How Do You Keep Homework Organized?

Updated on September 27, 2012
J.F. asks from Milledgeville, GA
13 answers

We are putting a new desk in my 7-year-old son's room and I need tips on how to create a system that helps him keep homework assignments handy and organized. He is in first grade, so his homework is still minimal, but I want to start him out with good habits.

He won't have a ton of desktop or wall space - there is room to hang a few wall pockets or add a few stacking file trays, but not much else.

What solutions have worked for you?


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answers from Dallas on

Both of my boys do exactly what SL posted. They like to be where the rest of us are, so they work in the kitchen and keep their work organized in a binder. It works well for them. They have excellent grades, and are extremely well organized. They are in 3rd and 9th grades.

Good job teaching organization from the beginning!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Las Vegas on

We have always had a folder for each subject that are clearly labeled..additionally, a clean and non-cluttered place to work. I always felt that if a person's surroundings are neat and organized, you can think better.. (at least in our house) lastly, whenever my son finishes his homework, we never leave it out, it always goes right back into his backpack.. this way, no chance of leaving it behind.. As for stacking trays and such.. I didn't go that route because eventually EVERYTHING gets stacked together :) I keep it simple.... folders do the trick for us..

good luck

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My dd ends up doing homework at the dining table...she's in 4th grade now and the math is really different and really hard so I usually have to help her.

She has a "homework folder" which she keeps in her back pack. We go through that every night and make sure it's done. I'd suggest doing something like folders which he keeps in his backpack because he has to bring them to school eventually.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My boys both have desks but they don't use them for homework. They would rather be out and near others while doing their homework. They get it done and put it back in the folders for school. My youngest has weekly homework and we just make sure it's in a place to be found when he's done and needs to turn it in.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I have to agree with SL. My kids are in 7th and 4th. They don't "do" anything with their homework. It comes home in their backpack, they do it, and it goes right back in their backpack.

They also have desks in their rooms, but they don't use them for school. They do their homework together at the counter in the kitchen so I can make sure its done. Both kids are ADHD (dtr is Aspie) so we stick to a strict schedule. Also, although they have pencils and paper in their rooms, I keep a pencil box and an electric pencil sharpener in the kitchen so its more centrally located and they can just grab what they need to get it done.

My 4th grader has a blue "homework" folder he keeps in his backpack. He only has one teacher, so its easy. The homework goes in there, comes home and gets done, we put it back in there and he turns it in. Now my 7th grader has 7 different teachers. MUCH harder to track. So we bought her the zip binder (its called a Trapper Keeper). She has a folder for each class in there, labeled by class. She also has a section with 7 tabs where she will 3 hole punch any notes and handouts she gets and keeps in there for future reference.

Its good now to get these habits in place. I hope you find something that works for him. Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Green Bay on

My kids both have desks in their rooms but they really don't use them for homework. That was the original intention but they would rather be around the rest of the family and don't spend a lot of time in their rooms. They tend to do their homework on the island in the kitchen. They both have a binder the kind that zips up around the outer edge and inside they have a folder to keep their homework in. They are both very good about organizing their work, getting it done and turned in and both get excellent grades. My kids are a bit older though, they are in 5th and 7th grades.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

I have my sons work in 2 seperate piles. Need to do and done. His folder for school stays in the done pile and he inserts his work as he finishes it. I then go through everything daily and make sure nothing is missed. For some things that have a specific due date, like a week from now, I place on a cork board and highlite the due date. He has a calendar in his room and every morning I ask him to tell me the date. My son is only 5, so being in Kindergarten, he doesn't have much work, but we are building good work ethic.

Hope you get some helpful tips. I'll be keeping my eye on the post for some creative ideas myself.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My GD just gets one homework packet per week so we just keep it in her back pack so she has it wherever she might be after school (either at my house or her mom's).

I would think, in your situation that the wall pockets might be the way to go especially if he doesn't have much space on the desktop.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I honestly think that if a child is doing their homework in their room they have too many distractions and can get away with not really paying attention.

I have the kids do their homework in the main living area after dinner or right before bed. They are supervised and can ask for help if they need it.

I can't imagine doing my homework in my room as a kid, I would lose it before morning every time I imagine.


answers from San Francisco on

In my experience, teachers usually give the kids a homework folder that goes back and forth to school every day. All of his homework should stay in there at all times, unless of course he is actively working on doing his homework at that moment. When he is done with his homework and you've checked it over, it should go directly back into the backpack. Have HIM do this, so he gets into the habit of keeping track of his own homework.

The setup that has worked well for us with regard to desks is to have a small cup of sharpened pencils sitting on the desk, a reading lamp, and nothing else. Inside the desk, they have crayons and colored pencils, as well as children's dictionaries. You may also have other reference items based upon that year's studies - for instance, my 5th grader has a map of the United States, since that's what they study in Social Studies. Most of this stuff should be kept where it can only be seen as needed (not sitting out where it will just distract them! LOL).


answers from Austin on

Yep, our daughter was like SL. She did her work in the living room with us. Placed her work back in the folder. of her back pack.. . returned graded papers were thrown in the recycle.. or she would keep them for a while, based on whether she would need the info for a test, or a report.

At the end of the school year she usually tossed all of it. We kept the things like special projects or some of the artwork, but mostly it was thrown away.

They were fortunate that many times they did not have to carry their subject books back and forth from home. There were classroom sets.. So her subject books were kept on her desk, so she knew where they were.

All of her school supplies were kept in the desk.. Paper, spirals, folders, pens, pencils..if we saw a good sale, we would purchase it so that there was no last minute, searching for school supplies. etc.

As she got older and took more advanced art classes, many of these art supplies supplies were kept in a basket in one of drawers/ cabinet of her desk.



answers from Columbus on

Great idea to start early!! My kids have always had a desk and they've done great with them.

Are there drawers? Labeled folders would work great. Or, if no drawers, I would suggest the big envelope type things that have the fold-over closure - that way stuff is less likely to fall out - and then label each one. They come in different colors and sizes. You could also get one of those plastic boxes - (file keeper or whatever it's called) - has a handle and everything can be kept in one spot. I really like those because they're not gigantic and can be carried wherever.

Also, maybe keep a cute little (weighted) cup on top for pens and pencils.

Good luck!!



answers from Washington DC on

We found a nice old school desk with the seat and the small work space with the book basket below the chair at a flea market and it works great, takes up less space then a modern desk with or without drawers. For storage we got one of those three tier storage containers with drawers. so one drawer is for finished work that is brought home from school, one is for past school work that is really good and hard to part with, and the last is well whatever he wants in there workbooks, books etc.. we store his pencil box on top of it with his supplies that he needs to get homework done at home. Its a good medium size and stands alone not one that you set on a desk, so it holds all his papers for the whole year, at the end of summer we go through all the pappers compile a keep and a throw away and start all over for the next year.

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