Homework Central

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Homework Central

The challenge: getting kids to settle down to homework in the midst of the evening hubbub

An ingenious solution: turn display boards (available at office supply stores) into study carrels that can be set up in a flash, with all the necessary supplies close at hand. Easily stowed in a corner or a closet, these customizable stations keep kids focused on learning by providing a fun home base for tackling their assignments. And a single display board makes two carrels, so each sibling can have his own.

What you'll need

  • Tri-fold display board (48 by 36 inches; makes two stations)
  • Yardstick and pencil
  • Craft knife
  • Con-Tact paper or paint (optional)

How to make it

  1. Cut the board in half horizontally. Set one half aside if you plan to make just one carrel. Lay the other half facedown. To make the carrel easy to fold even when stocked with hanging supplies, pencil a vertical line parallel to each existing fold, 2 inches closer to the center. Using the yardstick as a guide, score the lines, cutting through only the top layer of the cardboard.

  2. Fold along the scored lines. Cover the carrel's back with Con-Tact paper or paint, if desired.

  3. Homework Central: Step 3

    Add the supplies: Use glue dots to affix clothespins to one side for holding important papers and notes.

    Adhere magnets with hot glue to scissors, the back of a stapler, and other frequently used supplies. Line them up along a ruler/magnet strip, with more magnets and a magnetic clip.

    Use adhesive-backed Velcro dots to attach supplies that need to be easily removed: the ruler/magnet strip, a clock, a calculator, a sticky-note dispenser, and a pencil box.

    Hang a zip-close binder pouch from an adhesive hook to hold small supplies.

    Affix a small cork square for displaying photos or notes, using hot glue or the adhesive supplied with the square.

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