When you are homeschooling your children, you need to come up with organization that works for you. Often this requires that you set up a classroom to meet their needs. This can be a separate room in your house -- only used for teaching -- or it can be something as widely used as your dinning room.
Create a workspace for each student. Whether they are working at the dining room table or they each have a desk, make sure that at the start of each school day your home-school students have an effective workspace. That will mean that they are far enough away from other students that they aren't going to spend the whole time distracted. You will want to make sure they have everything available to easily complete their assignments. This may also require a little creativity or some set up if you really are using the dining room table.
A few ideas that might help:
- Place supplies in the center of the table. This can be pencils and other items that will be used that day.
- Place books and papers between each student to make sure that they are divided from their brothers and sisters.
- If using a separate room, try to get a large table or even a desk for each student.
Organize it all. You will want to have lessons organized as well the space. If you keep everything in its place then you won't have to hunt it down when it is time to use it. Organization will save your time as well as the time of the students. Being prepared and knowing where everything is can take frustration out of the situation and make it easier to move through the school day.
To keep organized, consider the following:
- Have a bookshelf dedicated to homeschool books and supplies. Whether in a common room in the house or in a room that is just the classroom, this can help keep everything organized.
- Organize by person and then subjects to make it easy to find the things that are needed.
- Give each student a three-ring binder or notebook to keep his or her work in. If they have their own desk, then they can keep it there. If not, keep it in the bookshelf.
- Don't let schoolwork go to the bedroom or living room. This is a good way to lose it, which is always frustrating.
Have the right atmosphere and attitude. Home school is often more relaxed than other schooling atmospheres. This is okay -- you need to find what is right for your family. The attitude should be one of learning.
Whenever possible, it is a good idea to make this exciting and fun. When a student loves to learn, they will do more of it. But finding a balance will be up to your family since each student is different and has different needs.
- Don't be afraid of field trips and alternative learning locations. This can make for great experiences.
- Make learning experiences in the kitchen, the backyard, and other places in addition to the classroom.
The space. Most homeschoolers don't have a separate room for homeschooling. Often times this takes a lot more space than a family has to offer the homeschooling experience, and it isn't necessary. On the other hand, when that space is available, it can be very helpful. Here are some tips for setting up a homeschool room.
- Give each student a work space, either with a large table or more preferably with a desk. In some locations you can buy old school desks from the school system.
- Have a bookcase or cupboard to keep everything organized.
- Cover the windows with blinds so they can be shut if need be.
- Have a TV, DVD player, and VCR in this room so that students can watch any lessons they have on video without a problem.
- Include a computer or two as well.
Setting up a home school classroom is usually about meeting the needs of the individuals who are going to use it. This can mean a wide range of things and it is really up to your family. However the important things are that it is functional for each student using it, organized, and that it has an atmosphere and attitude for learning to happen.