**EDITED TO ADD THE NEXT MORNING**
Wow. Ya'll (see, there it is again!) have some great ideas. Keep 'em coming. And even if you don't want to share, go read the comments to see what others have done!
A couple of things--that wipe board is a small one--the size of an 8 x 11 piece of paper. That way, the girls can hold it in their laps or on the homework table.
And I forgot to mention that we do homework at the exact same time everyday--from 5-6 p.m. An hour works for us--especially since Audrey will take as long as you give her. So she used to do homework from 3:30-6--even though it could be done in an hour. That keeps her on track, like the timers some other moms have mentioned. Plus it gives her time to play and be a kid after school. And eat a snack.
That's something else we do--a healthy snack right after school. The girls come home hungry and tired and need almost a whole 'nother meal. Full of protein and a little shot of caffeine sometimes too!
Every once in a while, I have a brilliant mommy moment that totally changes life for the better for my kids--and me too. This one happened a while ago, but it made our evening better tonight so I thought I'd share.