written by: Margo Dill
• edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom
• updated: 1/5/2012
One of the easiest things you can do to help your child with their homework is to set up a designated spot for them: a homework desk! This homework solution doesn't take a lot of time or money, and it could be just what your child needs to stay on track.
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Pick a Quiet Location
Sometimes all your child needs to stay on track and complete their homework is to be freed from distractions. Making sure they have their own spot to work in will greatly help your child's study habits.
Before you begin setting up your child's homework desk, choose a quiet location in your house. If you have a large family, this may be difficult. Your child's homework spot should be in a place with little family traffic during homework time. Many people choose the kitchen, but this is not the best spot if your family is constantly getting drinks out of the refrigerator, or it is easy to hear the television blaring from the family room. A good homework solution is placing the homework desk in a child's bedroom, a parent's office, or a family den. It should be away from noise and people - anything that might cause a distraction during homework time.
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The homework desk can be a table or a desk--new or old. The important thing is that it has plenty of surface room to work on. The homework desk should remain free of clutter and paperwork, so it is easy for your child to focus when you're helping with homework.
For your child's homework desk, you will need basic school supplies. It helps to have the supplies stored in or near the homework desk. This alleviates the problem of your child wasting time looking for a pencil or finding a dictionary to see how to spell a word. The supplies your child will need for homework help will differ depending on his age, but basically you will need: sharpened pencils or erasable pens, erasers, notebook paper, calculator, a ruler, a lamp or good overhead light, dictionary, scissors, glue, and colored pencils or crayons. One homework solution for storing these supplies is to use baskets on the homework desk if it doesn't have drawers for storage. Discuss with your child how these school supplies need to stay at the homework spot, and he should not use them for any other purpose without permission.
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Making it Special
Let your child set up his homework desk to get him on board with homework time and the idea that you may be helping with homework. Although you should pick the location and basic organization of the spot, he can choose some supplies such as his pencils or pens. Does he have a favorite color or character? Work these into the homework desk. For example, you could place framed pictures of his favorite things on the wall near his homework spot. He could have a favorite stuffed animal or action figure that sits on the homework desk and watches him do his homework - as long as it will not be too distracting. If you are using an old table or desk that can be painted, let your child choose the color and help you paint. This will make your child more excited about the prospect of homework!
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As your child grows up, the supplies and decorations can be modified, but having a designated, quite area will always be needed. Enjoy the homework desk for years to come!