A few weeks ago, I posted the first of 3 skills that will help you become more intentional in homeschooling—finding a workable routine. Today is the second post on this topic.
Second Skill—Creating the Learning Environment
Along with having a routine that gives you structure AND freedom , homeschooling improves as you learn the skill of creating a hospitable environment for learning.
What does that mean? At the most basic level, it means having:
• children's books readily available for reading and exploring,
• art materials for drawing and creating,
• musical instruments (if possible) for experimenting,
• balls and bicycles for exercise,
• and computer/internet.
Beyond that, it depends on your kids—and on you getting to know what environment "sets them free" to learn. For some students, having everything neat and orderly makes learning a joy. For others, having things set up for them to "fidget" and move around brings an incredible zest for learning. Some might want you to sit next to them on the couch while they work quietly, while others come to life when you pull out art supplies or science materials for doing a hands-on project.
As you begin to figure out what works best for each of your kids, you might consider enhancing the learning environment for specific subjects.
Here are a few examples:
• have a rousing history discussion around the dinner table,
• play appropriate background music during math and reading,
• and act out the grammar you're studying ("do" the verb, "be" the noun).
All of these can become part of creating a learning environment that is tailored to your kids. What would THEY enjoy?
On the very practical side, drinking water throughout the day and having healthy snacks as needed will contribute to good learning. Lighting is also very important, as is a comfortable temperature. Take regular breaks to walk around, go outside, get active!
NOTE: Just like finding the sweet spot in your routine, figuring out the environment for your children is going to be require some experimenting. If you have one child who likes everything neat and orderly but their sibling needs to be able to fidget and move, what does that look like in your home? Maybe you will discover new ways to arrange the furniture or you think of how to create special places for certain subjects. It's going to take time and effort, but once they have a dependable routine and an environment designed specifically for welcoming learning, you'll be amazed at how much easier it is to homeschool!