How to Create a Homework Nook Your Kids Will Actually Want to Spend Time In

Starting in second grade, when homework often ramps up, a streamlined environment with clear, uncluttered surfaces makes it easier to buckle down and focus. Think quiet, neutral shades and unified storage sets (folders, boxes) for minimal distraction and maximum concentration.

1

Put supplies on a pegboard

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Photo by Jonny Valiant

Clever cure for desk mess: a wall-mounted organizer with adjustable, add-as-you-go pegs. Display clean, serene art—no concert posters or family photos, which “can trigger downshifting and distract from the work,” says Julie Morgenstern, the author of Organizing From the Inside Out.

2

Add task lighting

Even with good overhead lights, a desk lamp is key. It draws attention to the textbook or laptop and keeps it there.

3

Need a shared study area for younger and older kids?

Lining a wall with one long desk and two chairs side by side may look nicer, but it’s smarter to place two desks on opposite walls. Kids tend to focus better in a back-to-back setup, says Morgenstern. Have two desks on the same wall? If you can, space them at least a foot apart to create a barrier.



4

Stock only one kind of pen

Eliminating the eenie meenie to pick out a pen (or a pencil) aids productivity. “Those types of microdecisions can cause kids to lose their train of thought,” says Morgenstern.

5

Create an all-in-one unit

Intersect a desk with shelving for a sleek, storage-friendly workspace. Keep active tasks on top (in folders labeled by subject) and graded pieces below (archived in magazine holders).


To buy (numbered from photo above): 1. Peg-it-All storage panel, from $190, kreisdesign.com. 2. Lacquer Storage Desk Set, $1,500 (includes bookcase), westelm.com. 3. Don Diego table lamp with bell shade, $80, allmodern.com. 4. The Mid Century Wood Eiffel side chair, $95, wayfair.com/RSchair. 5. Water-color sheepskin, $249, aelfie.com.