COVID-19 has changed the way our children learn. With schools shut, parents and children are adapting to learning from home. Our kids are attending class from the kitchen table. Instead of going to the library, they’re studying on their bed. Homework is scattered all over the house.

With so many new challenges, more parents are taking an active role in their child’s education. How can parents make study time more interesting? How can we help our children focus? How can we bring a slice of normalcy to their lives in these strange times?

There’s one simple way to improve your child’s focus and engagement: establish a dedicated study space. A study space organizes supplies and eliminates distraction. A homework station also helps your child move seamlessly from “at school” to “at play,” even if they never leave the house. Children focus better in environments dedicated to study.

The benefits of a homework station extend past lockdowns too. Once schools open again, that at-home study area will help your child focus on their homework after class. In this article, we’ll walk you through some of the best ideas for creating a dedicated homework station. Whether you’re a seasoned homeschooling parent or a parent who must find new ways to help your child focus in 2020, we’ve got tools for you. We’re going to cover everything you need to know about setting up an at-home workstation.

How to Motivate a Child to do Homework

How to motivate your child to do homework.

Paradoxically, the first step to motivating your child is to recognize that it’s not up to you. You can’t make them feel motivated or make them into an A+ student. It’s their job to manage their homework — and their motivation — in a developmentally appropriate way. But it’s your job to help set the environment.

First, put boundaries in place to encourage focus and concentration. Structure actually helps children focus and thrive. A few boundaries that work for parents: Homework is done at the same time every evening. Weekend activities don’t begin until homework is done. Screens don’t come out until schoolwork is complete.

Second, encourage your child to take ownership of their work. In fact, a sense of ownership over their own work is more important than an A+. You don’t need to micromanage the results of their homework, but you do need to help them understand there are consequences in the real world for their actions.

Consider asking questions like, “How did your teacher respond to your recent assignment? How do you feel about your work on this project? Are you happy with where your grades are? How can I best support you this week with your schoolwork?”

Finally, make your home a natural place for focus by carving out space in the house for your child to do schoolwork. Let them choose the products and furniture. Be specific that this is a space where they go to work — but it’s theirs to own and enjoy. You can’t make them focus, but you can create an environment where focus is easy.

The Child Mind Institute has more helpful info on motivating your child.

How to Set Up a Kids Homework Station

How to set up a child's study station.

It’s time to set up a homework station with your child! This is an activity best done together. If they help choose the space and decorations, they’ll have a greater sense of ownership over the space. Here are a few tips:

  • Your child might want to choose the space, but make sure it’s quiet and free from distraction. If space is limited, carve out a corner of the living room or kitchen.
  • Kill the clutter. Nothing should be in this space except homework related items.
  • Organize supplies. Your child will focus much faster if they aren’t scouring the house for pencils. Paper, pens, chargers, and other supplies should be easy to find and carefully organized. Calendars and homework planners should live here permanently.
  • Make decorations useful. Opt for educational posters instead of movie posters. Hang a calendar instead of wall art.

Ready to get started? We’ve scoured the internet for ten killer products for your child’s homework station.

Homework Station Essentials

Wooden Lift-Top Desk and Chair by Melissa & Doug

Wooden desk and chair by Melissa and Doug.

A homework station can be as simple as a quality desk and a few supplies. This wooden desk and chair from Melissa & Doug has us breathing a sigh of relief — it’s perfect for at-home studying. The desk is small enough for a space-conscious family, but large enough for a child to color or study. Melissa & Doug have been making quality children’s products for more than three decades, and they’ve earned their reputation as one of the best toy and furniture manufacturers around.

You only need a Phillips screwdriver to assemble this desk, and the chair holds up to 150 lbs. Reviewers purchased this desk for children up to five years old, and they raved that it’s sturdy, high quality, and easy to assemble.

Love it? Click here to buy now.

Rainbow Pen Holder and Desk Organizer

Fun rainbow pen holder for kid's desk.

Bring color to your child’s workspace with this pen and pencil holder. The wooden rainbow includes six cubbies to organize crayons, colored pencils, pens, and even a small notebook or phone. Made of wood and nontoxic paint, it’s a safe and cheerful choice for your child.

Reviewers had nothing but good things to say about this caddy. The only issue is an inconsistency in manufacturing. Some of the caddies have white stripes between the rainbow colors, but on other caddies there are no white stripes.

To read reviews, click here.

Adjustable Chair and Tilting Desk with LED Lamp

Tilting desk and adjustable chair set for kids.

Nothing says focus like this tilting workstation. The work surface tilts up to 50 degrees, and a cubby underneath and behind the surface is perfect for storing supplies. Is your child studying from a textbook? They can prop it up directly above the station on the dedicated book holder. An LED light illuminates their work.

The legs of the chair and desk are all adjustable, and non-slip feet make it safe for a variety of surfaces. It’s also constructed from steel and environmentally friendly PP plastic. It does require some assembly, but instructions are included.

“My kids love these desks!” one reviewer raved. Overall, reviewers thought this desk was worth the investment. They describe it as sturdy, adaptable, and useful for kids between pre-K and 5th grade.

To learn more, click here.

Monthly Calendar Pocket Chart by MoreStar

Monthly calendar and date chart learning for kids.

Teach your kids how to track and manage time with this colorful pocket calendar. You and your child can build the month together by slipping the number cards into the right pockets. Each number card is double-sided with a different color on each side. Use one color for weekdays and another for weekends. The fabric chart hangs on the wall and includes 112 cards, and you can store extra cards in the included cubbies.

Teachers included this in their classrooms and parents worked it into their child’s morning routine. They said it’s perfect for teaching the days of the week and the different months.

Like it? Click here to buy now.

Double-Sided Wooden Easel with Whiteboard & Chalkboard for Kids

Kids double-sided chalkboard and easel for learning at home.

If you’re worried that your child is spending too much time online, encourage them to solve equations, write, draw, or paint on this double-sided easel. One parent used it so her child would stop drawing on the walls. Another parent loved letting her kids play teacher with it. Others used it for their kids’ homework and study.

One side of the easel features a magnetic whiteboard while the other features a chalkboard. Mount a roll of drawing paper at the top for yet another form of drawing, and store erasers and supplies in the cubbies underneath. You can even adjust this easel from 35 inches to 62 inches as your child grows. Your purchase includes the easel plus a selection of pens, chalk, and a roll of drawing paper.

To see pricing, click here.

Rechargeable Desk Lamp with Organizer and USB Charger

Desk lamp for kids with USB charger.

This is the desk light that does it all. “Our kids love it at their work stations,” reviewers raved. Use it as a phone stand, a charger, a pen organizer, and a light all at once. The dimmable lamp even features two light temperatures to reduce eye strain.

It includes a USB charger so you can plug in your devices or even a USB desk fan. Adjust the neck to any height for easy illumination. The lamp is battery operated but rechargeable.

Ready to buy? Click here.

Colorful Pen and Pencil Basket Trays, Set of 12

Colorful pen, pencil, and crayon trays for kids.

If you’re like us, there are days when your kids’ pencils and crayons are everywhere. For a quick and affordable fix, get these pencil trays sent right to your home.

Reviewers used these 5-star trays to organize craft supplies, sort supplies so their small children could carry them, tidy up bathroom drawers and vanities, and, of course, for organizing their desks. The package includes twelve trays in different colors.

To read reviews, click here.

Planner for the 2020-2021 Academic Year with Ruler & Planning Stickers

Kids academic planner for 2020-2021 school year.

It’s 2020, and our kids have more apps than we do. Although calendar programs for young children are all over the app store, an old fashioned planner is often more effective. “This helped my kids navigate the new responsibility of tracking time,” one reviewer raved about her elementary-school children.

Young children will enjoy organizing their assignments in this academic planner. The weekly format is perfect for jotting down assignments. Class names mean you can organize each day’s assignment by subject too. Reviewers enjoyed the easy-to-navigate format and the affordable price.

Love it? Click here to buy now.

Visual One-Hour Timer for Time Management

Small desk timer for kids homework station.

We know this timer is for kids, but we want one for our desks too. This visual timer is perfect for children who struggle to maintain their focus.

After you set the timer, the colored disk slowly diminishes as the minutes pass. This unique design means kids can visualize how much time is left with just a glance. The timer is silent for easy focus. It requires two AA batteries, which aren’t included.

To learn more, click here.

Educational Posters for Kids, set of 19 Homeschool Supplies

Set of 19 educational posters for kids study station and homeschooling.

Bring the classroom home with this set of educational posters. Once, these posters were popular among teachers. In 2020, parents are hanging them in their home study stations.

According to happy parents, they’re perfect for the “journey into homeschooling.” Each 13 inch x 19 inch poster is printed on glossy paper. The posters display topics such as addition, subtraction, counting, the human body, the solar system, the seasons, time, and many more.

Ready to buy? Click here.

To Sum It Up…

You can’t control your child’s focus, but you can improve their environment. As the pandemic drags on, parents are getting creative about the transition to at-home schooling. One of the best ways to help your kids study better is to create a dedicated homework station.

Think of it like a mini classroom. There should be a desk just for schoolwork, posters on the walls, and organizers for their supplies. With the perfect study space, your child will feel like they’re still “going” to school — even if they’re just heading to their desk.

Pssst…check out Limiting Screen Time for Kids next!