Most kids have returned to a somewhat normal school routine, after two years of tumult. That means homework has returned for more than 50 million kids in the U.S. Those of us who worked from home, even partially, during COVID learned how valuable it can be to have a dedicated work space. (See my blog: How To Create a Work-From-Home (WFH) Space). Well, the same is true for those 50 million plus kids: they need a homework space. It’s as important, if not more so, than WFH spaces for adults. But how can you create this homework space for kids? With some thought, and participation from your student, if they are old enough, you can create a homework space for kids that’s not only functional, but encourages learning! That’s a win for everyone.
Create or Dedicate A Space
OK, so you want to create a homework space for your child? The first question is usually where to put it. You’ll want to consider the work style of your child before deciding. Maybe she needs lots of light and near quiet to get things done? Or maybe he’s a social person who works best close to the action? If they are old enough, get your kids involved in deciding where this workspace is best suited and how it might be set up. They will often surprise you with their insights.
Perhaps you will choose a corner in their bedroom, or a space in the den. Consider if a view will be a net positive for your child, allowing them to daydream and think creatively. Or will the full view of the swing set in the backyard be too distracting?
Maybe you don’t think you have room for a homework space? When COVID-19 hit, a lot of us didn’t think we had the space to work from home either, and then we got creative. You can get creative too. Think about taking the door off a small closet? Or designating a space with a console table behind the couch. You can exchange the nightstand in your child’s room for a desk and just make it serve a double purpose. There are so many spaces that can work!
Make The Homework Space Function
A dedicated homework space is only as good as it’s functionality. You can carve out the cutest little work station in the world, but if the chair isn’t comfortable, what’s the point? The same is true of the work surface. The type of homework your child has will direct you in the amount of space they will need. An art student may require more surface area than a child who is doing more math and writing. Your writer may be better served with a cozy nook, your art student by a drafting table.
It’s also a great idea to work trash and recycling into the space. It encourages good habits and helps keep mess to a minimum.
When I cook, I like to lay out my ingredients before I start. That way, I have everything I need, right at my fingertips, and the cooking proceeds more efficiently. When you create a homework space for kids, considered all that they need regularly. Then, organize those supplies in labeled containers. This will make homework easier, clean-up easier and your parenting life easier. Kids will be great with this step. Besides, who doesn’t like shopping for a new box of crayons or a selection of colorful folders?
When you create a homework space with your kids, you tell them something. Homework is so important that we are making a special place, just for you, to work on it. It’s a subtle message, but it can reap benefits for a lifetime.