Setting Up a Homework Space
Olivia started 1st grade last week. I’m excited for her to dive into schoolwork and to be exposed to new ideas and skills. But I’m a bit apprehensive about one thing – homework.
She had a few “homework” assignments in kindergarten. They were family projects and mostly art-based. But, even so, she had some mini meltdowns at the start of the projects. She would insist “she didn’t understand” and “didn’t know what to do” despite me patiently guiding her. Or she would put very little effort into it so she could go back to doing something else.
That’s why I’m thinking about how to make homework a positive experience for her. And my first task is setting up a homework space.
Initially, I thought I would set-up a homework space in the kitchen or dining room so I could multi-task from the kitchen. I was recently cleaning out our home office, however, when I started thinking that setting up my husband’s desk (which he rarely uses) may be the best physical set-up for her – despite it being upstairs.
But the space is going to need a makeover to be more kid-friendly and functional for her homework needs. Here are my must-haves for the space:
- Organization. As a homework newbie, the biggest challenge will be helping Olivia prioritize assignments. A homework wall calendar will keep everyone organized. I ordered this Homework Caddy because it includes not only a calendar but a place to add notes, papers, library books, etc. and hangs from a door or a wall.
- Supplies. My goal is to keep school supplies limited to necessities – pencils, erasers, sharpeners, glue sticks, crayons, markers, scissors. But knowing my daughter, this list will grow. So, I’m researching desktop organizers that’ll keep supplies within arms reach, yet neat and out of the way. I like these pencils, crayons, and supplies holders.
- Storage. We have this Ikea bookshelf in the office already where I can clear off some shelf space for her. I also have an old metal filing cabinet that I’ll (eventually) spray paint a fun color for storing additional work, paper and other items.
- Art & Homework Display. We have our favorite of the kids’ art displayed in the kitchen. But having Olivia select her favorite work and showcase it in her own space gives her the ability to be proud of her personal accomplishments. I love these two ideas: large fabric pinboard (in fourth photo down) and curtain rod or clothesline art hangers.
- Colorful and Inviting. I’m more effective in a bright and welcoming work space. I want my daughter’s homework area to be fun and inviting like this homework space so she wants to be there doing her homework.
- Lighting. Our office is well-lit when the sun is out but in the winter we’ll need some good lighting options. These colorful desk lamps are flexible and, well, just fun.
- Reading Area. I love this kid’s reading nook but it doesn’t fit with the room structure so I’m thinking a simple bean bag chair will work.
- Portable Homework Station. And when it just doesn’t work for her to be in her dedicated homework space, I love this idea of a portable homework station.
I better get working. I’ll post photos when I’m done creating our new homework space.