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  • Blog: Creating an Environment of Learning

    What does your dream classroom look like? Is there a chalkboard and maps on the walls? Are there multiple desks in neat rows? It's amazing that even homeschoolers can get caught up in thinking that our "classrooms" need to look like what we remember from our school days. I have to admit that while we never had neat rows of desks, our classroom walls have been graced with gigantic maps and I even had a reclaimed chalkboard for a while. However, after homeschooling for many years, I have learned to embrace the idea that it's not so much about the classroom or even what is being taught. It's about creating an environment of learning. It's about giving your children the tools and the motivation to feed their curiosity. You don't have to have a Master's in Education to make this happen!
    Here are a few tips to help you create an environment of learning in your homeschool:
    • Encourage curiosity and questions. Ask your kids questions! "Why do you think the leaves turn different colors in the fall?" This may spark their curiosity and then you have the opportunity to explain.
    • Don't be afraid to say, "I don't know." Again, this is a chance to do some research.
    • Help your child search for answers online. I remember when I was a kid, we had to go to the library and use big bulky encyclopedias to look things up. These days we really don't need all those volumes since the same info and more is available online.
    • Introduce your children to the library. Even though we can find tons of information online, there are still times when a trip to the local library is in order.
    • Use games to teach your kids! Kids can learn and retain information much better when it is presented in a fun and inviting way. This will allow them to perceive learning as "fun", and will give them the motivation to learn more.
    • Get outside the classroom! It's amazing how a simple trip to the park or just some time in the back yard can re-spark a child's appetite for learning.
    • Read, read, read! Read in front of your kids, read to your kids, have your kids read to you!
    MamaToHerRoo likes this.
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. MamaToHerRoo's Avatar
      MamaToHerRoo -
      My school room is also my dining room. In a perfect world it would probably still be my dining room. It is centrally located, I can work in the kitchen and still be able to help with school. I would like more wall space for maps, posters, etc, and a new desk to match the dining room furniture...oh, wait, I also need new dining room furniture!
      I would love more storage space.
      And more bookcases, we are readers and errr ::whispering:: book horders!

      Thanks for the reminder about the library. Our local library (tiny, tiny, tiny) has less books in it than my personal library but I imagine some of those books must be different. Worth checking into!

      Since we moved last year, there are many opportunities to go see and do things that are new. New museums, new historical sites, places we haven't been to or seen, and those places are great for sparking that appetite for learning!

      Read, read, read! You are so very right! It is important that your children see you read, see that you place importance on reading. It will become important to them, because it is important to you!
    1. lovehmschlg's Avatar
      lovehmschlg -
      Our kids work in their rooms or at the dining room table. If they're working on the computer on T4L, essays or research, then it's at the dining room table.

      I remember when we first started homeschooling I bought one of those little classroom desks. We used it a few times. It's just easier to use the dining room table. There's more room to spread out. I have a few friends who have a 'school room'. I've often wished I could have one so we could keep our bookshelves and our schoolwork out on the table. As it is now, we have to clean up before dinner.

      We don't use the library as much as we used to. I guess the internet and ebooks have taken over. We do have very large libraries. Once in a while we will still go, but certainly not as often as we used to when my kids were little. It's true, though, reading is so important. Instill in them a love of reading....which will lead to a love of learning.
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