Whether your child does homework as soon as soon as they walk through the door, after dinner the key to getting it done with less fuss is to be organized. If you or your child are constantly search for a pencil..a sharpener..an eraser… glue.. etc. chances are that 30 minutes of homework are going to turn into 2 hours which means less free time for them and for you. To avoid that, keep your sanity, and get it done I like to create a homework station before the school year even begins filled with all the basic supplies they should need.
Before we get to the basket I recommend designating a spot for the backpacks. A hook somewhere nearby the table or desk where they will be doing homework. This will cut down not only on time searching for the backpack to do homework but if its put back afterwards you won't be frantic looking for it in the morning during the mad dash out the door. Seriously, if you don't already do this try to train them to make it a habit it really makes things go smoother.
My next tip is to be consistent with homework times, unless you are unable to be home due to extracurricular sports or other appointments try to make homework time the same time everyday. It doesn't matter when it is, whatever is convenient for your family- as soon as they come in, after a snack, after dinner and a little T.V.. Just make it part of a ritual, they know when its expected, after awhile it will be part of the routine and will cut down on the whining and complaining (It won't eliminate it completely- It’s not magic). Whether we want to admit it or not we all thrive with consistency.
Now on to creating a homework basket- Grab a basket; plastic, wicker, shoe box, or even a small plastic tub with a lid. You don’t want one too large so that it doesn't take up too much room and can be put up on the table and whisked away to a hidden location when not in use. But it needs to be big enough to hold a pack of paper. Now, what goes in your basket is going to depend on the age of your child- your 6th grader is going to require more than your Kindergartener obviously but some school supplies are universal and everyone needs. Start with writing paper, scrap paper, pencils, erasers, pens, pencil grips if they require it, a ruler, glue, and a sharpener. Now, other than a snack and a glass of water your child should have everything they need right at their fingertips. Include a few fun items to take the tedium out- scented markers, shaped erasers, a stress ball, or glitter glue. If you have older children you will need to include things like a calculator, thesaurus, hole punch, stapler.
In the end it was easy to do. I just collected materials he would need for homework and placed them in his new homework station. I decided to keep his homework station mobile. All of his supplies fit neatly in a large basket that we can move to the kitchen table or take with us when we are on the go.
Homework Success - How to create a homework station and start the school year off right!
1. Collect Supplies: Crayons, Markers, Colored Pencils, Glue, Pencils, Scissors, Lined Paper, Erasers and a few workbooks.
2. Proper Lighting: When creating a homework station be sure it is properly lit, has a comfortable seat and a nice writing area.
3. Re-purpose a desk or table: If you don't have a desk that you can re-purpose then consider creating a basket or plastic bin with your children's items neatly organized. This works great for on the go.
4. Timer: I also suggest a kitchen timer so that you can set that to keep them on task if necessary and it works great for reading. I hope these tips help.
5. Create a routine. Decide if you are going to have a snack and then do homework or watch 30 minutes of TV/playtime and then do homework but my advice is to keep it consistent.
Tips for packing hot lunches (heating a thermos video)