Creating an Environment For Learning
What homeschooling looks like is different for every family. What homeschool doesn't look like is, school at home.
The most important thing in setting up the environment is making it comfortable and natural for your child's personality. This may mean that each child has a go to space for their individual learning. Dale and Michelle had a child who needed to get up and move around a lot while doing his work. This could be disruptive to the other children so they created a space that allowed him the freedom he needed and at times, that was even the treehouse in the backyard.
Plan, then create
As many found out during the school lockdowns, school at home is usually a disaster. What we teach parents is what it takes to have order in your home. How to set boundaries, get children to do chores and not argue. Create and environment where they love learning and don't fight against you as a parent or as their teacher.
With that in mind, we may now know what we want to have happen, but all too often as a parent we just jump into anything with the knowledge and experiences we already have . So when it comes to school, what do we do? We get everyone set at desks or around the kitchen table and at 9am they start with their first subject. Then when everyone is either done, sufficiently bored or worse, have all given up, they move onto the next subject. After about a week of this, most families either give up or they realize that this really isn't the way we learn at home. If we wanted that type of an environment, we should just stay in school.
So what does the right environment look like for homeschooling? Much of that may depend on the child. There are times for group discussion and learning but what that looks like may be determined by the way your children sit and listen. Some may need to be in chairs, pencil in hand taking notes. Others will do better if they are on bean bags that cuddle them so they wiggle less. Some children do better listening when they are outside with bare feet, toes and fingers feeling the grass and connecting to the ground.
Personal learning space may look the same but with added touches. Some children respond well to warmth, others are stimulated by cooler environments. Some may even love to work around smells, so you can use oils or candles to help provide that personalised feel when they study.
What all this looks like is for you the parent to figure out, but you can't do that without giving it a lot of thought and creating a plan. In Course 3, we provide you with ideas and instruction on how to create a family mission, family culture, priorities, and creating times for rest.
Remember Dale and Michelle's experience where their oldest child went from 8th grade to University in three years. Accelerated learning will happen naturally. You have plenty of time to plan, homeschooling doesn't have to begin on day one. Infact, it shouldn't. Taking your time, however long that maybe to get your environment and everything else in order will pay dividends far into the future.