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homeworkRISMEDIA, September 23, 2009—(MCT)—With the school year under way, parents are back to the difficult task of keeping their children on track- especially when it comes to homework. If you are looking for ways to keep your children focused, a designated homework space may be the answer you are looking for. 

How to create an alcove 

On a dime: Children don’t need the deep, hulking “magic desk.” Instead, scout out a kitchen corner or a small closet to convert, or look for a window niche to retrofit in the kitchen. Install a countertop across it, then buy a file cabinet on wheels which can be stored out of the way, under a countertop.

Deluxe: If you have the space, a playroom can provide surface area and storage for homework and craft projects. 

On the walls
If you have a simple desk area in the kitchen, add a cork wall covering — using tiles or sheets. Custom-cut them to the space as a “backsplash,” with push pins to post schedules, good grades or quick references for math and grammar. Fabric-covered bulletin boards add a punch of color, as does a small lamp with a fabric shade. 

Cheap thrills
Build enthusiasm for homework with a few affordable amenities for younger children: a fish-shaped stapler, a monster pencil sharpener that chomps as it works or the ultimate status symbol for youngsters — the 120-count box of Crayola Crayons. 

(c) 2009, Chicago Tribune.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. 

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