Typically, I would try to dedicate a space in the house just for learning. A place to hang posters, a place the children can claim as their learning space. Right now, in our home, as well as many homes this is just a tricky thing to make happen. Right now, I have a dining room table, they have desks in their rooms. This is our learning space. Our dining room table is our family communal space, but it is our classroom, our art studio, our sensory space, and our science lab. It's also where we eat dinner and play board games.
This new schooling is tough, it is not our normal homeschooling. Normally, we would have extra activities, field trips to the mountains, national parks, museums, and libraries. We miss karate, dance, and scouts. My daughter has missed her first tournament and will be missing a dance recital she has worked so hard on. My scout leaders and I have been trying to find a way to schedule scouts online with minimal success.
This week was to be all about how to set up learning at home, the reality is "stay in place" learning is not a true reflection of homeschool life. The reality is, I can give you an idea of how to keep basic skills growing and to help make a bad situation better.
To set up your home for homeschooling basics is simple – you need a cozy place to cuddle and read, a pillow and blanket on the floor or turn chairs into a cozy tent. Next, you need a sturdy place for writing and computer use. Simple and basic, an end table or coffee table makes a great place for a laptop, writing, or play dough play. My children each have a desk in their rooms and we use the dining room table. For stories, we sit at the table, sit at the couch, and snuggles at bedtime.
Tools you may need:
· Fridge magnets
· Whiteboard and markers
· Pencils, markers, crayons
· Art supplies: watercolors, drawing, coloring, other painting, modeling clay
· Posters you can take down and put away after lessons are over
· Notebooks (composition notebooks) to record and keep ideas
· Totes to keep it all in
· Shallow totes for sensory
· Curriculum to teach – if your school is not online through the school, there are places to get and make your own curriculum guide
Also, Look around and see what you have: A jar or can for pencils maybe some rice and beans for sensory play or math manipulatives.
Looking at our previous blog on routines slowly adding your curriculum time into the schedule. My family likes to start at lunchtime. We start with an audiobook, or my self-reading out loud, while the kids are eating lunch and follow up questions at the end. After literature is done, we move onto math. Sometimes its an app, or a worksheet. Last week it was color by numbers (the numbers were answers to math equations). Then we take a break for outside time.
Math, reading, and writing are the most essential skills, we take time for kids to read to us throughout the day or bedtime. If the kids have the attention span, we will throw in science. Our current books are Little House books, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
After an outside time (or sometimes during it), we will do science or sensory. We are also working on a garden, learning about seeds, and plant life. This is casual, not daily. We are adding in the new curriculum slowly. Starting next week we will have daily science added in after, math. We will do this for 2 weeks, then add the next subject.