Need a spot for your kids to feel inspired to do their homework? Trying to keep their school work off the kitchen table? Why not turn your dining room into a homework station with these important supplies.
Dining Room Makeover – Homework Station
We just finished week one of my sons’ new school year. Both my boys moved up to new schools. My oldest is now in high school and my youngest is in middle school (pardon me while I grab a tissue.) I honestly can’t believe we don’t have a child in elementary school anymore.
Inevitably, this means the onslaught of homework will continue to build up. Until this week, the de facto homework station was always the kitchen table. This was not my choice, but it was where all the books and notebooks ended up until I asked my sons to put away their homework in time to serve dinner. I’ll admit, some nights I didn’t ask, but barked orders. Can you relate?
Besides cluttering the table we eat at, the kitchen table was not a space without distractions. Like most kitchens, ours is the hub of activity after 5pm. Brother may be watching TV in the adjacent living room, hubby might be on a phone, and I am usually cooking. Obviously, it wasn’t the best location for focused studying and work. Finally, after moving pencils and books off the kitchen table (for the umpteenth time), I came up with a plan:
Operation Dining Room Converted to Homework Station
The idea was to create a space so organized and inviting that my boys couldn’t wait to plop down their things and plow through their homework. Here’s how I achieved the perfect homework station and freed up our kitchen table for other things…like eating!
Supplies for a Homework Station:
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- Mason Jars
- Colored Pencils
- Black & Blue Pens
- Pencil eraser tops
- 3 Hole Punch
- Tape Dispenser
- Pencil sharpener
- Paper clips
- Binder clips
- Post it Notes
- Correction Tape
- Hilighters (Have you tried these? They are hands down my favorite!!!)
- Loose leaf paper
- 3×5 Notecards
- Paper tray
- Snack foods
- Water dispenser filled with water
- Ear buds
- USB charger
Creating the Perfect Homework Station:
If you create a space that is clean, organized, and comfortable; you can set your child up for good homework habits from the start. Having a space that is neat prevents distractions and keeps your child more focused. Personally, I have a hard time working in a messy space. Normally I have to clear my desk completely before I can start writing or taking on a focused task.
To clear the clutter, put writing utensils and other necessary supplies in the center of the table. This puts things at your student’s fingertips and prevents the need to get up and get off track. (Obviously, sharpen those pencils ahead of time, and add eraser tops to any worn pencils.)
In the center of the table is a paper tray filled with lots of looseleaf paper and 3×5 cards. We salvaged most of the paper from half used spiral binders. My sons helped me tear the pages out and trim the ragged edges with a paper cutter. The non-essential supplies are nearby on our dining room hutch.
A dish corrals the little things in one space keeping them neat and organized. Earbuds are also stored here for my teenagers who love to listen to music while they work (or maybe to help tune out their brother.)
Making a space cozy and comfortable is easy with some upholstered chairs (if the seats are hard, just add cushions or pillows.) Decorate the homework station with art, flowers, or anything that makes the space feel beautiful and relaxing.
While decorating the room, I added a wood block calendar and a quote from Mark Twain. Have you heard this quote before?
The gist of the message is to stop procrastinating. Do your least favorite task first thing in the morning and put the worst behind you. This leaves the rest of your day with tasks you don’t mind as much or with the tasks you actually enjoy doing. So, go ahead and eat your frog every morning.
If you like this quote, you can download the printable I made here:Speaking of eating, add snacks and water to the space because that’s the first thing kids reach for when they get home. If they grab snacks in the kitchen, they are likely to set up their work space there. Snacks already accessible lure them into the homework station and keep them there. Don’t forget to keep fresh water close by. All those salty snacks can make you thirsty.
This space has been perfect for my sons to use for focused homework time. I don’t know why I didn’t change the dining room (which rarely gets used) into a more usable space sooner.
Speaking of getting used, here comes my oldest now.
He loves having a spot to spread out and get his homework done.
What about dinner guests, you ask? If we have friends over for dinner, I can move the supplies onto the hutch and set the table for dinner. Or we could serve Chinese and let our guests use pencils instead of chopsticks. LOL.
Do you have a homework space in your home? Where is it? Did I forget to include anything in this functional space?
If you liked the dining room makeover, you might like to see it decorated for the holidays: