on hand keeps them there. A homework station doesn’t have to be elaborate. A kitchen corner, living room nook, guestroom, or even a bedroom closet will work when you include these five essential elements.
When it’s time to concentrate, kids do best in an uncluttered space. Provide a homework area that has plenty of room to spread out multiple textbooks and notebooks, as well as a laptop or tablet.
Extra credit: Between laptops, tablets, and phones, kids need access to a lot of power. Provide a handy way for them to charge all of their devices.
Have a Seat
After sitting in metal or plastic chairs all day — some of which are too small — kids deserve to be comfortable. You don’t have to get new furniture; providing a comfy perch can be as easy as adding a pillow to an office chair.
Extra credit: Find a height-adjustable chair that can grow with your budding scholars.
Keep It Together
The kinds of school supplies students need — from crayons and glue to calculators and day planners — evolves over time, but the ability to organize and store it does not. Keep everything your kids need contained yet accessible to create the most effective homework station possible.
Extra credit: Mobilize your supplies by organizing them in a handy carry-all. That way kids have the essentials when working on projects elsewhere.
Let There Be Light
A bright task light prevents eye strain, which can make homework even more of a drag. In addition to overhead lighting, include a desk lamp to help kids stay alert.
Extra credit: Choose a lamp with light options, like cool for studying, natural white for reading, mild for relaxing, and warm to prepare for bed.
It’s a Date
Younger students will benefit from a large wall calendar, where they can see upcoming special events like Wear Your PJs To School Day, as well as vacations, family and friends’ birthdays, and more. Mature students need a calendar they can take to class with them for keeping track of assignments, out-of-town sports, tests, etc.
Extra credit: Use a calendar app for your smartphone that lets you sync family members’ schedules in one place.
To ensure the homework station is a place kids actually want to use, let them help create it. They can personalize the space with pictures of friends and pets, their initials, favorite sayings or song lyrics, and more.