A Parent’s Guide to Creating a Super Homework Station
If you run into conflicts trying to get your kids to do their homework, a dedicated homework station may be the solution. Creating a space just for learning will help your child to do better in school while maintaining more harmony in your home.
Setting Up Your Homework Station
1. Pick a quiet spot
Look for a spot that will enable your child to concentrate while you provide whatever level of supervision they need. The kitchen or dining room table are often good options.
2. Banish most electronics
Save the cell phone calls and video games for later. You may want to give your child a computer without internet access or limit their browsing to what they need for their assignments.
3. Stock up on homework supplies
Put together an assortment of all the commonly used items you’re likely to need: paper, pens, pencils, markers, glue, scissors and a calculator.
4. Create a homework folder
Make it easier for your child to bring home the instructions they need and take their completed assignments back to school. Try a homework folder with one pocket each for incoming and outgoing paperwork.
5. Design a caddy
Make your homework station easily portable. Any receptacle big enough to hold all the items will work. You can use a laundry basket, plastic tub or whatever you have on hand.
6. Install a mirror
Positioning your child in front of a mirror may get better results. That way they can see when they’re working hard or hardly working and correct themselves.
7. Supply instrumental music
Some people focus better in complete silence and others prefer background sounds. Experiment with instrumental music if your child complains that it’s too quiet.
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8. Offer fidget toys
Similarly, your child may crave something to do with their hands. Small children may like building toys or puzzles while older kids can have a rubber ball.
9. Post written reminders
Another fabulous benefit of a homework station is that parents can post rules and deadlines. Think how much better you’ll all feel when you can stop nagging.
Using Your Homework Station
1. Discuss the importance of homework
Get your child involved in the process from the start by talking about the benefits of homework. Welcome their suggestions for how to work together.
2. Schedule dedicated homework time
Now that you have a place for homework, make time for it. Many families find that kids need a little downtime after school and before bed so consider some interval in between the two.
3. Break tasks down into chunks
It’s natural for kids to need one or more breaks during their homework sessions. Setting a kitchen timer makes it easy for them to see how much time they need to work before break-time.
4. Proceed gradually
Incremental goals will show your child that they’re making progress and motivate them to achieve more. Pick one or two areas for improvement at a time.
5. Present rewards
Teach your child that their actions have consequences. If they meet the goals you agree on, like completing assignments on time, pick a reward that is meaningful for them. You might bake their favorite cupcakes for dessert or plan a special weekend outing.
6. Encourage self monitoring
Of course, the ultimate goal is to guide kids towards regulating their own performance. As your child matures, you may feel confident that they will do their schoolwork responsibly in the privacy of their own bedroom.
Homework is a challenge for many kids. Give them the resources to succeed by putting together a homework station that will help make learning more fun and productive.
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