Lesson Plan - Get It!
As you prepare to start school this year, something you should be asking yourself is, "How can I make our learning environment better?"
As a homeschool teacher, your decorating will unfortunately have to be on your own budget. But having a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t create lasting memories with a great homeschool room!
And, while there is a ton of homeschool organization ideas out there (Pinterest, oh my!), we’ve come up with the 6 must-dos when considering homeschool organization:
- Don’t make it too cluttered. When it comes to homeschool organizational ideas, the biggest no-no is a distracting space. You don’t want your students to be staring at cool artwork on the walls or at a screen when they should be focusing on their schoolwork. Decorations should be kept to a minimum, and their work space kept clean so they can focus on the task at hand. If you’re homeschooling at the kitchen table, consider using a standing 3-sided poster board to give easily distracted kids their own “cubby” to work in. Avoid the distractions of a TV or other screens if possible!
- Use what space you have. Homeschool organization is about making the most of the space you have. If you have a homeschool room, great! Organize it by giving each child his or her own shelf for curricula and books, then keep all of your art supplies, science kits, etc. in organized bins. If you don’t have a homeschool room, no worries! Keep each child organized in one work-box and have a rolling cart or Rubbermaid tote with school, art, science, etc. supplies that you may need throughout the day. Tuck it away in another room or under a bed when you need the kitchen table for dinner at night.
- Use academic decorations. If you decide to hang up posters or other things on your wall, choose those that will help your students remember what they’re learning and not things that will distract. Think periodic tables for your older students, multiplication tables for the younger ones, and the alphabet for your littlest learners. Keep it simple and uncluttered to avoid distraction, but do hang up their work to show them how proud you are of them! Hanging a student's work says, “You’re amazing!” so much more than a motivational poster.
- Use a whiteboard. This is one of our favorite homeschool organizational ideas! You can make a whiteboard useful for anything from lesson plans to art lessons to math! Draw a column on the side and write daily or weekly assignments, checking them off as you go, and use the rest to help with daily lessons. Have students diagram sentences, practice spelling words, play hangman, etc. White boards get you and your kiddos up and moving around, something that’s very valuable for keeping focused. And, when the going gets tough, use it as a way for your students to take a break and doodle to ease some tension.
- Stock it with activities that fit their learning style! The best homeschool organizational ideas should take into account learning style. If you don’t know your student's learning style, you’re missing out on maximizing his or her potential. Take this Learning Styles Assessment Test & Power Pack, courtesy of Bridgeway Academy, that outlines not only learning style, but also the best learning environment. If your student is kinesthetic, have play dough or kinetics available! If he or she is visual, provide globes or magnets that they can rearrange. And, if your student happens to be a rare auditory learner, play music or let him or her listen to the lesson on a CD player.
- Allow your student personal space. If you’re going to require your child to work in the space for multiple hours a day, you should probably include him or her in the design. Homeschool organizational ideas should include your kid’s style, personality, and wishes. Why not share power and let them have some space of their own? Whether that means letting them have a desk, their own bookshelf, or just a corner of the room, if your student has their own space they will feel more ownership over their learning, and more confident getting work done. If you need to have disciplinary discussions with them, don’t do it there. That space should be their safe place where creativity and learning are king!
While there is a ton of homeschool organization ideas out there, choosing the best layout for your homeschool room should follow these 6 principles.
A homeschooling space is where more than learning happens; it’s a room for discovery, bonding, and innovation!