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How to Organize a Homework Center

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Get off to a good start at homework time in your house. Stock a homework center with these essentials to help your child stay focused and organized.

Large table or desk
A kitchen table is ideal for homework. Just keep the supplies close at hand in a storage box. Any large table or desk with plenty of space for spreading out books and papers will work well; a small computer desk will not. When buying a computer desk that will be used at homework time, look for one that positions the monitor away from the workspace, has a drawer for the keyboard, and plenty of workspace.

Lamp
An essential at homework time, a lamp focuses your child's attention and prevents eye strain. I always keep a lamp on my desk because it sets a pleasantly relaxing ambience - perfect for a hyper 10-year old.

Timer
I use kitchen timers with ADD and LD kids in therapy. They have a multitude of uses for parents, but at homework time they help the child learn persistence and take needed breaks.

Electric Pencil Sharpener
They are just so cool. Plus, they cut down on frustration and make it easy for the child to get back to the task. Use appropriate caution around little ones.

Calculator
Check with the teacher and monitor your child's calculator use, especially in the early elementary years. Our school encourages the use of calculators in the upper elementary grades.

Reference Books
A dictionary and thesaurus geared to your child's reading level are tops on the list. A grammar helper is also nice. This is where your computer comes in handy,since you can click to great reference sources in a sec.

Guide Picks - Kids' Reference Books

Storage box for supplies
A lightweight rolling shelf is perfect for organizing homework supplies. It can be rolled into a laundry room or pantry when the kitchen table is needed for mealtime. Or, use a stationary chest of drawers next to your child's homework desk.

Dry Erase/Bulletin Board
Place the bulletin board in a central location to post papers that have to be signed, school events, and daily reminders. Use a small dry erase board to teach your child during homework time.

Radio/Tape/CD Player
Use your discretion here. Many children and adults find it easier to concentrate with some background music. Audio tapes are a great learning tool for a child with visual-perceptual and reading problems.

Computer
It's an essential for us. The educational uses for your computer are just too convenient to leave it out at homework time. That doesn't mean your child should necessarily do his homework in front of a computer screen. A separate area for reading and writing is probably better. Expect to help your child when it's time to do research for school work on the computer.

Top Ten Homework Helpers on the Computer

More Elementary School Tools on the Computer

Supplies
Stock up on these basics at your favorite discount store. Catch the before and after season sales for more bargains for home and school supplies.

Younger Kids

  • Crayons, markers, pencils, drawing paper, writing paper, folders, scissors, glue

Older Kids

  • Writing paper, pencils, markers, folders, scissors, tape, stapler, compass, protractor, hole punch

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