Homework is the bane of many a school-aged child’s (and parent’s) existence. The ongoing battle to get kids to sit down, complete assignments, and focus while working on them can be exhausting. Having a dedicated area in the home for completing homework makes the process a lot smoother. That said, not everyone has a separate office space at home to set up a homework station in. Fortunately, there may be another option.
Formal dining rooms seem to have become a thing of the past. While some still enjoy this separate eating space, many families choose to host dinners in their regular eating area. Often, dining rooms sit unused or, worse yet, end up being a catch-all for items that should be in storage. Instead of using your dining room as a storehouse, why not turn it into a much needed homework station? The transformation may be easier than you think.
The dining room is a fantastic location for a homework area. Putting a desk in the space just outside the kitchen will keep your kids close in case they need homework help, but will also provide a bit of privacy for independent workers. Easy access to snacks is also a plus. So, if you’re in need of a homework area and have a dining room that’s available, check out these handy tips.
Formulate a Plan
Once you decide to use your dining room space for a homework area, you need to plan out how you’re going to set it up. Proper lighting is important in a workspace, so making sure the station will be in a spot with good light is paramount. If the room has a window, then setting up next to that is optimal. Setting up directly in front of the window, however, might be too distracting for some children. If there is no window or you’d prefer to set up away from it, then there needs to be appropriate task lighting in place.
Work Surface Set Up
When you have your spot all mapped out, it’s time to move on to choosing a work surface and some seating. Whether you choose to put in a pre-made desk, build one into the room or use a spare table, just be sure that the size works well for the kids who will be using it. If the surface is going to be quite tall for them initially, consider getting them a chair with adjustable height.
Efficient homework stations have everything the student needs close at hand. Setting up the space with wall pockets, drawers, and desktop caddies is ideal. You can then stock these organizers with paper, pens, pencils, and whatever else your student might need while working. If you’d still like to use the space as a dining room occasionally, caddies they can easily carry to and from their rooms are ideal.
Clutter is distracting, so keeping it to a minimum in the homework station is a must. When you’re setting up the work area, be sure to include a garbage can and recycling/shredding bins. This way the kids can tuck away things they don’t need before the clutter starts to add up.
A homework station is a place to get the job done, but you don’t want it to be uninviting. Putting up a cork board behind the desk to display favorite photos and hanging some framed kid artwork can go a long way to brightening up the space. Who knows, with enough personalization, your child may actually enjoy heading to their homework station after school.
Once your homework station is complete, be sure to set some ground rules for the area. Make sure kids know that it’s a ‘no play’ zone. Keep toys out of the room. Also, consider setting a specific homework schedule to get kids in a routine and establish quiet periods at certain times of the day.