Back-to-School Organization Series: DIY Homework Station
The article was originally posted on MilTribe here.
When I reached out to my network of moms to see what components of back-to-school were the most challenging, I saw a lot of the same things. In part 1 of this series we covered scheduling time, and in part 2 we talked about all things clothes! The last buzz topic was…. A place to do and keep homework or homework stations.
Who has a “command center” in their home? A space for items like keys, purses, incoming mail, etc.? Having a set place for these items can ensure you have what you need to get out the door on time.
The same goes for having a homework station. A place for incoming school notes, homework and projects. This space should include a spot for backpacks too. For older children, this space could be located in their bedroom. For others or families with more than 2 kiddos, I recommend a common work area where a quick assessment can be done to ensure things are ready for the next morning.
Labeled areas work best and help to ensure that fights won’t arise about whose stuff belongs in which cubby or on which hook.
There are 3 important things to consider when creating your space:
- Size of the room: The size and layout of the room will determine what kind of systems you can set up and what kind of workspace you can create.
- Age of children: The age range of the children will also help you gauge what type of workspace you need (i.e. Place for a laptop vs a place to cut/color). For older kids you may be able to hang more storage higher up whereas for younger children you’d want to keep supplies accessible on a lower level.
- Location of space available: Depending on the location of the room in relation to the main door used, you may want to create a separate space for backpack hang-up.
You can browse Pinterest and the internet for a hundred different ideas for layout and set up. But 3 things you want to be sure to include in your school command center are a calendar area, a supply area, and a workspace area.
- A calendar brings a visual attention to important dates for tests or fieldtrips and things like project deadlines.
- A supply area may again vary, but it is important to keep these items separate from other household uses. If everyone knows that the pencils, scissors and other supplies in this area are for school purposes only, you won’t run into the issue of “not being able to do homework because the pencils are all gone”.
- It’s important to get input from the kids on how the workspace will look. We know there are different types of learners but there may also be preferences as individuals. Some may prefer to sit at a desk-type setup. Others may work better sitting in a big bean bag chair or something soft.Accommodating those preferences (within reason) should promote productivity.
Designating an area for school work and creating a routine for handling homework and other projects will greatly improve the efficiency of school-home communication. It will also help children to build responsibility and ownership in their schoolwork.
What does your homework station look like? Has it been helpful in promoting productivity? Drop me a comment!