There is no denying that this coming school year is going to look different. How kids are going back to school, be it in person, virtual, or homeschool not only varies state-by-state, but even city-by-city. Now is the perfect time to create an at home learning environment to help our young learners during this time of transition. Here are some helpful tips for your home space.
Establishing the “School Zone”
Transitioning from a traditional school setting to home based learning, means that establishing structure is more important as ever. Make a visual timeline that maps out the day. Children are use to structure at school and having structure at home will help everyone stay on task.
Dedicating a space that is distraction free, sets the tone for learning at home. This special space is also helping to remind family members to be mindful when they see someone in this space.
Don’t forget to have fun with these spaces, structure doesn’t mean the space has to be rigid and uncomfortable. Even though this space is meant for learning, it is still a part of your home. Allow it to compliment your home decor.
Create Rotational Centers
No one likes to sit in the same space all day long and for children it may be especially difficult. Have an office space that can be dedicated to core curriculum. If you don’t have an extra space, here are some ideas for creating a space in your home.
Create a cozy reading nook for silent reading, let the kiddos take their reading to the couch, or even their rooms for some peace and quiet.
Go outside for learning, get some wiggles out, and some fresh air. A change of scenery will do a lot of good than being stuck inside all day long.
If you have multiple children who are learning at home, maybe even try rotating these centers so everyone has their space at different times. This will also allow you as their parent/learning coach to dedicate time to one child at a time.
Organization is Key
Keeping track of assignments and paperwork can be a task even outside of schooling at home. Keep a binder for the family and use tabs for each child. Or even a basket system can be just as good with color coded folder so each child knows what belongs to them or to the subject they’re working on.
Just because you’re learning at home, you may still need to pick up a few school supplies. Take advantage of any tax-free weekend deals for your state and stock up on some pencils, paper, and maybe even pick up a dry erase board and some markers for math lessons. Don’t forget about some art supplies like markers, glue, and paints. If your child is more of a visual learner you can always pick up some flashcards and workbooks to help as well.
Flexibility and Grace
Even if you are a seasoned at homeschool family or brand new to the game, know that every day may look different. Being at home may offer a little more flexibility to change your schedule as needed. If you need help, do not hesitate to reach out for help. Chances are there is someone who can help and offer advice or support. Brittany Norman of the blog Ellison Made, said that her years as an early childhood educator, helped her to create the homeschool space for her three young girls. Brittany “wanted to make sure that there was a space dedicated to education and hands-on learning” no matter what was going on in their school district.
Giving our kiddos a safe space to learn will help them build the foundation they need and desire for a successful school year. If your kids are able to return to the classroom in the future, these spaces can be used outside of school for homework and other creative projects. Creating a fun and functional at home learning environment, is a great way to take back some control in an otherwise up in the air world.