• Homework Center At Home

  • We have learned a few things over the years about homework. While each of our children has had a different learning style, we have found that one consistent indicator of success with homework has been having a homework center at home.

    Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 6.03.54 PMMany of our children’s teachers over the years have suggested that they have a homework center at home – a place where they do homework every day with abundant supplies and minimal distractions. So beginning with our first one, we created for each of the kids a dedicated homework center. While each one has been tailored to the child’s needs, and developed over time, there have been some commonalities.

    Student Desk. A homework center needs a writing surface of sufficient size and the right height. The height should be about 1 to 2 inches higher than your student’s bent elbow when they are sitting in their desk chair. Obviously, the height will need to change as they grow, but this is a good rule of thumb. The desktop should be about 28” wide and 20” deep or more, which will accommodate an open book and papers.

    Computer Desk. As kids hit the later high school and college years,  a computer desk to their homework center is vital. Most have laptops, so the a traditional laptop computer desk works fine.

    Chair. My suggestion for a desk chair for a homework center is an adjustable office chair that can be purchased at any office supply store. Your student should be able to have their feet flat on the floor when they sit in the homework center chair. If your child is just too small to reach both the floor and the desk, a stool or footrest will be needed. Light. We tried to put the desk next to a window so there was natural light. That didn’t work for one of our kids who was too distracted by what was happening outside the window, but it was great for the others. We also had a good desk lamp for them for after dark or when they just wanted to use it.

    Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 6.04.10 PMPower Strip. Particularly when you add computer gear, you are going to need a good power strip. We always buy the kind with a surge protector when we connect computers, printers, monitors and the like. If it is screwed onto the back of the desk, it will not fall off the back.

    Storage. Homework center also should included shelves with stacking trays on them for writing paper, computer paper, graph paper and construction paper.  You might be surprised at how much storage space you will need so plan accordingly.

    Supplies. The homework center needs to have paper, sharpened pencils or erasable pens, erasers, a calculator, a ruler, a dictionary, scissors, glue, and colored pencils or crayons.