Parents who decide to homeschool their children want to provide them with an education on par with, if not better, than what they would receive at a traditional school.
Creating this type of experience starts with designing a welcoming space within the home for schooling. This area should combine the familiarity of home with the functionality of a classroom.
If you’re looking to build a room in your room that will get your kids excited for the school day, here are a few tips.
As a homeschool teacher, you need to make sure every minute of the day is purposeful for your kids. When the time comes to transition between reading and math, you don’t want to waste precious minutes searching for materials.
Having an intuitive storage system can make quickly grabbing the materials you need next simple. One tried and true system is a shelf with labeled baskets. Or, you can use a rolling storage cart with labeled drawers. Whatever you decide, you can feel confident the system of storage will make your life a lot easier. At the end of each day, swap out completed materials with the ones you will need for the next day in each subject.
You know your kids better than anyone. One of your kids may need to be isolated to perform their best while another may be a kinesthetic learner who needs a lot of desk space to learn by doing. You should use what you already know about your kids to plan your layout.
If you want your kids to work cooperatively, try setting up a table with a single bench so they can sit next to one another. If, on the other hand, you find they can become easily distracted, spread desks out across the room so everyone feels as though they have their own space. If you do decide to have individual desks, make sure there is a common area for group projects and activities.
Flooring in a home classroom needs to be able to withstand a lot. From chairs being dragged across it to spills during snack time, there are few areas of your home that will experience as much wear and tear as classroom flooring. With this in mind, you should probably avoid installing carpeting or traditional hardwood flooring. Neither of these flooring options can be easily cleaned, and both will deteriorate over the course of a school year.
Instead, seek out flooring materials that are durable and non-absorbent so they can be easily cleaned. Rubber roll matting is a great option since it’s not only scratch-resistant and spill-proof but can also prevent injury in the event one of your children trip and fall during the school day. But, if you’re looking for flooring that’s both functional and attractive, consider bamboo flooring or eucalyptus flooring. They offer the beauty of hardwood while being easy to clean and staying durable for years.
Kids occasionally need a break during a long school day. When that time comes, make sure they have a comfortable spot nearby to relax in.
You don’t need to go overboard when creating a cozy area of your homeschooling space. All you need is a comfortable chair or two and a bookcase with some of your kids’ favorites books along with a fuzzy carpet and soft lighting. Bean bag chairs are a cost-effective option. You could also choose to place a loveseat in the area with a footrest. For lighting, consider placing a dimmable lamp on top of the bookcase. This lets you or your kids adjust its brightness when you transition to break time and back.
An underappreciated aspect of teaching is how large of a role giving clear directions plays in a student’s success. If a student misunderstands the directions given to them by the teacher, they are unlikely to master whatever concept is being taught.
To ensure students understand directions the first time they are shared, teachers use visual cues, such as writing instructions down on the board or putting up posters that explain common classroom procedures. It’s no different in a home classroom. A whiteboard is a great start. Make sure it’s placed in a part of the room where everyone can easily read what is written on it.
It’s also a good idea to use posters in a similar way to the ones mentioned before. If you’re planning to designate certain sections of the room for specific subjects, place relevant posters in these areas. For example, if you plan to hold math lessons in the back of the room, include a poster nearby with instructions on how to use a calculator.
No homeschool teacher gets it right the first time. If you feel the design of your room isn’t working as planned, don’t hesitate to switch things up. The best teachers are always willing to adapt as they gather new information.
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