From North Carolina to Oregon, schools are adapting to shrinking budgets. After-school programs are often the first to go, which means the kids are headed home sooner. If your house is the kind of place where the neighborhood gathers, you'll want to find a room that you can make comfortable for kids so that the rest of the house isn't overrun. Outfit it with lots of seating—even pillows will do—and make sure you can keep an eye on the goings-on. At the same time, create a special space for doing homework, so that the structure of the classroom can continue at home.
Of course, you'll need some activities to keep the little ones occupied. Consider some TOH Family Projects
, like building a mini-golf course
, constructing a lemonade stand
, or putting together a house to attract mosquito-eating bats