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Make a Simple, Portable Homework Station

The boys went back to school yesterday. They were both excited, awake before I was, and dressed in their new Minecraft T-shirts in record time.

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The enthusiasm was already worn off this morning. I had to drag both of them out of bed, and they ate breakfast with their eyes half closed. Wade asked, “If I just happen to throw up all of a sudden before I get on the bus, can I stay home and play the Xbox all day?”

The boys have always had homework, and the nightly quota increases each time they move up a grade. With a first and fifth grader, I expect a chunk of each evening to be spent on it.

We do homework at the kitchen table. It gives the boys plenty of space to spread out books and papers, and I can keep on eye on them. Someone has to make sure they’re filling out the worksheets, not using them to make paper airplanes.

But last year, it seemed like every night we were searching for a pencil or a pencil sharper or a glue stick to complete one of their assignments. There is a desk in the living room where all those items are supposed to go, but they never seem to find their way back. We had the worst time with pencils. The boys would leave them on the table, they would roll off, then our dog, who apparently enjoys the taste of graphite, would eat them.

So, I decided I needed to set up some sort of homework station in the kitchen. I wanted it to be close at hand, like on the table. But we eat at the table, so it couldn’t take up too much room.

I came up with a simple, inexpensive solution that’s portable. I purchased a $20 Rubbermaid Rubbermaid Lazy Susan from Amazon.

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Then I pulled some of my extra mason jars out of the cupboard. I filled the jars with pens, pencils, markers, scissors and other school supplies.

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Then I filled the lazy Susan with them and put in the middle of the table.

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Yes, those are dinosaurs on the tablecloth. No it doesn’t really go with the kitchen decor, but I thought it might make homework time more enjoyable.

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Now everything the boys need is within reach from any side of the table. When we eat, we can just pick up the whole thing and move it over or to the counter. I’m also hopping since the storage it right there, they’ll put things back after they use them. But we’ll see about that. It might still be too much effort to reach out six inches to place a pencil in a jar after the exhaustion of working on a vocabulary sheet.

Do you have any special tricks for making homework time go smoothly?

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