Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link.
This DIY Homework Station creation idea is thanks to donations of supplies and may include affiliate links which will help combat the cost of the rest of the supplies we purchased. As always our designs and opinions are our own.
Well, school has been in session now for a few months. And if your house is like mine, you are probably getting a bit tired of all the school papers scattered throughout your house. Or how about the frustration of trying to find the missing homework, or that paper you were supposed to sign…oh…like last week?
And what’s worse, the kids always have homework, and that homework ends up scattered all over the dining table and then there is no where to eat.
Our solution was to get an organized homework station set up. A centralized and designated spot in the house where:
- Homework is completed without distractions
- Store homework and school project supplies
- Keep track of papers sent home from school
- Keep track of papers that need to be signed
- Organize Month long papers to record homework assignments on
- Keep Homework organized so no more “your child is missing XYZ homework”
- Display art projects
- Keep Library books in a safe location
- Designated spot for homework that won’t need to be cleaned up if they aren’t finished by dinner time.
- A way to regain my kitchen table and Fridge from homework all over in chaos
- Keep track of school calender events
- A great spot to do art projects with the kids
- and lots more
I have wanted a homework station for a very long time. But we never had a home big enough to set aside a corner and have it designated for the homework station. But with our new home, we have a bit more space. And I knew it was time to put this into action. So with a little help from Land of Nod, Boogie Board and Educational Insights for sending me supplies to put this Homework station together plus the few affiliate links that may be found in this post, I was finally able to make my dream into reality!
Homework Station is Born
The first step is finding an area in your home that you can clean out and designate solely for the homework station. No adding business junk, or toys or anything else. This will be solely for school, homework, homeschooling or the sort.
Clear a space and set up a table. I have been really picky on the table I wanted for this homework station. I wanted something of quality. Not a table that will bow in the middle, chip off, break easily or look bad. I wanted something with shelves to help organize. And I found exactly what I wanted with the Land of Nod Elementary Table. It comes in white, light honey and espresso. Since I will eventually be redoing all the furniture in our living room with brown and greens. I went with the espresso to match the rest of the room once I get it all redesigned.
The Elementary Table offers a large work area and plenty of storage space. it has a shelf plus three storage cubbies. And the shelf, cubbies and legs are all back far enough into the table that the kids can still sit at the table and not bump their knees.
In each cubby I added 3 Chocolate brown folding storage bin organizers that fit perfectly. Inside each of these is where I store my homework station supplies such as extra #2 pencils, colored pencils, crayons, glue, scissors, stickers, glue sticks, markers, stamps, etc. Basically everything I stock up on during the back to school sales, I store here.
The shelf is a great play to store coloring books, poster paper, other art supplies and the boogie boards!
Next the kids need a place to sit so I added three storage chairs. These matched perfect to the Elementary table and yet each chair has another storage shelf under the chair.
I find this an ideal spot to store the library books! This way we can keep them separate from our home library books; so we never have to wonder where the City or School library books are.
Next I added in a matching shelf that I got from a garage sale. Plus a Torchiere Floor Lamp because in a corner you can always use a bit more light. We finally unboxed the kids books. Well a few of them. We still need a few more shelves to unbox all of the books from our move. But at least this gets it started and so I don’t have books scattered all over my floor or couches while the kids are reading them. Plus I wanted a great place to house the more educational books we have collected over the years.
To help keep the other homework supplies organized I also added this fantastic Recollections™ Storage Desktop Carousel from Michaels. It is actually designed for crafts, but I just love the organization power it offers with cubby slots for sticky notes, spots or crayons, pencils, paints and just about everything you need. It’s a great way to keep the supplies organized and out of the way.
Now it comes in while and I’ve left it for now, but what do you think? Should I paint it with antiquing wax to give it a deeper brown color so it will match more, or leave it white?
It’s great because it allows a lot of storage space for pencils, pens, markers, scissors, tape, glue and lots more.
The next thing we need is a way to organize papers that the kids will be bringing home. That is where Educational Insights comes to the rescue! Using the Horizontal Space Place storage chart and the Space Place Pocket Chart I am able to organize all the papers coming home from school, what needs to go back to school and what to keep on file at home.
Plus I can label each pocket for each child and include papers that need to return to school, stay home, or art work to file away. I also use some of the pockets to store more supplies such a blank paper for projects, scissors, and rulers!
To help more with organizing I also added in a magnetic calender and magnetic board, to keep track of all dates of school, no school days, field trips, parents/teacher conferences, and to store the school calender.
At this point I then added in the Boogie Boards. The Boogie Boards are just plain genius! The last few months the kids are always bugging me for scratch paper so they can work out their math homework or spelling practice. And then the paper just gets thrown away. I got tired of buying lots of paper to just get thrown away. So I knew our homework station had to have Boogie Boards!
A Boogie Board is an e-writer tablet that lets you write to your hearts content, and then with a push of a button is completely clears your screen and you are ready to start all over. It comes in multiple colors and designs and it is perfect for our homework station.
They are small, lightweight and quite portable.
And Miss Jade just loves to color on hers, and it is a great way to help get her to practice writing her letters. Plus the boys love that they can use it for their math homework without having to constantly get new paper to work out their problems.
Speaking of Math; I also added in the Melissa and Doug Wooden Abacus. I wanted to make sure the kids had plenty of tools to accomplish learning with ease.
Next I added some cork boards, one for each child, so I can pin up papers that need to be signed, or the weekly/monthly reading charts, so we can keep track of them and be sure to sign and return at the end of the day/week/month.
Speaking of places to store things, I also wanted a fun way to display the cute art projects the kids do in school or at home. So we installed the art line. I used a curtain drape wire rod set, trimmed down to fit the wall space. It features small hooks that easily hand from the suspended wire, and I can just clip the art project on and hang it up. When there are new art projects, they can easily be switched out for the new ones.
And then the extra hooks that aren’t in use for the art line are easily stored on the hooks on the desktop carousel.
Lastly, the decor. I ordered a custom wall vinyl with one of my favorite quotes about learning and knowledge by Socrates “Wisdom begins in Wonder”. I couldn’t find it already made, so I had it custom created at WiseDecor wall lettering. And then added in the open book vinyl from Eye Candy Designs.
Now my kids have a designated area to do homework and projects. A place that is out of the way and without distractions. And I no longer have to have them clear up the homework for dinner time. They can leave it where it is, eat dinner and then return to finish the project.
And with the new organizational element, I no longer have to wonder where the paper that i need to sign disappeared. Everything is in one location to help ensure I don’t miss signing important papers, or the kids won’t miss important homework assignments.
How does your family handle homework organization?
Do you have a homework station set up?
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Filed Under: Back to School, DIY, Family, Home Decor & Design, Homemaking, kids, Reviews, TutorialsTagged With: DIY homework station, home school, homeschool station, homework station, Homework table
Review of MathTV.com video lessons
MathTV.com website includes thousands of videos that cover topics from basic math (pre-algebra) through high school calculus. The videos are offered completely FREE of charge online. The site also offers free worksheets with additional problems and sells textbooks to match the videos.
The idea in these videos is fairly simple: you watch a teacher solve math problems on the whiteboard. It's like sitting in a classroom and following the teacher; however this is better because you can rewind and replay the 'teacher' as much as you wish.
Screenshot of an algebra video from MathTV.com
MathTV covers basic math, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus — all of high school math. Each of these sections covers a range of topics and has an extensive amount of video instruction. For example, under Algebra 1, Chapter 2, Linear Inequalities, we find 10 lessons or examples, explained by several instructors, including in Spanish.
Often, there is a video solution of the same example by several instructors. For example, like you see in the image, you can choose to view either Mr. McKeague, Matt, Ana, or Cynthia solve the equation 3(x − 5) + 4 = 13.
These videos can be used along with any mathematics textbook or workbook you might have; however, they have been matched to XYZ Textbooks written by Charles P. McKeague, the originator of MathTV.com. The videos themselves are "companions," not stand-alone instruction. In other words, you cannot learn everything about algebra or trigonometry just by seeing the videos. You will still need a textbook to explain concepts, symbols, and the whys and wherefores of math. The video clips serve to give you examples of how a skilled teacher solves problems - step by step.
MathTV.com videos are an excellent way to review and practice "forgotten" math. However, they are also an excellent source of help for homeschoolers on the high school level. Many times homeschooling mothers and fathers struggle with teaching high school math because they perhaps have forgotten it (When was the last time you solved absolute value equations or played with trigonometric identities?) or because they perhaps didn't learn it in the first place.
You can choose to view Stephanie or CJ solving the same problem.
In those occasions, seeing a teacher solve problems step-by-step can be of great value. In textbooks, these steps are often explained in words, which is much more difficult to follow. Seeing and hearing it (repeatedly if you so wish) can help the learning process compared to just reading a textbook and trying to figure out what happened in each step.
The solutions to problems are quite mechanical, using the common rules. You won't probably find any "creative" solutions. This is good when you're learning those tecniques and rules; but please note that the videos do not contain explanations why these rules work or where they come from.
The instructor Charles P. McKeague is also an author of several math textbooks and an inspirational speaker. His style of teaching is very clear. The way he writes on the board and uses symbols is also very clear – concise, yet illustrative and helpful. I was delighted by the way he used notation when solving absolute value inequalities, for example. He's not the only instructor in the videos, though.
Website: www.MathTV.com. The website and the videos are free to view. An E-Content Pass to access all the ebooks, videos, worksheets, MathTV mobile, and XYZ homework is $30 for 12 months; print textbooks run $48 - $68 depending on the subject.
Review by Maria Miller