August 25, 2014
How to Organize a Homework Station
This week’s organizing task is a HOMEWORK STATION. (August’s FREE cleaning and organizing calendar is here and September’s cleaning and organizing calendar is here). If you have little ones heading back to school or already back, taking a little time this week to think through how and where they’ll do homework will save time through the year and make that potentially stressful time of the day a little easier. Today I’m sharing a few helpful tips that can streamline this time for you and your kids.
First things first, decide what you need to make a homework station work. My kids are in the lower elementary grades, so at this time all we need is a simple homework caddy, a place to put backpacks and lunchboxes (a huge basket in the mudroom does the trick), and clipboards to keep pending permission slips and notes on. If your kids are doing homework on the computer, consider creating a little spot with a computer nearby for completing homework too. Don’t worry if you don’t have a permanent spot for completing homework – my favorite place for homework is the kitchen table. I can be making dinner while they’re working on homework, dinner might take a little longer to get to the table, but this is a great place to monitor the homework for us.
A couple things to keep in mind that I find helpful for organizing a homework station:
- Anticipate the mess and have a plan to make it work.
When organizing stuff for my kids I tend to think practical. Yes, it’s fun when a project is super creative and beautiful, but if it will only stay that way for .2 seconds, it’s not worth it. Keep kids’ organization simple, straightforward, and workable for your kids. Who cares what it looks like at first if it isn’t workable for your family. Simple storage is always the best in my opinion.
- Have project supplies on hand.
Last minute projects are inevitable. Now that school supplies are on sale, grab a few necessities and stash them in a closet just in case. Poster board, glue, construction paper are the three project necessities we always keep stocked and on-hand.
- Make it easy to access.
If the supplies for homework are stored somewhere, make them easy to take out and put away. Giving kids the independence to get started on homework and put away any supplies will (hopefully) keep the kids in control of homework time.
Create a station.
If you have the space to give, create a desk or devoted area that can stay set up as a homework station. This will allow for the supplies to stay out and at the ready for nightly homework. This is especially helpful for older children that need a quiet workspace every afternoon/evening.
What would you add? What’s your BEST homework station idea?
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I echo your points and especially agree with having “extras” on hand. I stock up when buying back to school supplies and keep the extras on hand for the future projects. That way we’re not having to run to the store just for 1 glue stick.
Posterboard! I knew I forgot something. Thanks for the great post. I have a new kindergartner starting next week so all this is very helpful.
I like the idea of kids having their own calendar, especially If they have a four day week cycle. Days can be marked so they know when they have library etc. and they can x them off. Also, if weekends and vacation times are colored the whole year does not seem as overwhelming as it otherwise might. Then Mom’s can plan things on days off, and be sure to not schedule things like doctors appointments on vacation days accidentally ( I have never done such a thing! :-)).
If kids are older and need a map for their school I found it helpful to put the map inside the very front of a binder with a see through picture space. Mark the classes with a red dot and your set!
Becky SaysPost author
Great ideas Yvonne!
Jeff Esparsa Says
Thanks for tips. We’re gonna start using charts for organizing and cleaning chores for the house. These I can add into the mix as well. They make sense. Keep up the helpful organization and cleaning tidbits.
Susan Williams Says
I keep Grandsons in afternoon if dad is working nights.boys will be in2nd and Kk. We have a homework box with pencils, glue sticks, scissors, crayons.(have another little container for colored pencils. I cannot tell you how important it is to have pencil sharpener. As a retired teacher I encourage everyone to buy an electric pencil sharpener. It will last for years. I am using one I bought for my classroom.
This weekend my daughter and I are going shopping for school supplies. I will probably replace the crayons and add more gluesticks, and a bottle of glue. Thanks for reminder of poster board and construction paper.
My babies are almost grown. We have found portable plastic hanging file containers are a great way to keep papers organized for reference purposes (tests). It gives the kids a place to empty the papers out of their backpacks before they end up crumpled and torn. Each class gets a hanging file and it works well for study groups at a different location. We use the ones with compartment dividers for supplies on the lid to store pens, calculators, scissors, staplers, etc. Also, my children are all very successful students and I believe that a daily planner has been instrumental in keeping them on track…I refuse to hover and their success is theirs alone.