Tuesday, October 2, 2012

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How to set up a distraction-free homework station



Choose a designated area for the homework station.  Ideally the homework station will be located in an area that is free from noise and distractions.  According to educator Dennis Mitchell, a child’s room is an ideal space for his homework station because there will be fewer distractions from people and noises.  However, if there isn’t space in his bedroom, look for a nook or corner in the living or dining room where you could fit a desk or a small table and chair.  When choosing your space, be sure to select an area that has bright lighting and is free from clutter and distraction triggers.  While the dining room table may seem like a great place to have a homework station, since he typically eats while sitting there you may find he complains he’s hungry and is unable to focus on his assignments.

Create the homework station.  Set up a desk lamp so he has adequate lighting to see his work.  You’ll also want to make sure he has enough room to spread out.  If you are using an area where others could walk by, you may want to create a screen.  Purchase a tri-fold display board from a craft or discount store for a few dollars and paint it or cover it with paper in his favorite color.  Hot glue some clothes pins on it to hang folders, homework, and any other important information.  Be sure to find him a comfortable desk chair to use.

Stock the station with the supplies he will need to do his homework.  Make sure he has plenty of pencils, erasers, paper, scissors, tape, and a stapler handy.  What is needed will vary by the child’s age so make sure to stock it with age-appropriate supplies.  If he has everything he needs he won’t be tempted to get up to sharpen his pencil or be forced to look for what he needs to get his assignment done.  The fewer distractions and interruptions he has, the better he’ll be able to focus on his homework.

Provide a way for him to stay organized.  Now that he has all of the supplies, he needs them to be organized in a way that he can find and access them at a moment’s notice.  If he is using a tri-fold display board, these items can be stored in folders hanging from clothespins.  A small rolling set of drawers can also be used to store all of the items he needs and is portable enough that he can move it out of the way if necessary.  Make sure there is a folder for completed homework so that it can be checked over by a parent and it won’t be misplaced.

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