Speech Buddies Parents’ Corner – Create A Homework Zone
It might make your child groan, but you know that homework is an important, inevitable part of your child’s day. You can help to make the experience more manageable when you create a homework zone in your home, and you don’t have to add on an extra room to accomplish it.
7 Tips To Create a Homework Zone in Your Home
1. Alternative desks – You don’t have to recreate the classroom in order to give your child a desk for doing homework. Try lap desks like these that range from $10 to $90. They offer portability for kids who like to work in their room for a while, and then move to the living room or even outside to the porch.
2. Supportive sound – Some kids study best with no interruptions of sound, while others are auditory learners who thrive on background music. Work with your child to determine which works best – and then find ways to support that learning style. In our home some kids use noise cancelling headphones to get the quiet they need for concentration, while other kids are using ear buds and their favorite tunes.
3. Flexible lighting – Dim lights can make already tired kids feel more sleepy. Provide adequate lighting for their homework, such as these work lamp options. My kids love the kinds with the bendable arms so as they change the place in which they are studying they can adjust the light as well.
4. Supply bins – Just like with any job, it is much easier to finish homework if you have the right tools. Keep storage bins with the staples: glue sticks, markers, colored pencils, protractors, note cards, etc. in an easy to access location. Don’t forget those tangibles such as globes, maps, calculators, and other tools for studying.
5. Motivation charts – If your child needs a little extra motivation, try using homework charts to keep on track each week. They don’t have to include expensive prizes, but if you use the charts well your kids can reach homework goals more easily – the biggest prize for you and them.
6. Homework table divider – If you have several children sharing the dining room table or just one child who is easily distracted by the world around her, try a homemade homework table divider. Take a tri-fold divider (you can find them at the dollar store) and cut it horizontally to make two stand-alone dividers. Your child can then decorate the inside of her divider with stickers, motivational notes to keep on track, or even pockets for things like pencils and sticky notes, or you can try more elaborate designs like the ones mentioned here or those by Therese at Any Given Day Inspiration.
7. Backpack dumping station – Help your child keep his backpack organized by keeping a basket or bin on a bookshelf where he can dump his extra papers from his backpack – the artwork he wants to keep, a note about the book fair, etc. You can then help decide what to keep (and where), and his backpack doesn’t become a breeding ground for late notes and forgotten assignments.
One last important step to create a homework zone in your home isn’t really in your home – it is in the relationship you have with your child’s school and teachers. Make sure you understand the expectations and responsibilities your child has, and provide feedback to your child’s teachers about learning styles, homework challenges, and anything else that can help you and your child make the grade when it comes to homework.