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{Reader Question} Homework nook

Could you please share more about your homework station, where did you buy it from and please include pics of how you store your art supplies.  What is your homework routine?

Here is our homework nook

The homework nook sits in our dining area which is where all homework is completed.

On Top

In the magazine holders we keep homework books which usually come home on Monday to be returned on Friday.  Along with other school paper work such as homework requirements for the term or project details.  Last year I kept their school notes such as upcoming excursions etc that needed to be returned to school in these files however, this year I will be pinning it to the cork board in the school bag nook.

Top Drawer

In the drawer I keep the plastic pencil container, repurposing a tin to hold glue sticks, sharpener and scissors.  And a pen holder for items they use on a daily basis for school homework such as pencils, pens and erasers.

Middle Drawer

Is books I buy the kids to help with schooling, colouring in books, paint my number books etc

Bottom Drawer

We keep the sunscreen at reach for the kids and close to the back door.  More details here about our sunscreen drawer.

Suppliers

3 drawer unit – The Outlet

Magazine files – KMart

Owl – Earthborn

3 compartment plastic storage container – KMart or Bunnings

Plastic tub holding sunscreen – repurposed from old toy storage unit

Homework Routine

I’m a believer of not too much homework in the afternoons and allowing the kids to play and enjoy the fresh air outside.  We spend 2 afternoons a week at karate, we don’t do homework on these days but we do the other 2 afternoons (no homework on Fridays).  It was suggested that the kids don’t spend any more than 15-20 minutes on their homework.  However, we just can’t fit everything they need to do into 15 minutes and I like to sit with the kids, make sure they understand the tasks, the math problems or the spelling words (plus I’m a stickler for neat handwriting and no rushing).

Homework afternoons ends up to be a 45 min process.  However, now the twins are starting grade 4 I have heard their homework load will increase (eek). Last year this was our schedule:

3.30pm – Afternoon Tea

3.45pm – Child 1 – On computer 15 min completing homework, Child 2 – writing out spelling words, Child 3 – Reading Home Reader to me or working on an upcoming project (reader will then be read before bed).  We then rotate until each child has completed all 3 tasks.

4.30pm – Play outside in the backyard, swim in the pool or play with neighbourhood friends

The kids don’t watch TV or play Wii in the mornings before school or on homework afternoons.

What is the homework routine in your household?

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  • Such a great idea. I’ll have to remember that when mine start schoolReplyCancel

  • That’s great. You are so inspirational!ReplyCancel

  • I’m definitely doing this. Love it ! ReplyCancel

  • Penny

    our homework routine failed dismally last year. I am trying hard to get organised and ready for the new year. I am going to get the mag holder for my daughters home work book and home reader. I look forward to getting ideas from other busy mums with tiny houses on thier organising tips. I love your blog Katrina and I have improved many areas of my house with your tips and tricks. Keep up the fantastic work.ReplyCancel

  • I like the idea of the rotations. My second is starting school so this might just work. Any ideas for dealing with twin preschoolers while all that is going on? Lol. XReplyCancel

  • Like Penny homework time always fails for us & usually ends up in a screaming match – can’t find a pen, can’t find my homework, I want to play the Wii … I am determined to set a strict routine this school year with the 2 Primary aged kids – the high schooler – no idea how to tackle her yet!! Tips welcome. My kids don’t get off the bus until 4.20 so it makes afternoons before dinner all the more time-poor. ReplyCancel

  • Bec

    you are amazing – did you grow up in a house this organised and routines. Your child must feel amazing, safe and nurtured in the home environment you have made. Such an inspiring person xReplyCancel

  • That’s a terrific homework routine and this year I’m going to try and do something similar. Homework becomes difficult in our house because we have a 2 and a 3 year old who like annoying the older two and taking their things. I’m not sure what to do about that yet, because they’re not easily distracted from such an important task as annoying their siblings!!!ReplyCancel

  • Great idea – I have some drawers that need to be cleaned out and a paper/ pencils/craft cupboard that needs reorganising. Oh and one more day before I go back to work – so it looks like my day it sorted! :-) thanks for the idea.ReplyCancel

  • Our homework routine last year was pretty basic, just sit at dining table and lounge until done, while one of them did their maths sheet or english sheet, I’d read with the other one and then test them on their spelling words. The two afternoons we were at gymnastics meant we only had limited time so it was usually spelling on one day and reading on the other. That worked because Monday is a gymnastic day for us and thats when they get their new spelling list, so Monday after gymnastic we did spelling.

    I had two baskets I’d store the homework supplies in, the bigger one stored their books and papers and the smaller one stored pens/glue etc. Because we are almost ready to move into the new section of our house the place I store homework will need to be changed and I’m thinking of getting a cupboard custom made to store homework/school bags along with keys and wallets etc.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! This is my area of reorganisation for this week and you have given me tons of inspiration. Our school supplies are in every area of our home & I’m sure that we have about 10 sets of everything for 2 kids. Thank you so much for sharing with us…ReplyCancel

  • Great idea, I luv it, I’m going to try it this yr. ReplyCancel

  • Natasha

    Great idea. I never make mine do the homework on weekend (includes Friday night) unless they didn’t complete something during the week. Last year reading and spelling was homework for 10 yr twins – more often than not we sat on their bed and did it as it was quiet. The 12 yr often did her homework off her own back. Most nights they read to me at bedtime took turns and read to self while with another. Being a single mum makes it hard at times, I did fall asleep on them a few times
    I’m starting studying this year so I’m hoping that each afternoon we can all sit around the dinning table for about half hour and do homework together.
    Going to get some mag holders.ReplyCancel

  • Although my daughter’s homework load is due to increase this year (Yr 3), I found last year’s routine worked well for us. As soon as we get home, they change out of their uniforms and have afternoon tea while chilling out with a little TV (half hour max) while I sort out their schoolbags. Then if the weather is fine, I get them outside playing till 5pm. This is very important in our household – plenty of fresh air and exercise stimulates their mind and gets the good hormones going, not to mention it takes advantage of the available daylight (particularly in winter). Then at 5pm my daughter has her shower while I sit with my son (will be Yr 1) and listen to his reader or go over the worksheets he brings home. Once my daughter is finished her shower, they swap. My son has his shower and my daughter sits at the dining table (in our kitchen) and does her homework while I prepare dinner. That way I am on hand to help her easily while still getting things done!

    Also I found that splitting my daughter’s weekly homework load up over the first three days of the week really helped. Monday was maths, Tuesday was spelling and Wednesday was sentences. I worked most Thursday nights, so it was a load off my mind to know that her homework was completed by then and Dad only had to listen to her reader. Also it meant that they could go shopping and get a treat or spend their pocket money.

    Now I just need some inspiration to help me get a homework station set up. Although our routine was good, stashing everything on the kitchen bench was not! I have a console table right beside the dining table (splits the lounge from the kitchen) that I want to utilise. Any ideas?ReplyCancel

  • Although my daughter’s homework load is due to increase this year (Yr 3), I found last year’s routine worked well for us. As soon as we get home, they change out of their uniforms and have afternoon tea while chilling out with a little TV (half hour max) while I sort out their schoolbags. Then if the weather is fine, I get them outside playing till 5pm. This is very important in our household – plenty of fresh air and exercise stimulates their mind and gets the good hormones going, not to mention it takes advantage of the available daylight (particularly in winter). Then at 5pm my daughter has her shower while I sit with my son (will be Yr 1) and listen to his reader or go over the worksheets he brings home. Once my daughter is finished her shower, they swap. My son has his shower and my daughter sits at the dining table (in our kitchen) and does her homework while I prepare dinner. That way I am on hand to help her easily while still getting things done!

    Also I found that splitting my daughter’s weekly homework load up over the first three days of the week really helped. Monday was maths, Tuesday was spelling and Wednesday was sentences. I worked most Thursday nights, so it was a load off my mind to know that her homework was completed by then and Dad only had to listen to her reader. Also it meant that they could go shopping and get a treat or spend their pocket money.

    Now I just need some inspiration to help me get a homework station set up. Although our routine was good, stashing everything on the kitchen bench was not! I have a console table right beside the dining table (splits the lounge from the kitchen) that I want to utilise. Any ideas?ReplyCancel

  • with home readers …. they are read to me in the morning as I do the little ladies hair …. not wriggling and I can watch their accuracy without making them feel self conscious :)ReplyCancel

  • KazF

    We are praying that we stay in one spot this year – we moved twice last year which involved changing towns twice and schools once and in one instance a very long bus journey to and from school since we knew one of the moves would be for only 6 months. That way we can get into a good routine to start the year off. I’m generally not home to handle the homework stuff straight after school, so the kids are able to play outside or chill out inside till 5.30 (5 in winter) then come in settle down and start homework at the dining table and my computer desk nearby while Hubby and I are organising dinner in the adjoining kitchen.

    My eldest is going into Year 3 so his homework load will undoubtedly go up, though the 6 yr old in Yr 1 last year got more home than the one in Yr 2, so it wouldn’t be hard. They both have computer homework and written homework so they will rotate between the 2 work stations. They still have another full week of holidays yet so we aren’t getting too crazy excited about going back to school.

    I have treated them to a Lego art carousel with a couple of added things like scissors and glue as they are both Lego mad and it might keep them a little interested. I’ve told them they can only use it for homework. They get homework each night which goes back the next day, so no need for books hanging around the house.ReplyCancel

  • Our homework routine (such that it is) is a little erm. Shambolic to say the least. The Little Kid (in Prep) had reader and words to do each night, and the Big Kid (Gr 3)would have a work sheet, spelling words and 20 minutes of reading to do each night (probably 30 minutes all up). BUT we don’t normally get home til 6pm; and because the boys need to be UP at 6.45am each morning, they go to bed by 8pm (7.40pm to allow for the 20 minutes of reading each night) – so that gives us an hour and 40 minutes for dinner, showering, relaxing a little, music practice and homework. Funnily enough, it was the homework that normally got shunted to the side. The Little Kid will read his reader to me while I cook or to his brother – if he’s in the mood. Otherwise, I don’t force the issue.

    The Big Kid will normally whip through his worksheet on Saturday morning (deal there is I am doing housework – which I don’t like; so he’s happy enough to do his work sheet which *he* doesn’t like) even though it’s supposed to be spread over the week. He also often got a ‘project’ to do last year (they annoyed me – some were just too big for the time frame allocated without a reasonable amount of parental participation.)

    The Big Kid does what he can at the coffee table or the dining table. I am getting new furniture this summer – so I will hopefully be able to allocate the kidsa small section for homework supplies so we don’t have the endless “I need a pen/pencil/crayon/scissors” before he gets started.ReplyCancel

  • We have set up an area like this for the new school year. Does anyone have any suggestions for library books? School and public. Just wondering what others do. We lost one school library book last year – and need to be better organized. ReplyCancel

  • for library books, we have a cane rectanglular basket that sits on our hutch/cabinet in the dining room (next to our garage which is what we use for our main entrance). All library and school books go into this basket. As soon as they come home from getting them, they go into the basket and after reading them they are returned to the basket. I haven’t lost a book since starting this idea.ReplyCancel

  • […] homework nook – another thing on my to-do […]ReplyCancel

  • i love al these ideas i hope when my baby gose to big school ill be able to organise and use all these ideas (still got 3 years to ggo thank god)
    ReplyCancel

  • Aaron27

    so glad i just found this site its so usefull, i recently made a homework nook in the loungeroom out of a small old cupboard it is so much easier, no searching mindlessly for pens lost homework sheets, glue sticks etcReplyCancel

  • Amber

    my daughter is 7 and our routine has been the same for 2 years. When we get home from school at 3.30pm she changes out of her school clothes and has afternoon tea. Usually plays in her bedroom until 4.30pm then starts homework. 4.30-6pm homework/reading. 6pm dinner. 6.30pm help clear up and house chores (wipes table, helps stack dishwasher, tidy’s her bedroom and packs bag for school) 7pm piano practice. 7.30pm shower. 8pm in bed lights out. This works well for us. We don’t have TV on during the weeknights. She is allowed to watch a movie or cartoons Saturday morning for max 2 hours. Piano practice everyday and on weekends for at least an hour. I believe it is important the child is above average in class as once they fall down it will follow on until high school. A lot of the time her teacher does not set enough homework. I find this frustrating as I believe homework should be set daily, and I am always buying learning books to fill in the gaps. In the school holidays I get her to complete a few pages of the learning books everyday and we have a rule that she can not play until they are done. After reading your routine I find mine quite strict but I like it that way. She has never complained about doing the extra learning things or about not watching TV after school. I guess if you start them young then they don’t know any different.ReplyCancel

  • Carley

    That’s all well and good, I STRUGGLE to do homework with my prep boy who only started a few weeks ago (long story). The problem is I have 2 under 2 and so their needs are always immediate and when I say to wait they aren’t happy little munchkins. As a result homework never gets done (don’t judge me) having 2 under 2 is hard work. To clean a kitchen can take all day because the eldest nearly 2 wants to ALWAYS be picked up. I can do homework late at night but then my prep boy ain’t in the slightest bit interested and just wants to destroy his homework books.ReplyCancel

    • That’s so true Carley, I like to get homework out of the way once they get home so then they can relax their minds and bodies, play outside and enjoy some sunshine. I can only imagine how difficult it is for you to get through homework time with 2 little ones. Can you set up books for them to draw in so you can all be at the table together at homework time???ReplyCancel

  • Leesa Leech

    OMG you guys are in such a shock when they start High School both my boys at least spend 3 hours a night doing home work each term have at least one full on assignment per subject. However, this is a great idea as the kids never can find pencils etc as they have left them in their locker at school so I too will be creating a nook like this but adapting for High School Students and another draw for my daughter that starts prep next year.ReplyCancel

  • Narelle Peake Fousketakis

    Love the ideas here, especially the magazine holders and pencils/textra, etc.. Something for me to do over the summer holidays.ReplyCancel

    • I have just finished writing a post about another Homework nook I just created for one of my readers, hopefully it will inspire you as well, it should be published in JanuaryReplyCancel

  • guest

    I have a 10 plastic drawer unit on castors from Office Works as my homework station. This way they can wheel it over to the table where they are working. It’s filled with all the things needed for homework and assignments. My 3 are Grades 1,4,7. We only have 1 completely free afternoon on a schhol day usually, so I just can’t imagine getting them to focus after 6 hours of school already during such a busy week. Sometimes they use their initiative and get some homework done while watching another sibling at sport. My routine for years has been that I sit at the patio table every Saturday/Sunday morning available for homework help. We are all early risers so we are usually done by 8.30am. Unless its a big assigment like, make a replica of the solar system! If they don’t take advantage of the time that I am completely available, then they do it on their own. These days, more often than not, they have started before I get up and I just have to check it.ReplyCancel

  • […] I created a designated space “homework nook’ in our home a few years ago which stores everything related to the kid’s school, homework and drawing.  It’s a storage unit that sits in our dining area and keeps all the school paperwork, and homework books tidy.  I have 3 magazine files on top for each of the kids to store their books and papers. Usually the school emails me permission slips which I then print and keep in their file until it’s closer to the time due.  The first drawer is for all our colouring pencils, textas, rulers, writing pencils, 2nd drawer is colour books, scrapbooks etc and the 3rd drawer keeps all the sunscreen, zinc etc.  See more pictures of my homework nook here. […]ReplyCancel

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