Article by: S. Gonzales
As many parents know, homeschooling offers several homegrown advantages over sending kids to public and private educational institutions. While quality of books and other learning materials have a direct and obvious impact on children’s education, the physical space of a classroom can also influence how well kids assimilate their lessons. As a homeschool teacher, creating the perfect environment within your house for your students to excel in scholarship should be at the forefront of your mind. Read on to learn the ABCs of homeschool classroom decoration and design.
Consider the Children’s Ages and Educational Needs
Since the mid 20th century, studies have illustrated a link between classroom design and child development, behavior, and information retention. Simply put, the effective functioning of a classroom can be directly tied to a child’s success as a student. When planning how your teaching space will look and operate, consider your students’ age group, talents, skills, and problem areas. Take advantage of the many resources available to you to ensure that you meet state-specific guidelines while creating a customized space that speaks to your students’ unique abilities and sparks a lifelong love of education.
Dedicated Space in the World of Teaching
It can be important to devote a specific area in your house to homeschooling to keep you organized and encourage kids’ concentration abilities. Many successful homeschool teachers opt to convert living or dining rooms into classrooms. If you can’t spare an extra room but have a garage or basement, consider turning these areas into an educational center. As a last resort, section off a part of a room. While it can be tempting to keep a classroom area as confined as possible, be generous with your teaching space: Many children tend to perform better academically when they learn in larger areas that feature dedicated workstations.
Design with Education in Mind
When choosing a homeschooling educational philosophy to follow, consider physically mirroring it by incorporating its elements in your decor. Adherents to the Charlotte Mason educational philosophy, for example, can choose to spruce up their classrooms with natural design elements because of the philosophy’s emphasis on nature. For these educators, plants, insect exhibits, and even a living classroom pet, like a hamster, can inspire inquiring minds.
Creating an attractive space that ignites the curiosity and imagination of children can be paramount in getting kids interested in learning. The functional layout of the classroom, however, can play a big role in keeping their attention for lesson assimilation. Find floor plans designed to support organization and decrease the amount of “dead zones” in a learning space, or areas that encourage distraction, roaming, and unwanted interaction between students. Model your homeschool classroom with a mind to create “units” or workstations.
Recreate a Classroom — Literally
While many tools of the trade will remain the same in your homeschool classroom, some educator items, like projectors and large desks and tables, will likely have to be either traded for smaller versions or outright eliminated from the average home. When furnishing your classroom, choose appropriately-sized desks, tables, and chairs for students of each age group.
To increase the chances that a child will do well in a domestic learning environment, make the learning space as similar to a real classroom as possible. Consider hanging up white or chalk boards and educational posters, and provide storage space for books and other materials. Obtain shelving, cubbies, or personal lockers to organize classroom items. This can be especially beneficial to students who have been through the public school system and associate learning with these types of visual cues.