Whether learning in-person or online, one thing will always be true: homework is a part of life. And no matter how much pushback our children give us, getting it done is a necessity. But it doesn’t have to be complete chore—especially when spaces are designed to be personal, useful, and fun.
Regardless of your child’s age, grade, or excitement (or lack thereof) around learning, here are some foolproof tips for designing the perfect kid homework area.
1. Create a Clutter-Free Space
When it comes to creating the perfect workspace, keeping it organized may sound like a no-brainer. But, in the rush to create spaces for work and play, parents often neglect the importance of removing clutter to create a truly distraction-free space.
The first thing to understand is what clutter actually is. This can look different for every family and child. It can be anything from loose papers to toys that shouldn’t have a place on the desk or learning space.
Some kids love having a bunch of markers, colored pencils, and erasers on their desks while learning. While these aren’t necessarily unrelated to school, they can actually do more harm than good—especially if they become distractions for the child that actually take away from their focus.
Help your child understand how to categorize items and put away what’s not actually needed. Create drawers or on-the-desk organizers where these items can live without getting in the way of focus. Emphasize the importance of being organized in order to stay invested and engaged in school work.
2. Keep Necessities Within Reach
While removing distractions is a must, on the other end of the equation is the importance of helping prepare your child’s workspace for learning. Necessities are anything from writing utensils and calculators to loose-leaf paper and pencil sharpeners. And, of course, these items will vary based upon student age, class, and learning level.
The most important thing is to create a workspace that has ‘homes’ for different items so that your child doesn’t have to leave the table to complete a task. An example would be having to get up anytime they need to sharpen a pencil.
It’s also beneficial to have any supports available in this area, too. For example, if your child has a learning disability and needs a multiplication chart to help them with facts, then make sure this is pinned to the bulletin board, in a top drawer, or otherwise ready for action without having to stop the lesson or practice to find it.
Make copies of any physical supports and laminate them, too. Then your child can have this resource in a backpack, school binder, and homework area without having to remember to take it back to school after home use.
3. Create Intentional Pathways
When it comes to designing the perfect kid homework area, one important (and often overlooked) element is the ease of access in terms of pathways.
If your child can't easily get in and out of the space it's annoying and it can become a practical concern, particularly if your child has a mobility issue or challenges with motor skills. Not to mention there more chance of distraction if people can’t easily get passed.
Be sure to set up your child’s homework area in a less-frequented area, particularly where there is room to set up without feeling cramped or stressed about taking up space.
4. Design With Parent Proximity in Mind
Depending on your child’s age, there may be quite a bit of adult support needed to complete assignments. It won’t make sense if your child has to keep making trips from an upper-level bedroom to a lower-level kitchen just to ask questions. It could problematic if they can’t be trusted to stay focused independently.
As you create your kid’s perfect homework area, consider your child’s needs, personality, age, and learning level. You may want to set up a space with parent proximity, especially at first, to make sure you can be readily available when needed.
5. Incorporate Natural Lighting
It goes without saying that a homework area should be properly lit. This means that having a kid desk lamp, especially for darker spaces, is non-negotiable. Incorporating natural light, when possible, is easier on the eyes and is especially beneficial if your child is spending more time on a computer.
6. Consider Flexible Desk Options
A multi-functional and flexible homework station is advantageous. During the week, the desk can be used for homework and at the weekend, it’s a space for building Legos or creating model action figures!
There are options to use standing desks, movable desks, or even shelves that double as short-lipped kid homework stations. The options are endless and you can be really savvy with your time, space, and effort by creating something that’s more flexible.
7. Make the Space as Unique as the Kid(s) Using It
One of the best tips for designing a kid homework desk is to design with intention. As you consider the child(ren) that will be using the space, be sure to incorporate bits of personality, preferred items/activities, or meaningful memorabilia that will make the space special—without being a distraction, of course.
From pictures on the walls to color-coded items, there are so many ways to make your kid’s homework area not just a space for work, but a space they call their own.