Choosing to educate your children at home can be a daunting prospect. Will you be able to get them to focus? What if you let them down? These, and many more questions, are no doubt racing through your mind as you go to hand in your deregistration letter on the last day of school.
But once the deed is done, the joy starts to set in. You’re free at last! The two of you (or three, four…) can now learn in the way that best suits your child. You can visit museums, go to the park, learn to swim and simply enjoy each other more than ever before.
Dealing with the academic side of home educating can be less appealing. Most recommend that your child goes through a period of ‘deschooling’, to let them be free from any negative thoughts about school and learning, and allow them to find their own interests and passions. Once this is over, however, the books will be back and it’s time to get to grips with learning at home.
Your homeschool ‘classroom’
You don’t need to dedicate a whole room to home schooling. In fact, many home educators simply work from folders and then pack them neatly away when work time is over. However, if you are able to set up a homeschool classroom for you and your little ones to enjoy, here are our top tips on getting that done:
Set up workstations
If you have the space, defining different workstations can be a great way of separating different activities and offering more to your kids. Think about a comfy reading area, a place for school computer desks, a place for workbooks and areas for play too.
Make a place for everything
Whether you’re using big tubs, small shelves or shoe boxes for storage, make sure everything has its place. By making a place for everything, your children will find it easier to put things back where they came from and keep everything organised.
Don’t underestimate your storage needs!
If you think you’re going to squeeze your entire homeschool into your box room, think again. Home education has a way of spreading out around the house, and even spilling into the garden too! Invest in drawers, boxes, shelving units and bins to help stay organised and to avoid wasting time ‘finding’ things.
It can be easy to think that screens = bad, and therefore eliminate them from your homeschool journey. But in reality, there is so much learning to be done that includes modern tech. From printing worksheets to online learning, wildlife videos to YouTube ‘how-tos’, invest in some school computer desks and enjoy the wonders of the modern age!
Give yourself a break
Finally, don’t expect everything to go wonderfully all the time. You might invest in the wrong resources, you might take their learning too seriously, or you might spend a week doing nothing at all. It’s not the end of the world! Pick yourself up, dust your pride down and try again tomorrow!