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1. One Stop Supplies
Designate an area for homework and projects. If you decide you have space for a desk for your child that’s great, but a portable caddy works just as well. Decide with your child where that portable caddy will go and where they will work, whether it’s the kitchen, dining room, etc.
2. Light it Up!
Your child needs good light! Check out a desk lamp or make sure your child brings the portable caddy to a well lit spot!
3. File Bin
Papers, papers, papers! The pile is never ending. Create a file bin with hanging files to keep important papers/mementos. A file bin like this one is fantastic. Use some hanging files and designate one per grade level. Color code each child for fun!
If your child is third grade or older you can go through the papers with them to teach them to decide what will be kept and what will be recycled. I have found that my first grader won’t get rid of anything!
If your child is in middle school or high school separate the file bin into subject areas (ex. Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Foreign Language) and create another file bin for awards, mementos or special projects. Your child should weed out papers at least once a week and put what is no longer needed in class into this file bin. Keep the papers until the end of the school year! You never know what they would like to (or need to) look back on. At the end of the year your child can decide what to keep (and you can help, of course!).
4. Garbage Pail
Our homework stations get quite messy without a garbage pail! Whether it’s for unneeded papers, general mistakes or, if it’s my daughter, endless scraps for her art projects, a pail is a must!
It’s never too early have your child start seeing a month at a glance! I’m sure many of you keep some sort of family calendar, too. It’s valuable for your kids to start to have their own calendar! This can be a printed calendar that is hanging in your child’s room or a whiteboard calendar that can be near at their homework station or in their bedroom if they don’t have a designated desk area. The whiteboard calendar options are endless! Peel and stick, hanging, whatever suits your home! Here’s a printable calendar option.
For younger children you can have them write in activities, chores, or birthday parties.
For older children (typically grade 4 and older) this is the beginning of short term and long term planning skills. As they get assignments and projects that span over days or weeks they can set goals and deadlines for themselves right on the calendar. The information can come from their school agenda or any online communication the teachers give in online form.
These must-haves will definitely set your child up for homework and project success!