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Create a Homework Hub and Study Space in Your Community
 
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Create a Homework Hub and Study Space in Your Community Hot

Written by Resident Events On  November 14, 2016   1177   0
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Create a Homework Hub and Study Space in Your Community

To craft a family-friendly community, consider creating a space for tutoring and homework in the clubhouse after school hours and before closing up office. On weekdays, 2-4 PM or 3-5 PM are good timings to try. 

There are lots of ways to make your homework and study space a success. To pull it off you will need to rely on community volunteers or possibly take in donations to make it a fully self-sustaining space.

Here are some of the most important considerations for creating a space that children and teens will love to study in.

Gather supplies

Offer plenty of standard school supplies like: 

  • Construction paper
  • Graph paper
  • Notecards
  • Raised line binder paper
  • Pencils with grips and tri-write pencils
  • Erasers
  • Highlighters
  • Workbooks for preschoolers through sixth grade
  • Whiteboards and markers
  • Calculators
  • Protractors and rulers
  • Glue
  • Scissors
     

**TIP** Keep supplies in carry cases or covered bins for easy storage and cleanup when not in use.

Create a research-focused computer

If you have a computer on site, make sure it's available for student research during the homework and study hours. This can be a valuable sales tool when it comes to showing your community features to potential residents.

 

**TIP** Require students to pre-register to use the computer(s) for research in 30 minute slots. Not only will this keep the computer use organized and ensure everyone get’s a turn it will also encourage participants to get there early to ensure they get a research spot.

Consider installing research tools and software to make the computers more student-friendly. Programs like Boardmaker; Earobics; Lexia; and Typing Instructor for Kids are all great programs that can help student excel in school.

**TIP** Ensure internet browsers like Firefox, and Chrome are installed, and set parental controls during study hours to ensure students are not accessing things inappropriate for their ages.

Create a research-focused computer

**TIP** Keep supplies in carry cases or covered bins for easy storage and cleanup when not in use.

Choosing and decorating the space

When choosing your space, consider accessibility and ease of access. Make sure you can get to and see the study space often to supervise volunteers and participants. Ensure plenty of comfortable seating, and working tables, so children can spread out and work on their projects.

  • Decorate to motivate. Put up a few motivational posters and signs at study time to help participants associate the multi-purpose space with school and study.
  • Turn on soft classical music or ambient white noise to help with concentration.
  • Make sure it’s bright enough for kids to see what they are working on - especially in the winter months when it falls dark earlier.
  • Try plugging in a gentle room freshener. Scents like lemon, lavender, jasmine, rosemary, cinnamon, and peppermint, seem to boost mood and productivity in some people.
  • Consider a clock. This can help younger students set time-related study goals, like working for 15 minutes and then taking a five minute break. A clock can motivate participants to study for an hour or more. When time is up, encourage participants to take a break to reward themselves.

**BONUS** If needed for students studying for a timed exam like the SAT or ACT stopwatches could also be made available.

Don't go overboard. Remember that the purpose of the homework hub and study space is to help residents study more effectively. Make sure the study space does not become a distraction itself.

Volunteers

To make the space as helpful as possible, offer supervised volunteer tutoring at least once or twice a week, if not every day. No matter what grade level, students can always tutor students and kids younger than them. Even middle school students can tutor younger grades. Encourage everyone to apply!

Enlist

To find volunteers, send out requests for tutors and supervisors who can help you keep an eye on the kids while also offering help and advice of homework from their personal experience. Potential tutors can include parents, high school and college students, and older adults in your community.

Organize

The easiest way to organize the volunteers is to create schedules for the volunteer tutors and find the days and times that work best for their schedules. You can recruit through your monthly newsletter, social media pages, and even door to door flyers.

Offer incentives

To entice volunteer participation, offer community service certificates and letters of recommendation to all participants who volunteer with the program for a certain number of weeks or months. This type of community service can help older students accrue any required community service hours needed for graduation and also looks great for resumes and college applications. As an added bonus, parents will know that their teen is not going far to do their community service, they are still right there on the property.

**BONUS** To further encourage participation create incentive programs in partnership with local businesses and restaurants to reward students for regular participation in the homework hub. Have them sign in when they arrive, and out when they leave, to maintain accurate participation records.

**TIP** Regularly reach out to parents to inquire if their student’s grades and performance are improving in school. It’s good to know that everyone’s efforts are being rewarded. Get testimonials that you can use on your website and social media pages and share about your accomplishments and successes!
 

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