Hope you all had a great summer! Can you believe, we’re a week away from the first day of school, and there is alot to prepare for: buying back to school supplies, new clothes and new shoes. And there is lots of organizing to get done, so this is what you need to do right now if you have school age kids. As a parent of 2 school age daughters, one of the most helpful things I did for them was to create a homework room exclusive to them. This is where they can go and finish their homework in peace and quiet, create some DIY crafts or art and basically hang out. Below are my 5 tips on creating the perfect homework room for your kids:
Tips on Creating a Homework Room:
- Find a room or area that is accessible to you as a parent where you can easily go there to help with homework, observe them to make sure they are finishing their homework but that also gives your child some privacy and an area to concentrate without a lot of distractions. An opening in a hallway or small room is perfect. I don’t like setting up a homework space in a child’s bedroom as they may get distracted by toys, computer games or taking a nap. Same thing with being in the kitchen, too may distractions……especially if a TV is near by.
- Get the right furnishings. A decent sized desk is a must……preferably where 2 kids can sit side by side without elbowing the other. Even if one child is doing homework they will need room to spread out their books and paperwork. Also as kids get older (sadly – faster than we want) friends coming over to do homework together will become a priority. Might as well be prepared now. Also of great importance are comfortable chairs. Getting homework completed is a priority in our house so if they can’t sit for long periods of time in comfy chairs they may start to procrastinate. And last, lighting. Potlights and task lighting on a desk is so important for obvious reasons.
- Ensure the homework room has areas for storage & organization. Shelving is great for books, binders & paper whether its a book shelf or shelves hung above the desk. To keep pencils, scissors, pencil crayons in one place I like small bins or colourful cups on the desk for easy access. Bulletin or cork boards are also great to pin up handouts from the teacher or important school dates to remember.
- A homework room is not only just for homework — it should also be an area for your kids to get creative. I like to include a large chalk board or whiteboard on a wall if possible. Its great for not only working out math problems but fun for kids who like to draw or paint — or play teacher like my youngest daughter likes to do. A paint easel is good to have if you have younger kids that paint with brushes or little fingers. Kids should have fun in the homework room too — which leads me to my last tip.
- Make it FUN! The last thing you want are your kids looking like a dead man walking as they make their way to the homework room. Get their input on their favourite paint colours and paint the room. Frame their school art and make a gallery wall or lean their masterpieces against the wall along a shelf. I added a fun feminine wallpaper to my daughters’ homework room and it looks so cheerful without looking childish. Let them add their own personality to the space so they feel like its their own hangout and they would’t feel embarrassed to bring friends into this room.
Below are some images of a homework room/playroom I designed for a client basement renovation 2 years ago that made it to the cover of the decor magazine Canadian Home Trends, has been featured on Houzz and is included in a feature on the HGTV website. I hope these 5 simple tips on creating a homework room will inspire you to get one ready for your kids before the first day of school hits us over the head.
Enjoy your last week of summer vacation! I know I will be…….but secretly I’m really excited for the school year to begin! 😉