Space set up: 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. Sadly, due to COVID 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 article will be all about how to set up learning at home, the reality stay in place or quarantine 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, you need a sturdy place for writing and computer use. Simple and basic. 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 for pencils, an end table or coffee for a laptop, writing, or play dough play, 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 and reading are the most essential skills, we take time for kids to read to us throughout the day or at bedtime. If the kids have an attention span, we will throw in science. Our books are Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, we sometimes spend time researching what pioneer life was like, or Oregon Trail facts (we do this before math if they have the attention span).
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. Starting next week we will have daily science added in the aftermath. We will do this for 2 weeks, then add the next subject.