I just can’t contain myself. Though I’m excited today to share about how to turn a house into a homeschool space Part 1, I just can’t keep my news from you any longer. We have a contract on our house!!!! I think I will pass out now that the last stages of packing begins.
I have such mixed feelings going on right now because if all goes as planned with the buyer (which you know we have no control over), then we should close on our house by the end of August. Does that mean my blog titles will change to Hotel Homeschooling? Maybe so. Though there may be some blogging breaks from time to time and because some of you have emailed asking me, please know that I’m not giving up blogging. I have grown too fond of you.
Also, we are not planning right away to move/fly to South America because we want to take a much needed vacation here in the states. You have to love homeschooling at times like this. When everybody is planning back to school, we will be taking our “summer break.” For sure, I’ll keep you posted.
Today, I want to share a few fun tips that remind me to create a learning rich environment. Too, maybe it’s because I am pining to organize, create and decorate a homeschool room which I normally do at this time of the year that I am inspired to share a tip or two that will get you started or help you to make a small change this year.
Turn a House Into a Homeschool Space, NOT a Classroom.
I have heard it over and over again and that is that you won’t use a homeschool room. Guess what? I did. And I loved using it when the kids were young. I think some of this depends on the amount of space you have, your need to have some things contained as the teacher and on the ages of your children. Transitioning active boys from roughhousing to sitting still for just a bit is a learned art by
them you. Going into the schoolroom and changing our environment each morning gave my boys a cause to pause. It changed their demeanor in the since they got a bit more calm ready to learn. It was the shift in focus we needed each morning.
It’s funny how when they are small too, they like doing the bunk bed thing and shared bedroom and that freed up an extra bedroom in our house.
As the teacher mom, it helped me to tame the chaos and clutter by having one area where our books and supplies were too.
A Print-Rich Learning Environment at Home is Important.
However, with that being said, I set up our early learning room a bit more like a classroom with my posters and too rigid of an early morning routine. Having all young children then, I think it’s important to have a print-rich learning environment though because I had to teach them all how to read and that begins with early exposure to print, letters and shapes.
I see now that I could have added plastic learning mats at the table where they ate and even some mats in the potty room. Scattering the place mats throughout the house can make learning more natural at this age.
Are You Sabotaging Your Child’s Natural Ability to Create and Learn?
There were some things I did right and would not change if I had to start homeschooling all over again.
I couldn’t have schooled without the kidney shaped table. Though I didn’t have to sit on the other side of a table like a teacher (I still had public school teacher mentality), it worked out great actually because the shape of the table allowed all the kids to sit around together. Of course the soft round edges were safe too for a toddler pulling up to stand.
Storing all the manipulatives in one area that the kids could easily reach inspired them to create and pretend play. Having another separate arts and craft table set up, allowed me to move one or two kids over to that area for some time alone fun time while I still supervised them. This was a sanity saver because it allowed me to work 1:1 with another kid. Making time for that precious 1:1 time with each kid whether they are struggling or not in a subject has been vital so that I keep a good pulse on what each of my sons are learning and not learning. Sometimes it’s not so easy with a toddler running in and out of a room, but I found that having enough
clutter manipulatives in the room I was in along with his favorite snacks bought me some time too.
Last, I loved, loved, the small child-sized forward facing bookshelf. Each week, I changed out the books with science and history books that I chose from the library. From the beginning, my kids could choose books they wanted to “read” even though they were not reading age yet AND I would make them choose a book or two that I had on the shelf.
Just like eating, learning to read is about exposing them to healthy habits from the beginning.
In Part 2, I will share how to turn a house into a homeschool space when you don’t have a homeschool room and share my learning space for kids that are a bit older.
Too, you know I always give you the heads up when I have a 5 day series coming up.
Next week, I will be sharing 5 Days of Clever DIY Hacks For Your Homeschool Spaces, just in time to start preparing your homeschool rooms.
Hugs and love ya,
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