Is homework a struggle in your house? Do you find yourself nagging to get your kids to start and finish homework? Do they spend more time gathering and then breaking pencils than actually doing it? Not gonna lie, most parents go through it and there is no magic formula to fix it. I have however discovered one thing that makes it go much smoother and takes some of the frustration out. I created a homework station so that everything they need is in one spot. No running around to find an eraser or extra paper, it cuts the excuses way down! Whether they do their homework at a desk in their room or at the kitchen table. Grab a basket or small plastic tote to keep everything together in and find somewhere to keep it when not in use- in a kitchen cabinet, closet, desk drawer,etc..
Here are the 5 most important items we keep in ours…
Snacks- When we pull out our basket I will toss in a couple of healthy snacks for them to snack on while they work, empty bellies are very distracting! Fresh fruit, yogurt, raisins, nuts, protein bars, and fruit cups make great snacks to stave off the hunger pains until dinner and keep minds sharp.
Headphones- You may think this one is out of place but it’s really not. I have found them to be a very important part of our homework routine. They use them when they are doing research, watching videos on a subject they are learning about, or even playing online games when the homework is done and they save my sanity! It is also great if you have multiple kids and they are easily distracted.
Some kids also work better and retain more when they listen to music while doing their homework-another way they use them without making the entire household listen. Our favorites are these Monster N-Tune headphones– the kids love the way they look and can find many colors to fit their personality, they are well made, and the sound is amazing.
Pencils and Pencil Sharpener- Surely I am not the only momma out there who has a child that goes through pencils like they are going out of style? Every other page of homework or so we needed a new pencil, so I put in a handful along with a sharpener so there is no need to waste time looking for one when they should be figuring out algebraic equations.
Calculator- The simple basic model or the fancier version that high schoolers need, either way, it keeps them in their seat and more focused instead of searching desk drawers. If they use it a lot you may want to pop an extra set of batteries in the basket too!
Paper- Notebook, graph colored, include a short stack of whatever they use most often and replenish it as needed. From Kindergarten on up this is a basic daily necessity that they will definitely need at hand. To keep it from bending slip it in a file folder before adding it to your basket.
My kids even use the homework station on the weekends when they are drawing, writing stories, or finishing up projects. The headphones get used 7 days a week on the computer, in their rooms, and in the car on trips for the DVD players.