As part of our “Back to School” series, I want to talk about why you need a homework station!
I can’t believe how quickly summer has gone by and school starts back in just 2 weeks! The beginning of a new school year is always exciting but it’s also a time to figure out how you can fine-tune your school routines.
There’s so many ways we can streamline our routine – homework, school clothes, snacks (both for school and after school), school paperwork, the first day of school and more.
Homework is an area that I feel we always need to improve on. The battle to get the kids to actually sit down and do their homework is never fun.
Although each of my kids has a desk in their bedrooms, I prefer them to do their homework at the dining table, next to the kitchen. Otherwise, I spend my time running between the bedrooms trying to help everyone with their work, while also trying to get dinner ready! Not fun!
I’d love to have space just for homework, but that’s not going to happen. My family room isn’t big enough to have 3 desks in it! So that’s where a homework station comes in.
What is a homework station?
A homework station is a place where you can keep all the homework supplies, so they are instantly ready when your child needs to do their homework.
If you’re lucky enough to have space, then a homework station can be a desk area stocked with everything they need.
However, we use our dining table for homework. I can’t leave the supplies on the table because we need it to… well… dine at! So a mobile homework station is a perfect solution for us.
In the past, I tried one of the small plastic caddies but it just wasn’t big enough. With 3 children, all in different grades, they all have different supplies that they need.
And of course, there is the dreaded school paperwork! All those notes, permission slips and notices that come home. You need to keep them but where can you put them? The humble homework station to the rescue again!
Why you need a homework station?
I’m all for making life easier for myself and my family. As a working parent with 3 kids (and a house full of pets!), I need to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. And a homework station helps me do just that!
- Keeps homework supplies together so no wasted time searching for things.
- Makes it easy for the kids to start their homework, no excuses that they can’t find a pencil or paper.
- A mobile homework station can be pushed away out of sight when homework is done, so everyone can enjoy their evening.
- Gives the flexibility to do homework in any room of the house.
- Cuts down on those homework arguments.
- Helps create a homework routine.
- Gives you a place to store school papers.
I think you’re probably beginning to see that a homework station really is a sanity-saver!
What do you need in a homework station?
The next question is what sort of supplies do you need to keep in your homework station? Well, that’s going to depend on the age of your child and the type of homework they receive.
Here are the basics that you will need:
- Pencils or pens
- Colored pencils
- Glue (bottles and glue sticks)
In addition to these supplies I used the following to make my homework station:
Putting it all together!
Now you have your supplies, it’s time to put it all together.
Below are three different options for mobile carts depending on your budget. I decided to go for a heavy duty one because I wanted it to last. It gets pulled around the house every day, so I didn’t want it falling apart after a few months.
I used a bit of washi tape to decorate the cart. This is completely optional, but I wanted to make it look more attractive and fun in the hope that it might encourage my kids to do their homework!
In the top shelf of the cart, I put 4 magazine holders. They are for:
- Paper – lined or plain paper for the kids to do their homework on or to use as scrap paper.
- To Sign – this is for paperwork from school that I still need to sign or fill out.
- To School – I use this folder to put paperwork, finished homework, library books etc. that need to be returned to school. I quickly check this file every morning to make sure we have everything!
- Keep – this is where I like to put paperwork from the school that I need to reference. School calendars, study guides, resource lists, project outlines etc.
On the middle shelf I have a few pencil cups with the supplies they need most often, like pencils, pens, markers etc.
I also used magnetic spice tins to stick to the outside of the shelf with the little things that always get lost! Such as pencil cap erasers, paperclips, binder clips etc.
The bottom shelf is a great place to keep the supplies that your kids access less often. The type of things they might only use for special projects. For instance: glue, glitter, tape, colored paper, calculators etc.
So there you have it!
Your very own ultra-useful, tantrum-taming, sanity-saving homework station!
What are some of your homework tips? How do you make your after-school routine easier? Do you have a homework station that works great for you? Tell us about it in the comments below!