The decision to homeschool your child or children is not a choice that you will take lightly. But after coming to the conclusion that this is the right choice for your family, it’s imperative that you find the winning formula that works for you, especially when it comes down to creating your homeschooling environment.
You’ll quickly find out that homeschooling creates an incredible flexibility that wouldn’t be possible with traditional school. The schedule you establish for learning may look vastly different compared to a traditional school day, and don’t let that scare you. The timings of the lessons may even differ (which is totally okay), and this isn’t the only factor you need to consider.
The ‘classroom’, or place(s) you choose to do most of your schooling is another factor that you may want to consider. I have noticed that most new homeschoolers biggest stressors are where to homeschool, and what should a school area look like. So just how significant are the surroundings for your child’s development? Let’s talk about it!
I for one am an advocate for utilizing what you have. I’m talking from space to supplies. I never suggest spending bookoos of extra money to add on a school room, or purchase desks, let alone brand new supplies every single year. I do advocate for working with space you have and using what you already possess around the home to help your children learn on a daily basis. With this in mind, there are a few other things to keep in mind… (Check out how I homeschool in small spaces and stay organized!)
A Chance To Establish Boundaries
Homeschooling enables us to teach our kids from any location. When the sun is shining, there’s nothing wrong with sitting in the garden or taking a trip to the local park for a day of play and education. This can be done by packing along some sight word flashcards, activity books, and other tools. Likewise, you could easily turn a trip to the grocery store into a math lesson, or sit your child at the dinner table for an English lesson.
Although the liberty of homeschooling allows for a sense of relaxation, something to consider is establishing small boundaries that keep some portions of learning in their own arena. What I mean by that is it could be a good idea to have a system or routine for “this is time for learning” and “this is time for playing.”
While it won’t necessarily work for everyone, setting a designated area for most learning activities can be very useful. If nothing else, it can encourage easier organization. It typically changes throughout the year for us, mainly because our family is always expanding. This year we have four children ranging from high chair to almost high school so having a designated area is working well. Two years ago, that wasn’t the case. Keep in mind that you should do whatever helps your family thrive!
A Chance To Focus On Strengths (Or Weaknesses)
Just a few weeks ago I did a series of videos giving tips and tricks for homeschooling multiples. One of my tips is to incorporate activities that will help with focused learning times for each child. One-on-one learning provides you with an unrivaled chance to spot your son or daughter’s strengths and weaknesses. Because let’s face it, the kiddos are always fighting for attention, am I right? Needless to say, the surroundings of your homeschool can be used to promote the best development in all areas and you can use a range of learning activities and materials.
This is about the only time you’ll catch me saying this, but if you’re one of those who want experiment with having a designated area beyond the rest of your home, it will most likely come with an investment. At the same time, don’t let Pinterest or Google search cause you to spend more than need to (LOL). I’m not a financial advisor but I recommend calculating it in like any other bill and go from there, but don’t get yourself in debt (If you need actual finance advice though, check out http://debtconsolidation.co/debt-relief/).
A Chance To Do More
Nobody knows your children as well as you do. While there are learning styles to consider, homeschooling allows you to teach so much more than what your child would learn at school. This can range from developing vital life skills to actively preparing for future employment.
The learning environment(s) you set up can be used to promote these ideas. Meanwhile, the way in which your child learns can become more advanced too. There are many more options available than before that include local COOP groups and online schooling. There are tons of online options to sift through, so to save you a few minutes of research, check out https://windowsreport.com/homeschooling-software/ for some of the best computer-based learning. Given the direction society is moving in this could be key.
When combined with the fun and educational trips that you can incorporate, your child’s development will be greater than ever!
The Final Thought
To sum it all up, the homeschooling environment doesn’t have to follow the same strict guidelines of a traditional classroom. We can sometimes get trapped into thinking that bringing the traditional classroom home is what’s best when in hindsight, it’s not. On the other hand, I do strongly believe that creating favorable surroundings for your child to learn and develop is very influential and much needed.
What does the perfect learning environment look like? The one that fits your unique family dynamic and feels right for you!
CHIME IN: What does your homeschool environment look like? Share in the comments how you foster learning using your home environment!