Should your child do homework at the kitchen table?

Should your child do homework at the kitchen table?




If your child hasn’t headed back to school yet, chances are he will very soon. And with the start of school comes the start of…cue ominous music…HOMEWORK.

So where is the best place for your child to do homework? The kitchen table? Her room? The home office? On the floor in front of the t.v.?

It depends.

Different study spaces work well—or not—for different families, depending on the number of people in the house, how much activity is going on at home during the evening hours, as well as you child’s level of distractibility and comfort with school-based tasks.

Here are some things to consider around setting up the best study space possible:

  1. Homework should be done within your line of vision, especially of your child is using the internet for assignments.
  2. Homework should be not be done in the busiest place in the house.
  3. Homework should not be done in a place where your child may have to move his stuff before he finishes—so no up-rooting him to make room for dinner, someone else’s science project or the incoming girl scout cookie order.
  4. A study space should be stocked with all the materials your child needs (protractor, graph paper, dictionary etc) so she doesn’t need/have an excuse to get up every five minutes to get something.

So, the ideal homework spot is near where the adults are but not in the center of what can be a home-based three-ring circus. It is a place where your child can find all the stuff he needs and leave his books and other things out until he is finished.

Such a place may be hard to find; these are just general guidelines, and different set-ups work for different families. (When I was growing up, I always did my homework at the kitchen table without a problem. But that was also before the internet!)

Don’t be afraid to try one thing and adjust it as needed, even if it takes a few weeks to find the best arrangement.

Best wishes on a great school year!

Ask Heather

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