At our house, the kitchen table doubles as homework central. Whether your child completes his homework in a common area or secluded in his bedroom, it is vital that you create a special space for this important activity.
What makes a great homework space?
Adequate space – Textbooks, notebooks and supplies take up a lot of room. Make sure each child has enough space to comfortably complete their activities. Kitchen tables are great study areas for this reason. Smaller bedroom desks may not provide enough space for all the necessary materials.
Quiet – This is just so important. I used to attempt to watch the evening news (on a small kitchen TV) while I made dinner and my children competed their homework . I was always amazed when they had questions regarding the news stories that I was barely listening too. It really was a distraction for them. Homework time is much more effective now that it’s quiet.
Supplies – Each of my children has a “ homework box”, one of those plastic pencil boxes you probably purchased for back-to-school. They each have their own supply of pens, pencils, colored pencils and white-out which is kept in their room and brought to the kitchen table at homework time. Extra paper, rulers, a stapler and pencil sharpener are stored in an armoire near the kitchen table. No more searching for supplies!
Lighting – Inadequate lighting at your child’s study area can make homework more difficult than it needs to be. The chandelier over the kitchen table may not provide enough light for reading and writing (mine certainly doesn’t). Usually task lighting is necessary when performing tasks requiring visual concentration. Task lighting provides focused light in addition to the ambient lighting provided by an overhead chandelier. At our house, a desk lamp on the kitchen table reduces eye strain.
Let the Children Choose – Allow your kids to choose special pencils, storage boxes or folders for homework time. We have special Star Wars pencils just for homework time. These little things make a big difference to children.
There’s just no substitute for parental involvement in children’s homework activities. If parents treat homework as an important daily activity, the children will treat it as such.
What are your favorite homework time tips? I’d love to hear from you!