Now that we are slowly establishing the school year routine, one of the most important (let’s face it, they’re all important) aspects of the daily grind for kids is homework. Establishing a designated, functional and organized homework area will set children up for success.
Many parents will note how difficult homework can be in their house. Whether it’s the child who procrastinates, the disorganized work area, or the child who misplaces everything, homework can be a challenge.
Here are some tips for parents to help their children stay organized while doing homework.
Establish a Homework Area or Zone
Many young children like to be near an adult (usually Mommy) when doing their homework so they can quickly have questions answered. For many, this spot may be at the kitchen or dining room table.
However, as children get older, they may be ready for their own desk space.
Set Up the Homework Zone
Within the homework area, each child should have a portable school supply box to include loose leaf paper, art supplies, and anything else needed to complete homework. This box should allow ease of access for your child, avoiding boxes with lids that can come off. Consider something like mDesign Office Supply Organizer to organize smaller items. A mini drawer system can be helpful for organizing papers.
If you have another child who is using the same homework area, you might want to think about dividers. Dividers offer a great privacy shield for the kids who squabble with each other.
Some children are sensitive to noise, especially the voices of their siblings. Using noise cancelling headphones or regular headphones with soft music playing may help reduce distractions during homework time. Also, white noise can be productive in reducing distractions of others. Leave the headphones readily accessibly to the child in the homework area to encourage use and limit distractions.
Limit Internet Use
As much as I love Facebook, this, along with many other social media and gaming sites, can be an incredible distraction to older students who may need the internet for homework.
There are some apps and software parents can install to block social media for a few hours.
One in particular is K-9 Web Protection.
A useful app for parents is Curbi and it is available for iOS and Android
Create a File Box
Eliminate those exploding binders and folders. Buy a portable file box without a top for easy access and keep it available in the homework area. This provides the child with a place to put all the paperwork they have brought home.
Since the box is portable, it can move from room to room with your child. Insert hanging file folders for each subject.
Once every few weeks, your child should go through his folders and remove papers that are from past topics or just doesn’t need anymore. DO NOT throw these papers out but store them until midterms and final.
There are many different ways of setting up reminders. If your child is tech savvy, have her use an app on her phone for reminders. Notefuly is a good option as it allows notes with scheduled reminders and it’s free!
Post it calendars are great tools for reminders for the kids who are more tactile and visual and can be hung in the homework area.
Another great reminder technique for the kids who are more visual and tactile, is to write down every task (homework) on a separate post it. Display the post it at eye level to give a clear view to your child what tasks she needs to accomplish that day. When the task is completed, your child should remove the corresponding post it and throw it away.
Helping your child develop positive homework strategies will assure that the school work will get done. Make sure that your child feels comfortable in his work area and that you remain supportive in maintaining positive homework strategies.
We would love to hear how you set up your homework area. Tell us over at Facebook!