How to Organize Your Home School Classroom
Just as important as setting an agenda for teaching lessons for your children is having the proper space organized that lends itself to the most conducive learning environment possible for both you and your children. In order to ensure that all of you are going to feel productive in your space, you’ll want to set up a homeschool classroom that is both stimulating and organized.
First and foremost, you must create a space that is to be the homeschool classroom. The kitchen table with all of its distractions in not a learning center, especially if you have more than one child to teach. The space can be small but it must be the special place, not just a temporary workplace.
First let’s look at some great tips and tools on how to organize your space:
- Whiteboards are a great way to draw, demonstrate and help your children to visualize your lessons. This reusable space will help with lessons and to demonstrate a variety of tips for your child to learn such as spelling and learning how to sound out words.
- Both you and your child need your own spaces where you can store your own supplies and do work in your personal space.
- Bulletin boards are handy for pinning up samples, work and lessons that you’ll want to refer to during the course of the day, week or longer.
- Bookcases are essential for storing textbooks, reading books and even some art supplies. If you attach a basket at the end of it, your child can put their completed work in to be marked.
- Arrange storage containers against a wall and have them labeled by their contents. Not only will this help you to stay organized, but also it will help you child with learning to be orderly.
- Create different stations for different subjects so that you can help to break up the potential boredom of being in the same space all day. You can do this by creating a reading corner; an art center and a general play area for break time.
Displaying Work and Plans
Once you have your space organized, you still have some work to do. By using some of the materials from above, you can help to keep your children interested and stay on track during your lessons:
- Post the days lesson plan on a bulletin board or white board so you can both follow the daily lesson plan together. You can find free plan curriculum guides and lesson plans online. You can learn more about how Gantt charts show expected vs. actual progress on a daily basis in one or more subjects by checking out my article on Gantt charts..
- Use free space on a wall or corkboard to track your child’s progress in each subject. That way you can both see how they are progressing and areas that need improvement. We also provide Star Charts that indicate the points students have earned as they have learned. There are also Points Charts and Fluency Check records which show daily results in Maloney Method products.
- Use Maps, posters of the alphabet, calendars and seasonal charts to help demonstrate while you’re teaching.
- Display artwork on a wire or string using clothespins.
Learning in the Great Outdoors
When you’re planning your space, don’t forget that the outdoors are a great way to extend your homeschooling classroom. You can use this space to teach your child about most nature related topics like animals, plants, the ecosystem, composting and weather. It’s not difficult to set this space up:
- Use car mats for children to kneel on when they are playing in soil and grass
- Buy wooden or Tupperware crates for storage of supplies (pails, buckets, jars)
- Have a workspace like outdoor chairs and a table for children to do their work
- Prepare for any type of weather by making sure there are a shaded area and an umbrella.
- Have a separate area for balls and games
- Create a compost and allow your child to help you
- Use plants and trees to help your child learn names and species and teach them which plants are edible and which are poisonous
- Gardening is a great learning experience and a great outdoor activity
- Children love bugs and this is the perfect spot for them to learn about them while they uncover them. Help them to observe these little critters with glass jars and magnifying glasses.
- Add binoculars to your list of supplies so that you can teach them about the different variety of birds and animals in your area.
Every season you can spruce up your homeschool space with accents of the season such as leaves, holly, pine cones and other natural ‘accessories’ that can also be used for crafts.
You don’t need a large budget to create an optimal learning environment. As long as your space is organized and laid out in a way that encourages focus and productivity, you can use any type of space – large or small. If you don’t have the budget, look around your home and try to be creative. There are several things both inside and out that will serve as a shelf or a bench or an easel in a pinch. The key is to make the experience special for both you and your children.