You don't have to turn your home into a school in order for your children to learn, but sometimes it's nice to have a little space set aside solely for learning, educational games, science experiments, or even simply a quiet place to study. If you're not sure were to begin, here are a few simple steps you can take to turn an open space into a schoolroom.
- Find a good nook or corner of the house that's quiet and out of the way of traffic. It doesn't have to be big, just comfortable and inviting so that your children can study without distraction. Make sure that the spot has good lighting and can accommodate a solid, clean work surface to work on. Fill the area with comfortable chairs, shelves or organizational bins that are good for storing books and can double as a place to store your curriculum.
- Make sure you have easy access to supplies and materials. When you give your children free reign to supplies, they are encouraged to dig deeper into their studies because there's no stopping to ask mom or dad for more materials — it's available at their fingertips!
- What school is complete without a library? As a homeschooling mom or dad, you might dream of a spot to hold all those great Sonlight books that will be passed on from generation to generation, so start by making a place that's set aside just for books. Set it up close to your child's new schoolroom and organize it just like a public library would - by author or by subject — you decide!
- Learning areas don't have to be confined to one area of your home: you can set up special areas for certain activities to take place. Maybe creative writing lessons are in the "Writer's Nook" you've carved out in the den or dining room, complete with extra paper, inspiring poetry and lots of sharpened pencils.
Or perhaps science experiments take place out in the garage or backyard. Find a place to hang a lab coat or keep a container full of science supplies near your student's "lab area." You can even designate the playroom or corner of the living room as the place your children act out different stories they read from classic Sonlight books — keep a chest or box full of dress-up clothes or props, and make sure there's plenty of room for them to act out their adventures. The possibilities are endless!
You might want to think about what makes a regular classroom so inviting: comfy bean bags for reading, student artwork on the walls, hands-on activity centers or educational charts and posters to stimulate learning (like our timeline figures!) With these few simple suggestions, you can make any space into your own distinctive school that's unique and special to your family.
You can find many other excellent suggestions in the Homeschool Support & Methods forum. Check out this inviting, friendly place to share pictures of your own school room, ask questions about homeschooling, or just converse with other homeschooling families.