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By: Jennifer Davis

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Friday, 8-Nov-2013 06:04 Email | Share | Bookmark
How and why to set up a homework space

If your child had his way, he'd probably do his homework on the living room floor, lying on his stomach with a can of soda at his side and cartoons on television for background entertainment. How can you avoid this? Establish good homework habits from the start by setting up a homework "station," a quiet, comfortable, well-lit place where your child can go to focus on the tasks at hand. Department of Education.

Establish a homework routine. , Children in first through third grades do best when they know what is expected of them," says Heather Saxton, an early-elementary teacher in Nashville, Tenn. Designate a room, a corner of the kitchen, or a place on the dining room table as the homework space, and be consistent about homework times. "Have your children put their backpacks down in the same spot every day as soon as they come home from school," says Saxton. "They'll be less likely to lose assignments or notes from the teacher if they get in the habit of doing this."Put a desk or table in the homework area.
Sounds obvious, but many kids like to sprawl across their beds to work on assignments. If your child does his homework at a desk that you use too, clean up the area and put away those piles of bills and papers. "If you're organized, your child will likely be, too," says Saxton. If the homework space lends itself to decoration, let your child fix it up with artwork or posters. Pick out colorful pencil holders and other supplies. Pencils, pens, erasers, paper, an assignment book or calendar, and a dictionary are must-haves. Other suggestions: index cards, glue, scissors, a thesaurus, a calculator, paper clips, a stapler. When it's time for your child to work, turn off the television and stereo. Don't talk on the phone in the same room. In fact, homework time is a good time for everyone in the family to settle down for a quiet activity like reading or writing.

I'm in the same boat. My child comes to our place of business after school because we have to go back to work. We have a place for him and try to rule out distractions etc. But it doesn't work. He's just a distracted boy who really needs someone to sit with him to keep him on task. Clutter happens to be a reality in our home and he just deals with it.

Not everyone works the same ways and I appreciate the other comments about how it just doesn't work for all children. Thank you! It makes me feel better.While I can appreciate the advice given in this article, it doesn't help those who truly struggle with helping your child during the homework hours. (as made clear in these comments).I'm an organizing expert that works with middle school students and have seen many of these tips turn out to be myths.

Some students are not a "sit in the quiet space and do your work" kind of workers. Allow your student to have their favorite music playing (at an acceptable level), for some this actually helps with concentration.

Allowing your student to have a mental break from school to homework time can be beneficial as well. Let your daughter play with her dolls for an hour, then agree that she'll get to work on homework. She may just need to unplug for awhile.And finally, remember: organization means you can find what you're looking for when you need it. That doesn't always "look" orderly.

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