August is the time when parents start thinking about the upcoming school year. With the shift toward online learning, and the uncertainty of what this fall’s school year will hold, now is a great time to consider the need for better work spaces at home. Whether it will be distance learning, in-school classes, or some hybrid-learning environment this fall, it is a good idea to set up a place for kids to do school related work. Let’s discuss some things to consider when planning an ultimate homework station.
What is a homework station? It is a designated work space for kids to learn, study, and complete assignments. A designated space means one specific location that is designed for your child(ren) to focus on homework everyday. The amount of space you can allow for this will of course depend on the space available in your home. Ideally it should be a quiet space away from distractions and interruptions. It would be a bonus if it’s a space that they can personalize and call their own. Even if you are unable to dedicate a homework only space, it is still a good idea to set up one specific area that can be easily converted to homework space on a daily basis. Some key elements to a homework space include:
Uncluttered Work Surface. Children need a flat surface to spread out their work and the area should be free of clutter to avoid distractions.
Comfortable. Select seating that is comfortable and supportive. This is especially important as the amount of time spent doing homework at home increases. Along the same lines, the workspace should have adequate lighting.
All Supplies in One Place. This will help them focus on the work at hand. It will also help decrease the all too often “where is my…?” inquiry. If the homework station is in a space that serves another purpose (i.e. kitchen table, etc), consider a supply caddy to organize the supplies. A caddy can keep all the supplies in one spot, but still be easily removed. Talk to your kids about what they may need. Some examples are writing/drawing instruments, paper supplies, art supplies, math supplies, poster board (keep one on hand to avoid last minute project panic), stapler, paper clips, pencil sharpeners, three hole punch. Consider a clock or timer to help your kids learn to manage their own time. Also consider power supply for the electronics that are needed.
Organized. Think paper organization, In/Out trays, a posting area such as a tack or dry erase board, calendar, cable/electronic organization. All this should be within reach of the desk/working surface. There should also be a place for backpacks within reach.
With all the new uncertainty going on right now, having some routine and special place for your children to do school related work can help reduce some of the stress for you and your children. We hope you find this helpful. In the meantime, don’t forget to soak up some sun before the school year!