How to make a portable schoolwork station

By Amanda Morin

Expert reviewed by Jenn Osen-Foss, MAT

It’s hard for kids to learn at home without having a place where they can sit and concentrate. A portable workspace can cut down on distractions and keep things organized so it’s easier for your child to focus. These strategies can help your child cut through the clutter and be more productive.

Let your child choose where to work.

Does your child work best sitting at the kitchen table or hunkered down on the floor in a bedroom? Maybe your child doesn’t have one work spot but needs to move around to different areas. Letting kids choose where to do their work can make them more likely to actually do it.

Make a supply caddy.

Organize school supplies in compartments that are easy to see and pull from, and turn a household item into a caddy to transport them. Here are some simple items you can use:

A shower caddy. Put a plastic cup into one section if there are holes that pencils could fall through.

An empty shoebox. Create dividers using cardboard from the lid or put an upside-down egg carton in the box and poke markers, scissors, etc., through each cup. Or you can just use plastic cups as a way to keep supplies organized in the box.

A reusable grocery bag. Separate supplies into sandwich-size or one-quart baggies and store them in the bag. You can also do this with a kids’ sand bucket.

Block out distractions.

Use a folding screen or a tall piece of furniture to block off space — block out distractions. A folding screen is easy to set up and put away after your child’s done with work. Office-supply stores sell them, and they’re easy to find online.

You can also make a screen out of a tall cardboard box. Cut out three sides of the box. Let your child choose which color duct tape to cover the edges with to give the screen a more polished look.

Looking for more ideas to help your child concentrate on schoolwork? Try these ways to help your child focus.

About the author

About the author

Amanda Morin is the author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education” and the former director of thought leadership at Understood. As an expert and writer, she helped build Understood from its earliest days. 

Reviewed by

Reviewed by

Jenn Osen-Foss, MAT is an instructional coach, supporting teachers in using differentiated instruction, interventions, and co-planning.


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