Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Homework and Organization

Yesterday I mentioned the love affair that my children and I share with all things office/school supply related. It’s embarrassing, actually. But with this obsessive infatuation comes the need for organization. Without it, pencils for homework cannot be found – entire stacks of paper go missing – and how are you supposed to cut and paste when the scissors are hiding in the drawer of randomly separated crayons and the glue has been taken to the daughter’s bedroom for a secret project?

Organization is such a wonderful thing. I must admit, however that Martha Stewart I am not. I wholly embrace the mantra of “A place for everything and everything in its place!” It’s just that sometimes I lack a little in the completion phase. Not this year, though. No way!

We have a homework room. “What’s that?” you say. “A homework room?” Yep. When we purchased the infamous Peach House it came complete with a variety of rooms that most of the time we have no idea what to do with. Included is a narrow room adjacent to our family room that looks out into the back yard. It’s only 8 feet wide, but with its large arched availability to the family room, it had to be utilized. That was the birth of the homework room and my initial attempts at school supply organization.

So the plan is to utilize the drawers in the antique dresser to house the various supplies we use for homework. To the left and right (which are hidden) we’re putting a table for each of my children to sit at and complete homework. They’ll have their own artwork on the walls on their side of the room, and directly in front of their table will be the laminated tools they need to help with their learning. It’s a GRAND plan, and I’m looking forward to getting it all finished so that we can settle into our nice little school routine.

Little? Did I say little? Not really. The morning starts at 5:45 AM and things are as consistent as a steady rain until the homework is finished. When they get off the bus, there’s a snack and then we hit it. Homework and learning until I have to make supper. I figure, if we spend almost 2 hours a day in that room it should at least be enjoyable! And part of the enjoyment is organization. I want my kiddos to love learning, and it’ll never happen if they’re miserable every time they sit down to do homework.

Here is the point of this post – A large part of my children’s lives at home is working in that homework room. It should be special. But what does special mean if they never remember it? And how can we make that a memory that goes along with school? And what if not everyone has a homework room?

Here is the answer to all those questions: grab your camera. That’s it. To remember it and what made it special – take the picture. Evan will always remember picking out the paint color, helping the paint technician dry the paint blob on the can, and standing in that room on a hot summer afternoon (in between his pool breaks) with a paint roller, a tray, his mom, and some good music. Why? Because I took pictures. And I’ll take pictures of them doing their homework in the room once it’s done because I want them to always remember how it felt to work hard for something they could use and enjoy. And if you don’t have a homework room – take pictures of that homework time anyway. It’s not something to be done every day – it just commemorates the school memories for that year, and homework is a HUGE part of that.

Here is some inspiration:

Here is our contribution so far - more pictures when the reveal is finished:

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