Setting up a Homework Station

Children will do better with their homework if they have a dedicated space devoted to completing their school work. Setting up a homework station is not hard and can help a child focus on getting their work done. They need a quiet, well-lit space with tools and supplies ready for use. Here are tips to establishing a homework space.

1. Designate a chair and flat surface space for homework. This could be a table or desk. Try to provide at least 30 inches so books and material can be spread out. Choose a comfortable chair. Chairs which adjust can serve a child as they grow.

2. Use containers to organize supplies. Depending on age, the following supplies may be useful. Choose those that fit your child's needs.

  • pencils, pens, markers, highlighters, crayons
  • erasers and a sharpener
  • scissors, rulers, protractors, stapler
  • fasteners: tape, glue, glue dots, glue sticks, paper clips
  • paper: blank, lined, construction, graph, index cards, flashcards
  • reference books: dictionary, thesaurus, atlas, workbooks, text books, style manual (for high schoolers)
  • calendar for noting assignments and figuring out interim deadlines for longer term projects

3. Provide a lamp for task lighting and situate the workstation such that it gets natural light.

4. Have a clock in sight of the work station so your child can stay on schedule. You might wish to set a timer for 25 minutes of homework, then 5 minutes of activity like a freeze dance contest (dance until the music stops, hold the last pose until the music starts again), play games like "Red Light, Green Light" or leapfrog, turn on a WiiFit or Xbox One game, see who can do the longest handstand; well, you get the idea. When the 5 minutes are up, it's back to work.

5. Include a recharger or docking station if needed. If Internet access is required and you are using a wire connection as opposed to a WiFi connection, make sure a local connection port is available.

6. Remove clutter and have your child put everything back in its place when homework time is done.

7. Establish a homework routine. As soon as a child arrives home from school, have them pull out their homework assignments and put them at their work station. While they have a light afternoon snack, identify any paperwork you need to sign or notices to parents. Then it is quiet time for the household while children do their homework. No TV, radio, phone calls, or texting during homework time.

8. A homework station in a child's bedroom is one way to cut down on the distraction of activity from other members of the household. However, if your child benefits from being able to ask you questions or closer supervision, setting up the homework station near where you will be working on supper may be a better solution for your family. This might be the kitchen or dining room table or a small table or desk in an adjoining living space. Supplies can be stored in attractive containers that stay close to the workstation so that time does not have to be spent setting up the station each day. Another way to handle this is building a study nook in your home office allowing you to work while your child does.

Providing a designated space for doing homework is important for maximizing your child's chances of success at school.

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