Friday, August 30, 2013

Get them Organized: Simple DIY Homework Station

As the kids head back to school we are trying to set out great habits for learning right from the get-go.  My son is going to be coming home with A LOT more homework this year.  To help transition him into this new routine I created a Homework Station.  I wanted one place that was dedicated to homework, held the supplies they  needed and allowed them to work without distraction.  Of course, I wanted to do this without breaking the bank.

I had been challenged to complete the Walmart Frugal Heroes challenge by doing all my back to school shopping for under $100.  Our kids don't need a lot of supplies for their school and heaven knows they have enough clothes but I do find that we need a lot of "school" supplies at home.  It seems that whenever they have homework we're constantly searching for paper, pens, etc.  That is why I decided to create a Homework Station.

We already had a child size desk.  Truth be told, this Creative Mama picked it out of someone's trash and gave it new life with a spray of paint (which you can actually find at Walmart).  It isn't big though so I didn't want to take up too much surface area with their supplies.

Here is my list of supplies for our Homework Station:

  • 50 coloured markers
  • 24 pencil crayons
  • 24 pencils
  • Electric pencil sharpener
  • 4 AA batteries (for sharpener)
  • Pens (coloured and blue)
  • 2 Highlighters
  • Eraser
  • Scissors - large and small
  • Glue stick
  • White glue
  • Tape
  • Ruler
  • Message board
  • 500 sheets of plain white paper
  • 200 sheets of coloured construction paper

First we attacked the writing supplies.  In order to keep them organized and contained I bought some cute scrapbook paper ($5) and covered some empty aluminum cans.  I chose 3 different sizes; 1 to contain all the markers, 1 to contain the pencil crayons, and 1 to contain all the pens, glue, scissors, etc.

Now I hate sharpening pencils and it seems that my kids love to break the tips so an electric pencil sharpener was a must for our Homework Centre.  I found this adorable one for $7 at Walmart.  It runs on AA batteries but even with my $100 budget I was able to purchase both!

Next I used the same scapbook paper to line the drawers of the desk.  It wasn't a necessary step but it sure looks cute!  These drawers became storage for paper so that it is always on hand.

It is important for the family to have a place to keep homework assignments, calendars, reminders, etc. so I included a message board in the Homework Station.  By using a magnetic wipe board we are able to attach letters that come home from school, write messages to each other and even do some homework help that can easily be erased afterwards.  They came in cool neon colours but with a red desk I stuck to black.

Here are a few more ideas I saw while shopping at Walmart that might work well for your Homework Station.

After purchasing all those items for our Homework Station I still had money to spare, I was rocking this Walmart Frugal Heroes Challenge.  We had received a note from my son's teacher outlining what he needed for school.  I was able to pick up the following items and still stay on budget.
  • Erasers
  • Tissues
  • Baby Wipes
  • Pencil Case
  • Pencil Crayons
  • Pencils
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Because many of the items came in multiple packs I was able to get everything I needed for him and had duplicates for my daughter.  I will say that shopping with the kids made the task of being a Walmart Frugal Hero a bit more difficult but it was a lot of fun.  Here's my final tally...

Pretty impressive isn't it!  I think having a Homework Station will ease the chaos that has surrounded homework time at our house.  I hope you've found some inspiration to create a Homework Station of your own.

Disclaimer – I received a $100 Walmart Gift Card to facilitate my participation  in the
Walmart Frugal Heroes Challenge but as always 
the words and opinions are 100% my own.

1 comment :

  1. My kids aren't old enough for a homework station yet but we do have a similar setup for arts and crafts with different writing/colouring pencils in different jars.

    I'm on the hunt for a nice desk now for the two of them to work on. I kind of don't like that the jars of crayons, scissors and glue follow me. It would be nice to have the kids stay in one spot ;)

    Your homework station looks fabulous. Makes the "work" in homework more fun (at least I think so)


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