Setting up the perfect (and organized) homework station!

It’s back to school time…do you know where your kids are going to do their homework?

Do your kids have a set place to do their homework? Do they roam around asking for pencils, paper or supplies?  Is homework time stressful? If this feels like your home, then this is the time to do something about it! Kids love having their own spaces to do things, and being able to find things when they need them…kind of like we all do. Having an organized homework station can help make life much easier in every household.

Create a great and organized homework zone for kids!

Creating a back to school homework station for kids can have that same feeling, even though it’s for the ‘real world’.  Kid love having a set zone to do most things, and an organized homework station is no different. Using the Montessori method of creating an organized zone where children can not only access their items, but also put them away, is key.

boy using organized homework stationBenefits of having an organized homework station:

  • Creates confidence and self-worth in kids by being able to find and put away their supplies.
  • Creates creativity and a place for self expression.
  • Provides stability and focus by knowing that everything they need is at hand.
  • Creates a positive memory associated with to-do lists and task management.
  • Allows parents to focus on helping with homework instead of scrambling for supplies.
  • Reduces stress in families by creating a routine and system for a sometimes dreaded daily task.

Creating this organized and usable space is easy…it just takes a bit of time and a bit of imagination. Think about what materials your child needs and where they generally do their homework and follow these steps.

  • Group like supplies and keep all materials together. This will ensure children can succeed by having all the tools needed when learning new materials or doing their everyday homework, which can sometimes be a struggle. Good items to have would be frequently used school supplies including pens, pencils, erasers, paper, calculator, etc. I like to stash some craft supplies here as well if these items are needed such as scissors, construction paper and crayons or markers.
  • Use clear plastic bins, zippered pouches or Ziploc bags to organize and contain supplies, and one set container or location to hold it all. For a homework station in the home, a closet or cabinet or drawer can hold supplies, or a caddy that can be placed on a table or desk. For families on the go, a bin, a tote, a backpack or portable file box holds all of the organized items.
  • Set up a school supply ‘shopping area’ so they can replenish when needed. We use a bin in our office supply closet creatively called the ‘school supply bin’.Tip: Shop after the school season has started and stock up when everything is on sale. This way you don’t have to make a mad dash to Target on a Sunday night for the emergency colored pencils!
  • Create an easily accessible and comfortable environment.  Homework stations can be set up in a permanent location like in a bedroom, in the kitchen or a study. They can also be portable for families that are on the go with sports or activities. Totes with labeled containers of supplies can be helpful, especially if you have a kid like mine who likes to roam about before planting herself in the ‘perfect’ homework spot, usually on the couch.
  • Think of background noises, music and surrounding sights and smells. If you have an easily distracted child, keep ‘squirrels’ to a minimum. Though for some kids, having white noise or background noise can help them tune out other distractions.
  • Provide sources to keep track of time, due dates for assignments and projects, and family schedules. The Time Timer can be helpful for those students who lose track of time easily. My daughter has a bright green one to help keep her focused on getting her work done in a timely manner. She also uses a shared Google Calendar for activities, a school planner for homework and projects, and our family kitchen chalkboard for daily events and chores.

Now that the school season is upon us, take a moment to figure out a great spot for your organized homework station, gather your materials, and set up your zone. The whole family will thank you!