Today we are going to start getting a little creative and talk about where you are going to homeschool. If you missed our last article, The Secret to a Perfect Schedule is Easier Than You Think, just follow the link. Have you thought about the actual area or room you will homeschool? There are so many different possibilities!
Setting up a room
When I started homeschooling my boys 8 years ago, we started with an entire room dedicated to school. I set it up with desks and posters and made it into a little classroom. Over the years we have moved, and that classroom transformed into a corner in the living room, the dining room table, the family room floor until we have landed on what we do today, which is a combination of all the above minus the classroom.
I started with a separate room because for a short while my children did attend public school. They were used to a classroom setting. I am a graduate of a public school and did not realize there were other ways to homeschool and so that is what I did. It was nice for a while, but it didn’t last long. It was like every time we opened the door to that room, the mood would change in our home. My boys hated school, hated the room, hated everything about it. I think because it limited us and made us feel closed in. One of my children has a really hard time sitting still. Imagine how hard it was for him to sit at a desk all day? He doesn’t learn that way and after trial and error, we found a way that works for us.
There are no rules!
Seriously there are no rules. Remember this when you start thinking about your school area. You don’t have to copy all those pictures on Pinterest of the prettiest school rooms. Your school area can consist of a shelf of books and a dining room table. Most families do not have an entire extra room to dedicate to school. Instead get creative about the space you do have.
I have found that if I allow my children to migrate to the part of the house they work best in, school goes better for us. There are times where my boys work together on a project and other times where they want to be by themselves. It just depends on the day and what they are working on.
As you homeschool you will figure out your children’s learning styles. Some kids need quiet, while others need background noise. Some children learn best when they are fidgeting or playing with blocks. Embrace their different learning styles and go with it. Allow them to listen to music if it helps, or play with Legos while discussing their lesson.
There are plenty of times where we just have to get down on the floor and do school. Sometimes it is easier to spread everything out and do our lessons on a whiteboard. When we were studying the U.S. Civil War last year my oldest son and I mapped out the different battles on a dry erase wall map of the United States. I put it on cardboard instead of a wall, so it would be easier to move around and write on.
You will need somewhere to store supplies
This is a necessity. As you go along in your homeschooling journey you will acquire supplies, lots of them. I have science supplies coming out my ears. You will need somewhere to keep these things. This can be a bookshelf or a cabinet. Just anywhere that keeps all your school supplies together, so it is not a fight each day to find things.
Take school outside
Consider doing school outside. One of the benefits of homeschooling is the freedom we have to do school wherever and whenever we want. If it is an especially nice day, go outside. It can completely change a bad day into a phenomenal one. Do you have a picnic table? Or maybe a play fort or swing set? Maybe your children can read their language arts assignments laying on the trampoline. Go for a walk and practice their spelling words or multiplication facts. I have found when I get my children moving a lot of the time they learn better and retain more. Break out of the monotony of the 4 walls of your house. Experiment. Try going to the library for history or take a walk down to the river and sit by the water.
The key thing is to try different things. See what works and what doesn’t. If your children can’t focus in one room, try a different one. You will fall into a rhythm that works best for your family. Maybe you can take some of those tips from Pinterest and modify them to fit your family. Whatever works and like I said earlier remember there are no rules!
Now it is your turn. I want you to figure out what you are going to do for your homeschool area. Remember things change so don’t make it complicated. Leave me a comment or a picture of what you decided upon. Have fun with it!
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