“Parents are teachers and home is a child’s first and most important classroom.”
To Teach Is Noble…To Teach, Parent and Work At The Same Time … Divine
Saying that our country is currently full of division is probably the understatement of the decade, but one thing that I think we can all agree on is, no matter how you slice it,: COVID19 sucks. It has brought so much heartache to so many. And change… oh my gosh have we changed… we’ve changed the way we do almost everything.
One of the biggest changes for a lot of folks is how we are educating our children. So many of you, parents, grandparents, and friends, have been thrown in to a new, and most important role… that of teacher (or, sometimes proctor) to children. And the big question facing us right now is: will this continue for the fall?
For many of us this all began last March. People scrambled to make it work, for what we thought would be a few months. For a lot of us, we did this on a wing and a prayer. But if our children don’t go back in person this fall,maybe it’s time to carve out a homeschooling space in our houses to make this a more enjoyable, comfortable and successful endeavor for everyone. I cannot (just ask my kids) help you teach them the new math, but I can offer the following thoughts and ideas on homeschooling spaces.
Quit The Kitchen Table And Make A Designated Spot
If my trip to IKEA with Charlotte last week tells me anything, there aren’t too many desks to be had out there. Desks at my shop, Consignments Ltd. , fly out as soon as they come in., so this carving out of space for homeschooling is not going to be an easy task. That being said, everything I am reading says that it is important to carve out a designated space (both for students and for teachers/parents). So we are going to need to get creative.
First, here’s a link to one of my previous blogs: How to Easily Carve Out A Work Space that’s full of creative ideas to help you find a spot in your home, no matter the size of your space – ideas like using a closet, a console table or an old TV armoire. Check it out if you’re stuck on where to start. Once you’ve designated an area here are some other thoughts for your consideration…
To View or Not To View… It Really Depends on the Kid.
My son, Joe, is an outdoors man, and a true, natural athlete, but man did he stink at T-ball! He’d be in the outfield ,lying down in the grass and when he was actually standing up, he’d be picking the dandelions! A workspace in front of a window would be about the worst thing I could do for this kid academically. He’d be counting the birds and postulating the stars. (Who’s surprised that he received his degree from Colby in Philosophy?) So, if I were designating a workspace for Joe’s homeschooling, a view would definitely not be high on my agenda. So my advice to you on this topic is: consider your kid or kids when carving out your spot. A closet desk is great for a kid like Joe. A child inspired by the outside needs a whole different perspective.
What About All The “Stuff?”
Another consideration in your homeschooling space needs to be what to do with all the associated “stuff. “Luckily, there are and abundance of resources for corralling our materials from The Container Store to Walmart. You’ll need space for art supplies, computer peripherals and reference books. Make sure you gather your materials first and then buy your storage solution, however, or that one wont go well.
Also, see the section below for some great ideas on back-to-school shopping.
Make The Outdoors Part of Your Classroom
Unless you live in the Arctic Circle, you have another ace up your homeschooling sleeve – the great outdoors! You may not have the biggest homeschooling space, but you can expand it exponentially by getting outside with your students./kids.. Use the outdoors to study… to explore..and to quote Ralph Waldo Emerson – “live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.”
And the outdoors provides the best space for that mental break to mom’s and dad’s that teachers call RECESS! In some circles this is also known as get-the-heck-out-of-the-house-before-I-lose-my-mind-or-get-fired… but who’s counting?
My Back-To-School Shopping List For On-Line/Distance Learning
How have teachers done it all this time? You’ve probably been asking yourself this a lot lately, especially with dwindling school budgets. The answer is, in a lot of cases, that teachers spend their own money to outfit your kids at school. So, when all this COVID horror is done and we go back to “new normal,” we should all have a much greater appreciation for those who choose to teach – for so many reasons. In the meantime, here’s my shopping list for your home-school house:
- A good internet connection for sure
- Any necessary software
- A working computer for each student, if possible
- Printer and ink/toner
- Printer paper
- Earbuds for each student
- Pencils (LOTS of them)
- Paper or dry-erase calendar
- Stapler and staples
- Tape and dispenser
- Graph paper for older students
- Crayons for younger students
So What Else Is Good About Creating A Homeschooling Space?
When all this COVID crap is over, you have a space to do crafts or other creative things – for your kids, grandkids or even yourself.
And now for a little music before we go…
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose!”Dr. Suess
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