Most kids dread back to school time. They’ve had a summer of playing outside, sleeping in, or just lazing around for weeks, and it’s all coming crashing to a halt. School’s back in session. And what’s worse than having to wake up early and go to class? Homework, of course. Even parents don’t like homework, and it seems like schools are handing out more and more of it with each passing school year. But it doesn’t have to be all bad. Creating a space just for doing homework is a healthy and fun way to get your kids to focus on the task at hand without distractions like TV. When they have a space dedicated to homework, it means when they are in that space, homework is the only thing they should be doing. And it doesn’t have to be indoors!
Here are a few creative ideas for taking the unpleasant chore of homework outside where kids can while enjoy the final days of summer sun. These ideas work great in the fall, too.
Before we get started, keep in mind that the space you create for your kids to do their homework should be clean and clutter-free, and most importantly, a place they helped create and want to hang out in. So get them involved in the process and let them be creative.
Carve Out a Porch Space
Set up an area on the porch that is a homework-only space. You can easily do this with a small outdoor rug and well placed chairs, Floor pillows and bean bag chairs are comfy and kids love to sit in them, and you can make homework time even more tempting by adding a snack table with fresh goodies to nibble on.
Do: Make sure the chairs are comfortable and the space is clean
Don’t: Let the space become a hangout only/gaming area.
Set Up a Backyard Tent
Kids love tents, and you can create a very cool backyard homework nook out of a regular camping tent or make an open air concept canopy tent out of vinyl. Fill your tent with supplies like paper, pens and pencils, a project box with stuff they need for crafting like glue and scissors, lap desks, and rulers. Make sure the tent is waterproof for those rainy days. Your kids may actually look forward to doing homework if they get to do it in their own designer homework tent!
Do: Let them organize the tent how they like it
Don’t: Extend the wifi unless they need the internet for doing homework
Build a Homework Tree House
If you’re good with your hands, why not build a homework station tree house? There isn’t a kid on the planet who doesn’t love a treehouse, and even if it’s a space for doing school work, they’ll love the change of pace from sitting at a table or a desk all day. It will even give them a bit of additional exercise if there are steps to climb, not to mention keep them outside and out of your hair for a couple of hours.
Do: Let them help build the tree house. A space they helped build with their hands is invaluable
Don’t: Allow toys inside - keep it a work space.
Build a Homework Shed
You’ve heard of the recent;y popular “she-shed” so why not a homework shed? You can easily build a small shed out of materials at the local hardware store, or you can buy one already made. Wood is a good choice because kids can help paint it, which can make for a fun end of summer/back to school project. Get creative here. A shed with small windows with flower boxes can become their own little outdoor house, and a cozy retreat for after school.
Do: Get a weatherproof cover for your shed to protect it from bad weather
Don’t: Let the kids leave food or beverages in the shed overnight, which attracts bugs
What are some of your outdoor homework space ideas? Share them with us, we’d love to see what you come up with!