There are so many exciting things about the new school year, but with the crisper air and smell of fresh school supplies also comes the dreaded homework. It's likely that by this point in the new school year your child is receiving assignments that must be completed at home. Though there is much debate over the effectiveness of homework, these nightly worksheets still seem to be common practice.
If you dread homework time, and feel like it is taking up minutes and hours of your precious evenings, you're not alone. The good news is, there are ways to shave time off your child's homework routine to make more room for fun and family time while also reducing stress. Our favorite way to save minutes and save sanity? The homework basket.
What is it?
A homework basket is a place to keep all supplies needed for homework assignments and projects. The main goal of the homework basket is to reduce the time you and your child spend locating supplies, and maximize the time spent focused on the task at hand. When your child isn't yelling for a pencil sharpener or glue, they spend less time getting distracted from what they are supposed to be doing. This unbroken focus helps increase what your child learns from their assignment while decreasing the time spent sitting in front of school work. Added bonus? You're spending less time tracking down scissors and pink construction paper.
Assembling a Homework Basket
Putting together your basket shouldn't take more than an afternoon. If you haven't shopped for your child's school supplies yet, you can take the opportunity to pick up extra supplies for your homework basket. You may also have many of these items lying around your house ready to be assembled. Here are a few items we suggest putting in your basket:
The base: A shower caddy, basket, or box.
Plastic cups or boxes for organizing. (These will help keep pencils, crayons, scissors and other small items from getting jumbled up at the bottom)
Pencil sharpener or extra lead
A big eraser
Glue (bottle, sticks or glue sponge)
Colored pencils or crayons
Ruler and/or Protractor
The items that you decide to put in your child's homework basket may differ depending on the grade level and type of homework you anticipate. For example, a first grader may not need a ruler, protractor, or calculator.
If you're worried about the cost of the supplies needed, try hitting up the dollar store. You may be able to find many of these items, plus the basket for a great price.
When completed, your homework basket should look a little something like this:
Using the Homework Basket
After assembling the basket, place it where your child normally does their homework. Talk with your child about the basket and all the supplies that it contains. Then, as your child begins to complete homework assignments and projects, see how it works. You may discover more supplies that need to be added, or you may find that your original assembly of items works great. As supplies run low, be sure to replenish when needed. With younger kiddos, you may want to take time once a week to make sure that all pencils and crayons are sharp and that caps have been placed on glue sticks.
Do you plan to use a homework basket this year? We would love to see a picture of what you assemble!