A Homework Room? help

aanjMay 11, 2008


I have 2 boys ages 9 and 7. We have a 4 bedroom house (so one is empty). Anyway, I want to get the kids nice desks for homework and give them their own QUIET space to do it. My older one is getting more independent with homework.

The kids cannot be in the same room for it because they will distract each other.

So I am thinking of having the older one get a desk in his room-he has the space in there and have the younger one do his is the spare room.

I want it all nicely organized with their own supplies etc.

How did you organize homework in your home??

I am open to suggestions.

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A desk and chair for each child. Separated as much as possible, maybe a tall bookcase? Desktop computer available. And a dresser with paper and craft supplies. When my kids were little, they did homework at my dining room table, it came to be called "The Art Table." Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 8:38AM
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This is a wonderful thing to do for your sons. A quiet space will help them complete their homework as quickly as possible. I always liked to be available for questions though, so I hope their homework spaces are not too far from wherever you'll be. You are lucky to have space for both boys. Usually our younger did his homework on the dining room table while I made dinner, and the older son did his homework on his bed. Not ideal, although the younger one needed help and watching.

If you could decorate with a world or US map, sometimes that's helpful too. Good lighting is essential.

I also had a good selection of supplies on hand: 3x5 cards, graph paper, colored pencils, glue, tape, pencil cup, extra paper, construction paper, etc. Nothing worse than running out for something on a school night. Maybe you could give each son $10 and take them to an office supply store to pick up supplies which they think they'll need.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 7:09PM
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I applaud your thinking about homework areas and furnishings; I do recommmend being prepared to re-think and re-fit over time! I found my kids, or at least one of them, did not want a quiet space much of the time, and when she did, she did all her work on her bed, so outfitting the bed room in high style, which we did at one time (not expensive style, but, shelves, desk, computer stand, etc) was a waste.

Also, you'll need to decide where to put "the" computer or whether to have multiple; kids will be using it even at early school age AND you may find you want to be able to supervise computer use while you are doing some things yourself. Then you'll also reach the stage where they do some school projects with friends and classmates, or someone comes over because their computer's on the blink and yours is not, and so on.

My youngest is graduating from HS and at this point, homework is done almost everywhere, depending on mood (privacy? TV accompaniment? music? snacks?) and assignment requirements--bedroom, loft, kitchen table, den computer, sofa (which is all part of den-kit-DR). At one point I tried to confine her to just 2 areas, but after awhile gave up and said, it's just for a few years, and then she'll be gone and I'll wonder where the time flew. I maybe could have been stricter about her putting all stuff in one area at the end of each day, but you know how that goes...

So, soon all the textbooks will be gone, and then maybe after graduation we will gather up all those folders, spiral notebooks, post-its and have a bonfire and I will reclaim several surfaces.

I say all that not to discourage your plan, but so you might continue to observe how your kids function best doing schoolwork-- privacy vs. adult oversight-- what might be your family room nook, breakfast bar spot, or whatever, for school work when and if your child wants some company nearby and/or you also want to supervise, but still maybe you can do better than I did and identify, as you are doing, the designated areas and maybe the "off limits" areas.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 7:25PM
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My parents did the same thing when I was a kid. They used two solid doors (without door knob hole or hinges put on yet) in an "L" shaped design and put wood file cabinets underneath to store file folders, etc. and we each used a drawer for our school books. We even had the world map idea on the wall as well.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 10:09PM
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I have thought about doing this too. My children are about the same ages as yours. It is such an "in-between" time. I hate to dedicate a room to homework that will be used for 10-30 minutes a day, but I would like them to have an area free from distractions, all their supplies handy, the computer, etc. We put a desk in my oldest's room but he rarely uses it. He does not like being isolated to do his homework, however he cannot be in the same room with his younger sister either. I am hoping that in a couple of years I can convert our small playroom into their homework room. I intend to move the video games and tv into the basement (when we finish it). Then, my plan is to have a computer or a laptop(s), two desks, bookshelves, bulletin boards, and a large work table, two desk chairs, and two chairs at the table (to accommodate larger projects, friends, etc.). Our future homework room is right off the family room so I can be close by to supervise and help when needed. They'll probably never use the room at the same time, but at least they will each have their own dedicated space to keep their things. I may combine functionality and take a corner for my craft/scrapbooking/gift wrapping space.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 1:20PM
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Here's ours in the being built stage of basement renovation
4 children - ages 5,11,12,14
Each has their own desk, chair, lighting, upper & lower cubby - xtra cubbies at each end for general supplies - Desktop has custom cut piece of glass on top to serve as work area & put momentos under glass top

I have a computer desk in the utility side of the basement that works when someone needs quieter work area or needs to do something on the computer

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 10:54AM
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I have not found homework space away from family activities to be effective. Learning to work with distractions has been an important skill. Even in high school and college they tend to have to be able to focus with lots going on. I have one that is grown now, but my others are in grades 8, 5 and 2nd. They work at the kitchen table, getting the necessary stuff back into their backpacks ready for the next day. If they have an ongoing project which is not due for several days or weeks, they each have a table in their bedrooms which they can spread out on. Computer is only used at the kitchen table. No computers in separate spaces for us. I just really haven't met anyone with kids that go to other spaces to work. Maybe its just us or the general lifestyle where I live. I do anticipate them wanting to work in quiet spaces when they are older, but for the most part, they work where the supplies are. Right next to the kitchen table.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 2:36AM
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I tend to agree with Gloria. My parents had a carpenter build a beautiful custom homework area in the bedroom I shared with my sister. It had plenty of room for my sister and me, and was in a part of the room away from the beds. It was beautiful, a private, quiet place.

And we never, ever used it for homework. Not even once that I can remember. We did our homework in the main family area of the house, mostly in the dining room - with the television going in the living room right next door. We wanted to be near the rest of the family.

I suppose there are kids who like doing their homework in their room, but all my friends in high school and all the kids I know now do theirs in a family area. Plus, I wouldn't want a computer that far away from where I could easily supervise.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 9:14AM
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Hi -
It sounds like your idea is fine, though you will have to get duplicates of some stuff for each boy. Maybe you could try it out (using card tables or something) to see if each actually stays in his own space and does his work.

I homeschool dd (8) and can understand wanting to corral the schoolwork. Only you know your sons' work habits. What works for me is designating one bookshelf in the dining room (we have a wall of bookshelves) to homeschool stuff, including a basket with stationery supplies (stapler, glue, extra pens and pencils, etc.)

DD is also an independent learner, but I find it helps to for me to be in her general vicinity. We're both more comfortable with it that way.

You didn't mention your ds using a computer, so I'm assuming that is not an issue.

My sister and I also had desks in our bedroom but always did our homework in the kitchen. But kids nowadays have waaayyy more homework then we did. (I don't recall having any homework, aside from the occasional book report or special project, before 7th grade.)

jejvtr, that is beautiful!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 7:20PM
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I'm with Gloria on this one. My child had a desk in his room. It wasn't until he was a senior in high school that he chose to use it for homework. He did use it for drawing and such, but never for the homework.

He always did homework at the DR table, or in the LR where the computer was.

These days, with kids expected to use a computer for at least some assignments, I'd want them where I could supervise the internet usage.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 6:08PM
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We have 3 children in grades 12, 9 and 6. I agree with the last several posts. Our kids do their homework in different places each day and at different times.
The one thing that has worked well for us is to have a central spot for each child that is big enough to hold school notes, permission slips, notebooks, etc that invariably get left around after they pack away their homework and that mom or dad finds at the end of the day. I bought 3 metal wall mounted files that I put up in our computer room. Each is labelled and if the kids are looking for that important yet "lost" peice of paper in the mad morning school bus scramble, they know where to look.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 5:41PM
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We had 4 boys, and at one stage, each of them was at a different level of education. One year we had one at kindergarten/prep, one at primary school, one at highschool, and another at university. We did survive though.
Even though we had a desks with bookshelves and lights all set up for them in their rooms for homework, they really only got used for making model planes.
The young ones always liked doing their homework at the kitchen table while I prepared dinner. One highschooler set himself up in a beanbag, surrounded by pillows, like a nest in the corner of his bedroom.
One of our boys seemed to mostly do his homework hanging upside over the end of his bed, writing on the floor, with his feet up the wall. Whenever I protested, and believe me, I did, a lot, he claimed that the blood going to his head helped his brainpower.
2 of them have engineering degrees, one's a company manager, and another is doing an apprenticeship, so perhaps they knew better than me.
Sorry, that wasn't much advice, but I think I'm just trying to say, be adaptable, and don't be too let down if the kids ignore the perfect set up, and opt for a pillow on the floor... *under* the desk. Perhaps I just had weird kids LOL.
I used to wonder if my kids didn't like having to go back into a "classroom" atmosphere, once they were home. They really seemed to operate best *with* some distraction going on around them. When they were quiet in their rooms, they seemed to get bored and twitchy, and began to *create* their own distractions, which was never homework.
Just my experience anyway.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 11:08PM
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