Seven Ways to Create Homework Heaven
Each fall, as the kids hit the playground with their spanking new backpacks and freshly combed hair, the earth shakes with the exuberant leaps of parents shouting “Yay! School is BACK!” Flash forward a few weeks and we are hit with reality of the “H” word, as in “homework.” Our nights are no longer our own. Not only are we faced with earlier bedtimes to accommodate “rise and shine” school mornings, now, homework is often the final straw at the end of long days filled with classes, tests, team practices, play rehearsals, special projects and dance lessons. If we, as parents, are on overload, it’s safe to say that our kids probably are too. So why not make homework as fun and stress-free as possible? This year, I added a few new goodies and gadgets to help create more inspiring workspaces, better organize schedules and supplies, and create a more relaxing, productive homework environment.
With so much on our plates, a message/calendar board ($99) keeps us all on our toes. Spelling test on Wednesday? My son just pins his list on and practices. Gym clothes on Thursday? Now we won’t forget—it’s front and center on the wipe on/wipe off calendar. For inspiration, a photo of a sports hero or favorite book character doesn’t hurt.
When my kids come home with a masterpiece, we show it off. The Lil Davinci Art Cabinet ($29.99) can be instantly refreshed with their latest and greatest creative endeavors. Most importantly, when they are stuck on a math problem or struggling with an essay, they simply look up and are reminded of their talents and what they are capable of.
Sometimes we all just need to put our feet up. Whether my kids need some R&R because of an intense sports practice or it’s just one of those days, a comfy bed turns into an instant desk with this Overlap Tray ($179). (Added bonus: my 10-year-old lets me snuggle up next to her to check homework.)
After sitting at a desk all day, who wants to come home and, well, sit? Add a little bounce to homework time with the Gaiam Balance Ball Chair ($79.98). It’s good for the posture and promotes the ultimate of multitasking by allowing bouncy fidgeting and real work.
Why pick up a boring homework folder from an office supply store when you can have On the Go Personalized Folders ($12.95 for a set of two). It’s still homework, but at least it’s homework with style.
Power outages, dead batteries and accidental deletes happen. I’ve learned to protect against lost work by teaching my kids to save, save, save. They love to back up their docs with fun USB flash drives, from Hello Kitty ($29.95) to Batman ($29.99).
Finally, the Woopsy Desk Lamp ($34.91), available in blue or purple, takes a whimsical approach to spills and a functional approach to creating a well-lit workspace.
We can’t make more hours in the day, but we can at least help make the hours we have as enjoyable—and productive—as possible for our kids. Sometimes a little boost is all it takes. Check out our gift ideas for wiz-kid girls, and great gifts for wiz-kid boys.
When Jennifer Benson is not wrangling three spirited children, she can usually be found wrangling words. Preferably from a coffee shop, though the kitchen island is the next best place since the day fifth grade homework took over her office.