01 September 2007

Set up a homework station to make afterschool assignments easier

Amazon: Rolodex Supplies CaddyMelanie's tips for setting off on the right foot with homework:

I’m a teacher as well as a mom. A good homework hack is to have a place or station set up where your child can do homework. Have pencils, erasers, ruler, pencil crayons, paper, etc. all available in that dedicated spot. They could be in a box that gets put away and pulled at homework time or left in a permanent place. Nonetheless, have all the supplies necessary available so that valuable time is not lost trying to find supplies. It helps to keep your child focused on the task at hand and eliminates excuses.

It's also helpful to have a dedicated homework time. That time may be different for your family but some suggestions are right before dinner or right after dinner. It’s tough for kids to sit down to homework right after coming home from school as they need a break too. Remember play is just as important to their development as the work they do. It might be worth giving them some time after school to play for a while and then getting down to home work. They will be a lot fresher that way.

Related: Help kids organize their own schedules 

More: Homework tips


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My 8 year old likes to complain about having to do his one page of homework that usually takes him about a minute to do. But, the arguing about when he does his homework could take all evening if we let it. So, I started letting him pick what time he is going to do his work. My only rule is that it has to get done before dinner. He usually picks some ridiculous time like 4:47. But, it does actually work and then there is no arguing.

InTheFastLane: Your comment reminded me of some past hacks which I've just added to this post as "related." Good to recognize that our kids may not be able to do their homework the way *we* did.

This sounds fine only if you can stay focused and make sure it becomes a daily routine.


With my two children 8 and 6 it was a constant battle to get them to stop playing and start doing their homework. If you wait too long into the day they start to get tired and unable to concentrate. Dinner time is the time to talk to Dad and Mom. After dinner it is the time to wind down for bed. I let my kids goof off when I pick them up for about a half an hour and then we go home and I sit and drink tea with them while they do their homework and answer any questions. They can't go and play until it's all finished. They learn the importance of "getting it over with" and it doesn't loom over our heads the whole day.

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