So many parents are turning away from public education to home-schooling options. While home schooling does increase the amount of time parents must devote to their children and usually means one parent forgoing earning income to teach, home-schooling may provide a better, richer education for a more well-rounded child.
An environment in the home should be set up for conductive learning. Teaching your child to read in the middle of a family room may not be the best setting and could be disruptive to learning. Choosing a room to devote to educational means and for storing school-related material is important. Children learn that this room is for school and the rest of the family home is for socializing and play.
How you set up your home-schooling room is important as well. The room should be one in a quiet area without disruptive noises or distractions. The area should be kept clean and neat at all times, and children should be taught to put away their materials and books after working with them. This behavior taught in a public school system is good to practice in home-schooling environments as well.
To that end, have storage centers that allow sorting of materials and easy clean up after use. Racks with bins or storage drawers where children can put away arts and crafts materials or pencils and crayons are a good idea. There are many storage center options on the market today to keep school materials neat and tidy.
Provide furniture that is scaled down to child size. If you visit an elementary school, you’ll notice that all the desks and chairs are small, making them easy for children to use. They’re also more comfortable for children, making learning less of a chore than having to reach up to write on a desk that is too high. Bookcases should also be child height, so that the child can reach without a parent having to worry about anything toppling over.
Watch for signs of boredom or frustration while the learning hours pass. If you see your child becoming tired or frustrated, take a break. Some children need to stop and absorb what they’ve learned before moving on, and a small break can be conducive to better mental processes. Just like adults, kids need a chance to get up, move around, do something else, and come back to the problem at hand.
Have a small reading area set up in your room, with a rocking chair and a bookcase full of stories your child can leaf through or read. Alternatively, you can have an activity center for painting or drawing and take a break from learning by painting a picture on the topic at hand. If you want to integrate a little child psychology, have your child draw a picture about how he was feeling before the break and how he feels now.
To make the process of creating up a home-schooling environment even better, include your child in the setting up of furniture and decorating of walls. Your child can choose pictures to hang or select a growth chart to measure height every week, or help paint the walls a color that is calming and relaxing, like blue. Including your child in the preparation for home-schooling can make your son or daughter feel more encouraged to participate in the venture rather than feel stuck at home.