Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A Few Tips for Turning Your Home into a Positive Home-Schooling Environment

Image via Pixabay

There are many reasons why you might choose to homeschool, with many of the most common specifically having to do with the fact that you want to ensure that you are as active as possible in the lives and education of your children, and that you can help to nurture their minds, while also inculcating the right values into them, instead of trusting a state institution to do that job for you.

In many parts of the world, homeschooling is illegal, or stands on a shaky legal footing, which means that it’s all the more important to appreciate this right if you are able to exercise it.

But homeschooling a child is a fairly complicated process, and certainly involves a bit more than just having the right collection of books at hand, and reciting lessons at your offspring for a certain number of hours each day.

Among other things, a positive homeschooling experience will tend to rely to quite a significant degree on the home itself being turned into a positive homeschooling environment.

So, here are a few tips for turning your home into just such a positive environment.

Ensure that all the required conveniences are working and are within easy reach, while simultaneously reducing the distractions
There’s a delicate balance to be struck in a home, in order to ensure that your child has access to all the basic and necessary amenities and luxuries, in order to prevent them from being distracted, or feeling disheartened – while also trying to adequately limit the number of distractions that might take them out of the “zone.”

Typically, this will mean ensuring that all the standard household conveniences are up and running as intended, and this may well require that you are quick on the ball when it comes to contacting a washer repair service, or other expert tradesmen, if something does break down.

Food should be easily accessible, the temperature should be kept to a reasonable and comfortable level, and there should be enough engaging activities on offer to make break time appealing.

At the same time, though, you need to ensure that the TV isn’t on in the background, video games aren’t within easy reach, comic books aren’t strewn all over the place, and there are as few distractions as possible, in general, that could disrupt your child’s attention.

This is a delicate balance to strike, but it’s critically important to get right. One great way of resolving this is to have certain areas of the home set-aside as dedicated “homeschooling spaces” – and meticulously managing the items that are allowed into those spaces.

Keep the home very tidy and organised, and reduce clutter as much as possible
Have you ever tried being very productive and focused in a severely messy and topsy-turvy environment?

If you have, you already know that it is extremely tricky, if not outright impossible. Human psychology is such that we all look for markers of stability and familiarity in the environments we’re occupying, and if we can’t see evidence that those environments are “under our control,” so to speak, our anxiety levels go up, and we remain in a more highly “guarded” state.

Put differently, the state of your home environment typically corresponds with your mental state – messy and chaotic home equals messy and chaotic mind, while tidy and orderly environment equals tidy and orderly mind.

Since your child is expected specifically to do difficult and engaging cognitive work while being homeschooled, it’s important that the environment you’re operating in should be as orderly and structured as it possibly can be.

Take the tidying and decluttering seriously.

Set aside a dedicated area for homeschooling sessions, and avoid letting the outside world intrude on it at all, if possible
There are certain environmental and ritualistic “triggers” that just put you in a certain state of mind, in a hurry, without you even having to think about it.

Likely, when you sink into the warm embrace of the sofa after a long day at work, your mood automatically skyrockets, and you instantly start looking forward to the shows you’re about to watch.

By the same token, when you sit down at your desk at work, you probably “snap” into a work-focused mindset, pretty readily.

Ultimately, you want to create something very similar to this for your child, during their homeschooling experience.

The best way to achieve this is likely to be to set aside a dedicated area of the home, for homeschooling sessions, and to avoid letting the outside world intrude on it at all, if possible. If you can dedicate an entire room to homeschooling – as a kind of “study” or “classroom,” all the better. But even if this isn’t practically possible, you should nonetheless have a certain desk that is used exclusively for homeschooling work, and nothing else.

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