This has been a year of teaching my children to be more self-sufficient.
We started with our bed time routine, then packing lunches and choosing snacks, and have quickly moved on to homework and study time. I’m happy to tell you today with a few simple steps we have turned this once hectic task in to a more enjoyable time of day for the entire family.
Before: Three loud, restless children bouncing around while my husband tried to relax after a long day at work, and I was busy getting dinner started in the kitchen. Papers were everywhere, things were getting messy, sticky and/or lost.
After: A place for everything and everything in its place. My husband can now watch the evening news without me having to worry about what headlines the kids are tapping in to. Homework is being done independently, neatly and items are being filed away and placed on shelves before dinner.
Here’s how we did it:
An organized study area that works
1. Choose a location that works
For us, it had to be a downstairs central location where the kids could operate autonomously, but were still close enough for assistance when needed. The dining room proved to be the perfect functional space to suit our needs.
2. A place to call their own
Our study area is also the kitchen table. I created a sturdy partition to delineate separate areas for each child using two foam core boards. Now, the kids have a semi-private space at the table that eliminates distractions and helps keep them on task. The partition works on both sides of the table, so even my littlest can sit close to his big brother and sister and work on his own “schoolwork” or play quietly while he waits.
3. A well-stocked supply cabinet
Our study area/dining room also doubles as a preschool center and craft space — my dining room is the hardest working room in my house! Having a place for everything is necessary, and keeping everyday items on wheels allows my children to have instant access to all the necessities:
– pencil sharpeners
– blank paper
– glue sticks
4. Command Central
I cleared a space behind our couch and put in two storage ottomans where the kids could drop their book bags, lunch boxes, coats and things when they first get home from school. This keeps my floors clutter free and means they have a dedicated space to spread out all their books and papers while tackling homework.
5. Clutter Patrol
We still had one major battle to win in order to conquer the paper mountain that was taking over my counters, tables, and random flat surfaces in my home. To solve this last problem, we got creative. Crafting a personalized storage box for each child, and placing an ingoing and outgoing basket on a nearby dresser. Finally, when I asked the kids to clear the table for dinner, they could do so without just stuffing and stashing things everywhere!
And that’s how we’ve created an organized study area that works for us, do you have any tips or tricks to share on how you do things in your home? We’d love to hear them!
These organizational tips were brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Stacy Teet. Stacy is the mom behind KidsStuffWorld. Her writing is chock-full of tips for enjoying parenthood, saving money, entertaining your kids and making your family’s life a bit simpler.
See all Blog Ambassador posts by Stacy →