Creating an environment where your little ones can learn, and you can teach is as important as choosing a curriculum that fits your family’s needs. At the beginning of every year, it’s just about every mom’s dream to start off the New Year right--with a clutter free home! We clean, we paint, we repurpose furniture, and buy new items which can help to add a bit of pizzazz in the make-over of our living spaces.
As a home schooler, it’s even more desirable to identify a space you can label the zone you call your classroom. Follow these steps and we’re sure your little one will enjoy calling their mom--teacher…
Step #1: Get super clear about where this space will be! It could be a corner of a bedroom, the dining room, a quarter of the living room, family room, or unoccupied guestroom. Depending on the size of the space, and your budget you can completely reinvent this space as your designated classroom or learning area. The important thing is to have fun with this DIY process. You can even involve your child, or completely do it by yourself depending on the amount of time you have and schedule.
When you have an entire room to work with you can add a touch of paint or stencil art to the walls to make the room come alive. Nowadays, there are lovely stick on the wall wipe and chalk board paper that you can easily apply to walls. You can directly write on it, and it helps so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of a hammer or nails. They even have this in cork board form for so you can create a bulletin board for the display of your child’s work, weekly schedule, and learning visuals.
Step # 2: Organize your space to suit your class size needs! Finding a desks or table large enough to suit your home-class size is also key. Whether you shop at a major brand, local furniture, or thrift store—it’s important to have items your learner feels comfortable with. There should also be shelves for workbooks, learning materials, and manipulatives. Creating a cubby system is also helpful if you have more than one child. This can be used for storing each student’s items, or daily work assignments. Make sure you have shelving and cubbies clearly labeled. If it’s a dual language environment, which we will talk about in another blogpost, then you want to make sure you have labels written in your target language.
Creating a print rich environment that fosters language development is very important. Display posters related to content areas, rules created collectively by you and your learners, as well as anchor charts are critical for setting the tone of your class. Nothing is too small, or too big of a concept in the home-classroom. Having labels for baskets where pencils (both sharpened and broken) are kept to where erasers are stored for frequent use not only help to keep things orderly for your space but develop a system where children can form productive routines. It makes an absolute difference when children can differentiate between…“I’m at home, but home at school,” and “I’m doing school at home.”
Step # 3: Have students take ownership of their environment! So, we love student incentives. Why? Because they help to get children excited about learning, and also help them to become responsible for their habits. Having reward charts, reading contest, learning challenges amongst your children, designated classroom monitors for paper and other miscellaneous jobs get students excited about your classroom. Tie all this to simple rewards and half the battle is won for your classroom management at home!