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There is a part of back to school I don't look forward to. Homework. On good nights, it is usually just busy work, on bad nights it is a huge fight to get it done. Homework is one the biggest stresses of the school year for our family, so we try to do everything we can to make sure that after school goes as smoothly as possible.
The two biggest things that have made the biggest difference for our family is our after school routine and our a portable homework station. After searching for crayons or glue, one too many times, I created a station. It is portable which means it can go anywhere she is doing her homework. It travels really well too, so if she needs to do her homework on the go, that can happen too.
A portable homework station is easy to pull together, especially this time of year when there are an abundance of school supplies in the store. Any sort of container with a handle will work for your station. I love a container that has separate sections, so as the crayons and colored pencils lose their boxes there is a way to separate them, but any container with a handle, as long as it is large enough will work.
In our Homework Station:
- Colored Pencils
- Mini Stapler and Staples
- Glue Sticks
- Bottle of Glue
- Pencil Sharpener
- Kid Scissors
Over the last couple of years since we have made the Homework Station, we haven't needed anything else, but my daughter is in the early years of elementary school. If your kids are older you might want to consider a protractor, a more advanced calculator, a dictionary and thesaurus.
Besides our Portable Homework Station, our After School Routine has made the biggest difference in helping make sure homework gets done. I made a sign with our routine on it and hung it up in a prominent place in our home. It helps my daughter know exactly what is expected every day after school and leads to way less frustration and meltdowns. You can download it here.
Our list includes:
- Put Away Coat and Shoes
- Empty Backpack and Give Parents Papers
- Have a Snack (we love LALA® Yogurt Smoothies as a snack)
- 15 Min of Reading
- Pack Backpack
- Lay Out Clothes
- Take a Bath
- Brush Teeth
- Tidy Room
- Go to Sleep
When I have to take my daughter straight to soccer practice from school, I usually throw a LALA® Yogurt Smoothie in my bag to give to her. They are made with real fruit and have 5g of protein, just what a kid needs in the middle of a busy day. My daughter loves drinking a smoothie and munching on a handful of nuts for a protein combo and I love that the smoothies have a reusable lid so when she is done with her snack, I don't have to worry about it spilling all over my car. My older daughter loves the Wild Strawberry flavor and my younger daughter loves the Pecan Cereal variety. I pick up my LALA® Yogurt Smoothies at Walmart because they have the biggest selection of flavors.
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The combination of a homework station, a established after school routine and good after school snacks has made homework go from nightmare to normal. I might still not be looking forward to homework, but at least I know that it will get done without tears.
What helps your school days run smoother?