Kids' Work Spaces That Work
One of the best ways you can help with your child's homework is to make sure that he has an effective work space. Creating such a work space is an easy project that can be done in one evening without spending a dime.
Where is the best location for my child's work space?
Your child's work space should go near where he already likes to do his homework. For some children this is in their bedroom. Many other children prefer to work in the common spaces of the home. Kitchen counters and dining tables seem to be particularly popular. In fact, such places in the home can be advantageous as they allow adults to more easily monitor work pacing and internet use. School supplies can be stored away in containers so that the work space you choose can also be used by family members for other functions.
When choosing a work space, do look out for significant distractions. Having a line of sight to a television screen or to a sibling playing can make focus challenging. Your child's homework spot does not necessarily need to be shrouded in library-like silence, however.
What supplies do we need?
Stocking your child's work space with school supplies can reduce distractions and support focus during homework time as it avoids intermissions to seek out necessary homework tools. You will definitely need pencils, erasers, and a pencil sharpener. It is worthwhile to spend a few extra cents per box on pencils that your child likes. Whether his preference is for bright colors or mechanical, he'll be less likely to lose writing instruments he enjoys using. For projects you might want to keep colored pencils, scissors, and a glue stick handy. Older students may need supplies for taking notes and keeping them tidy in a binder. Such items might include lined paper, graph paper, a hole punch, a stapler, and hole reinforcement stickers. Children who regularly use a tablet or laptop for homework will need a charging cord and accessible outlet . Chances are good that you can gather most or all of these supplies from around your house. While new, matching desk supplies have a certain allure, they don't get homework done any easier than the items you already own.
Keeping it all organized
Have a place for everything in your child's work space and keep your child's organizational style in mind as you choose how to store supplies. For example, some children forget what they have when it is in a closed container. They do better when they can see their supplies out in a pencil cup or open bin.
Make sure you have a spot for supplies that come from school too. Children may be expected to keep textbooks, a reading folder, composition books, an independent reading book, or other items at home. Designate a shelf, corner, box, or bin for these items.
Once everything is gathered together, make a routine for keeping it tidy. Perhaps post-homework free time does not begin until all supplies are neatly put away. You might also designate a day of the week when you and your child check over supplies to make sure nothing is missing and everything is put away in its proper place. When keeping up an organized work space becomes part of your child's routine, you might choose to put consequences in place if supplies are missing or intentionally damaged. Examples of logical consequences would be sacrificing free time to search for missing supplies or spending allowance money to replace broken items.
For more ideas, have a look at my Pinterest board, Work Spaces for Children.