Day 4: The Homework Drawers

My favorite time of the day has to be homework time. I love it. I love the complaints, the fights, the incomprehensible math instructions. I love that even though I bought two packs of 64-count Crayolas in August, we don’t own a blue crayon. I love that the signal to ask for a pencil is me sitting down to edit pictures for the next day’s post.

More than anything, though, I love repeating often and loudly any one of the following, alone or in combination: Are you doing your homework? Have you finished your homework? What are you doing? It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has to be your best effort. Is that your best effort? Are you sure that’s your best effort? That is not your best effort. Do your homework. Seriously, finish it. That’s it; I’ve had enough!

I love the sound of my own voice, ergo, I love homework time!

Right before school started, I bought every single item listed on the supply sheets. Imagine my surprise when some of the supplies came home from school. Apparently, teachers are now having parents buy homework supplies and school supplies. I’d complain, but last year it took me two weeks to remember to buy Mikey wide-ruled paper. It’s good they made me stock up.

I threw the homework supplies in the campaign dresser and realized after a few days that a homework drawer is pretty brilliant. I decided to devote one of the drawers of the dresser for supplies and work on it in October. Then I started working on the fish cabinet this week, and realized I had a four extra drawers ready and waiting. I really liked the way Kelly did her homework drawers a couple of weeks ago, so with that in mind I did an about-face on my plans and copied her system.

The drawers didn’t take much work to clean up. They’ve been mostly forgotten the last couple of years, so it was mainly a matter of tossing a few things and putting away a few others. I lined the bottoms with scrapbook paper, just for fun.

I went to Target in search of the desk organizers Kelly used, but found these instead. They fit the drawers well.

Nico’s drawer has pencils, crayons, pencils+sharpener, erasers, scissors, and his tablet paper. There is enough room left that I can add to it as the year progresses. My crystal ball shows a pack of sight-word cards in there very soon.

Mikey’s drawer has wide ruled paper (!), pencils, markers, scissors, erasers, hole reinforcers, and his much abused dictionary. My crystal ball shows me finding one of the three rulers I have bought him over the years and placing it in the drawer with everything else.

Most kids love to have areas that are theirs and theirs alone, and Mikey and Nico are no different. As expected, they loved their homework drawers. They were excited to get their supplies as they needed them, and we were able to save the time usually spent looking for supplies.

Homework time still dragged on like a root canal. Good thing, too! I’m loathe to miss an opportunity to bellow loud enough for the neighbors to hear.

New here? For the next 31 days I’m living according to the famous William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” You can learn more about the project here, and catch sneak peeks of my projects by following me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (I’m @pancakesfries).

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. says

    ah, homework time. My favourite time of day! Glad it’s not just my house where yelling happens! The drawers are a great idea. Do you think it would be ethical to make a set of really huge drawers to shut the kids inside until they have done their homework?

  2. Fee says

    What timing! This has been on my ‘To-Do’ list for the past month, especially as my daughter has just started secondary school and needs some empty!! drawers to keep all her school books and supplies. Just need to search out the pencils which don’t break every time you attempt to sharpen them, dig out those brand new rubbers instead of the rock hard/1 cm remnants that the kids use and put that decent pencil sharpener on a chain so it doesn’t go walk-about, instead of having to resort to using the one which mashes the pencils to bits!
    Happy Bellowing!

  3. says

    The only time that I daydream of going back to work is during homework time. :) Great project and I love that you are working your way through rooms. I am so easily distracted I don’t know if I could ever manage. Also, interesting to see how different school supplies are in the states.

  4. says

    If my neighbors can’t hear me yelling at my kids, how will they know I’m doing a good job as a parent? Homework time (and bath time) provide valuable opportunities to prove my worth.

  5. says

    Love it, and glad to know we’re not the only ones who have issues during homework time (I find myself saying “FOCUS!” a lot!) :) My biggest annoyance is the trend to just send home a packet on Monday and they have to return it Friday, and I have to store those papers on top of it–and those papers come out each day to do a bit more, and the boys have to put them back (but don’t), and yeah, just good times. We have 2 boxes (not as big as photo boxes, but similar, and they look pretty on the shelf) to put them in. But boxes are full so we need to go through them and clean them out this week.

  6. Deb says

    Great post! As always, you made me laugh – ‘ I’m loathe to miss an opportunity to bellow loud enough for the neighbors to hear’. Seriously, I laughed out loud! I love your William Morris projects.

  7. Susan G says

    Sigh…school supplies and organization. It doesn’t get much better than that (and I only half-wish I were kidding!) We bought my daughter a new desk this year and it made me happy to watch her enjoy organizing it – even though I really wanted to be doing the organizing!

  8. says

    Now that my youngest is a senior I guess it is probably time that I rethink my drawers that are stuffed with things that look just like the goodies in yours. I think I should probably let go now!

  9. Missie says

    I can so relate! I have drawers for the kids but I didn’t think to stock them with supplies, I just keep misc. papers and schedules in there. We’re always looking for a pencil. From the looks of it, I’m one of many moms who hate homework time. I yell way too much (always aware if the windows are open) and Focus is a common word in my house. Having a child with ADHD makes it extra stessful. Keep the great ideas coming!!

  10. says

    Hahahahahahahahaaaaaa! I’d love to hear you bellow! My kids sure got tired of my bellowing… The homework drawer is a brilliant idea :) Have a great day!

  11. Phaedra says

    Have you been spying on us at Homework Time? This is almost exactly what I say.. hmmm…..
    :) thanks for the laugh! loved the post

  12. says

    Ha ha! Looks & sounds verrrry familiar! Love the idea of putting scrapbook paper down, I’m stealing it.

    Thanks for the link & shout-out. And FYI, I found my narrow little organizers over by the dish drainer/utensil organizer aisle at Target. I couldn’t find anything useful in their actual office supply area.

  13. says

    We had our first tears over homework on Monday. I thought I was being gentle and kind when I said that I didn’t think that five minutes was enough time to do a great job on homework. Evidently, I’m not the only evil monster, I mean evil mom, I mean mom.
    Such joy in the small reminders and nudges of love 😉
    Going to widen the scope of the craft corner and get some homework drawers. Anything to make the process easier.
    Jules, your sarcastic ways delight my day.

  14. says

    Oh Jules, that was hillarious. I often mutter to myself “yes i just live to make your life miserable” Bahaha! I have just the drawer in mind….off I go to copy you! 😀

  15. says

    I am bucking the trend. It is my kids’ responsibility to get their homework done. I know this is not a popular thought, but it was confirmed by the pediatrician and a therapist my son sees for issues that he has. It is my responsibility to make sure late assignments have consequences. This caused quite the challenge last year, but this year, both kids come home and do their homework right after school.

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