While I have loved our years of homework at the kitchen counter, my children (four years apart) have different needs at study time. My daughter needs extreme quiet and spreads out everywhere – not ideal in my kitchen and impractical when her little brother needs direction and discussion from time-to-time. In addition, I began to feel as if I was a permanent fixture on the other side of the kitchen counter; I was spending a few hours there each evening between homework and dinner prep/clean up. I decided a change of scenery was in order.
On the cusp of this new school year, we are beginning a new routine – a desk of their own. They received the desks last Christmas from their grandparents (wonderful and re-purposed, painted to match their bedrooms). While they were used for projects or quiet time, we look forward to utilizing these desks to create healthy study habits. They have loved personalizing their own work space and preparing it with all of the necessary supplies. I am happy they will have a space in which to learn, study and grow.
A few of my favorite details:
- Dictionary (either on the desk or tucked in a drawer) – a real life, look up the word in a book dictionary; a life skill in my opinion.
- Sharpened pencils and erasers – we can spend more time searching for supplies than doing homework (and I have stocked up while the supplies are on sale, so we are prepared throughout the year).
- Globe (on the desk or nearby) – kids will refer to this often, not just in geography, but while studying science or literature as well.
- Inspiration – my daughter’s dream graduation trip is to travel to Paris/ Europe, the poster of the Eiffel Tower serves as inspiration.
As parents, we strive to help our children be their best. I am hopeful that in giving them these work spaces; customized to their learning styles, homework time will be more enjoyable and they can develop their own strong study habits.