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With school starting back up that means trying to get back on schedule without added stress. Having a 3rd grader, 8th grader and a senior in high school things can get a little hectic around here – especially when it comes to homework and projects. Providing the kids with a quiet space to study and refuel after a long day is imperative.
Free from Distractions
The most important part of creating a homework station is making sure it is away from all other distractions. For kids to concentrate on their studies and learn, they must have quiet. This means setting up the area for homework away from all electronics, especially a television. If your homework station has to be in the living room then make sure you set a schedule that everyone can agree to, with a firm rule the TV stays turned off while either child is doing their homework.
Organization is Key
A clutter free environment is best for everyone. Keeping the homework station organized is essential. Have you ever heard “I don’t have a pencil, I can’t find any paper, the map says use a blue color and I only have red“... you get the drift. Using office organization supplies on their tabletop will help keep their pencils, pens and colors easily accessible. Cloth square totes also make for great school supply bins. Keeping the most common school supplies needed for any given homework project on hand will make your evening run smoother and with less stress.
We always keep the old pencil pouches and plastic pencil boxes they bring home at the end of the year to use at home. Wash them out and use a separate box for crayons, colored pencils, markers and highlighters to stay organized without spending money.
Space for Creativity
Think of how much time your child will be sitting in “that spot” completing their homework. They say a clear and clean area makes for a clear mind. Your child will not only be working on practicing their spelling words each night, but will also work on projects for school at times. Provide them with the tools to be creative.
Use bright colors and ask your child for their help in decorating their space. Just don’t overdo it! Supplying items such as graph paper, large drawing pad, colored pencils, markers and stickers may help spark creativity.
Make it Cozy
One thing to keep in mind when you are creating a homework station for your child is that this is not school, so you can complete it how YOU want. One thing you can do is make it cozy. You don’t want your kids falling asleep, but you can make it comfortable so they enjoy hanging out there and do not dread it each night. Let them provide some input on their space. A cute lamp, soothing sound machine or even an oil diffuser can make it feel more at home for them. Don’t forget a very comfortable chair. Maybe a beanbag for reading?
Place for Snacks
Make sure their desk has a clear space for a plate of snacks. I’m not sure about your kids but as soon as mine walk through the door from school they are hungry. Providing them with some fuel will help them get busy on their studies. Keep their snacks away from any printers or items with electrical cords in case of spills.
One of their most requested after school snacks is corn dogs. I toss the State Fair Classic Corn Dogs in the oven while the kids pull out their homework and give me any papers that I need to read or sign. Within 15 minutes they are ready to be served and the kids are beyond ready to eat them. A nice dose of protein to kick off their studies.
While doing our back to school shopping at Walmart we grabbed a few of the kids’ favorite items to be prepared for those busy days. We make it our goal to have mornings run just as smoothly as the evenings in our home. With three kids in three different schools things can get hectic. I love how simple it is to provide them with sausage and a pancake all wrapped up in one. Plus, the kids think they are so good. The can eat it while running out the door for school drop-off. No messy stickiness to deal with.
When kids get home from school the last thing they want to think about is… school. Giving them a checklist so they make sure they stay on top of their responsibilities can make it easier on everyone. No more nagging for mom, no more upset kids for forgetting.
Click the below image to print your own checklist for free. This list will remind them to check each school subject for homework and complete it, have their school paper signed each day, put up their lunch box and backpack before bed and always remember to read.
What are some of your best back to school tips? Save on your after school snacks!