Whether you’ve had a home school student in the past or not, it never hurts to learn tips shared between experienced homeschool educators. One thing that many educators, experienced and inexperienced alike, often have questions about is how to best facilitate education at home. No matter how many outdoor excursions or field trips you embark on, the home is typically the center of a homeschooled child’s education. So, it is in everyone’s best interest to create the right type of environment that is conductive to learning.
Of course, the traditional classroom setting doesn’t work for many of our students. Still, your student will need an environment where they can focus on their studies and be free of distraction. You don’t need to turn your dining room into an in-home classroom in the conventional sense. Consider the tips below to help you cultivate your home into a center of learning.
While it might seem convenient to utilize the large space that makes up your living room, dining room or kitchen, keep in mind that these spaces are often the most heavily-trafficked areas of the home. If you have a large family, frequent guests, or animals that roam freely throughout the home, these spaces might not be ideal.
You need a designated space, even a small one, to help your student focus on certain tasks. This place will function as the area that gets them into the learning mode. It should work much like what a classroom can do for the students in traditional educational facilities. A spare room, like a study or guest room, is ideal if available. If not, consider sectioning off an area of your living or dining room and mandating quiet hours when you know your student will need to use this station.
It is frustrating and distracting when you do not have the materials on-hand to teach or learn them. To avoid this frustration, make sure that you are making use of an organizational system of some kind. Color-coded binders and boxes make for great additions to any in-home classroom. Cubbies, hooks for hanging items, stationary organizers and even file cabinets can be instrumental in keeping your homeschool area clean and organized. This cuts down on the frustration and makes it easier to seamlessly move on from one subject to the next.
You might feel motivated right now to go out and buy tons of decorations for your homeschooling area. If you really feel compelled to go big and create a home classroom that will be the envy of others, go ahead! But don’t feel that doing so is necessary for your student to succeed at homeschooling.
First of all, the money spent on decoration – which does not directly contribute to the effectiveness of the curriculum – could be otherwise spent on educational tools, consumable materials, and even field trips or other outings.
Second, preparing to homeschool can be tough and stressful enough as it is. If you don’t have the energy or the motivation to go big on the decor front, don’t feel bad! Instead of using all your free time to set up that awe-inspiring in-home classroom, take some time to breathe instead.
The decision to homeschool is a big one that isn’t made lightly, and every parent or guardian chooses a different way to go about it. There is no one right way that is set in stone. But if you follow these tips, you and your student will have an easier time as they get used to their new curriculum for the year.