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10 Strategies to Create an Ideal Homeschool Environment

While some families choose to homeschool their children, millions of children have had an at-home education flung at them as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether students are new to homeschooling or have been homeschooled their entire lives, it is helpful for parents to be involved in how their children learn and to create a healthy academic environment that promotes student growth.

As parents incorporate the following tips into their homes, they will be better able to achieve the desired homeschool environment that is best for their children:

#1: Create a designated school space.

Having a designated learning area is crucial to keeping and maintaining order when homeschooling. This area is where all classes, homework, and learning activities should be done. Having a designated area for learning and academics will promote the maintenance of a routine.

An ideal homeschool environment has access to natural lighting, has comfortable chairs, and has a table or countertop where students can write. Parents should make sure the room is well-lit to avoid drowsiness, isn’t too warm or too cool, and has plenty of fresh air to stimulate the brain and improve alertness and focus (Power).

#2: Keep school supplies organized.

It is helpful to students when learning supplies such as paper, textbooks, pens, pencils, whiteboards, whiteboard markers, colored pencils, and scissors are organized. When homeschool students fail to put away or organize their supplies, it becomes a vulnerable target for curious younger siblings or sabotaging pets or can become victim to the garbage can. Parents and students should work together to create a designated space for all supplies, books, etc. by using shelves, bins, drawers, and cupboards to neatly store academic supplies (Time).

#3: Remove distractions.

Young learners are easily distracted, so an ideal homeschooling environment eliminates potentially distracting images, sounds, and objects. Students should not have their phones with them while they are completing schoolwork, and should only have access to school-approved or academic websites. A growth-promoting homeschooling area should also be free from televisions and be ideally located away from loud sounds (Eusebio).

#4: Play soft music.

Soft music is proven to stimulate brain productivity and increase academic performance (Eusebio). Students can be allowed to listen to calm or classical music that has no lyrics, isn’t too loud, and is not distracting. Listening to calm instrumental music will help students retain information and will contribute to a more pleasant studying experience.

#5: Take Breaks.

At formal schools, students are allowed recess; at home, students should be allowed periodic recess breaks as well (Power). Homeschool students can use this time to take a break from technology. Practical and easy recess activities include exercise, outside play, going on a walk, eating a snack, or reading a book. Parents should encourage their homeschooled students to participate in activities that are mobile and movement-based to avoid remaining sedentary. Parents should work with their children to determine an appropriate recess schedule that best suits their learning style and needs.

#6: Go on outings.

While maintaining a positive learning environment is beneficial for homeschooling, students should also spend time away from their study areas to attain different perspectives and get a break from learning in one room. One benefit of homeschooling is that children are not required to stay in the same classroom or building to attain an education. Where possible and when safe, parents can arrange for their homeschooled children to go on trips to museums, planetariums, aquariums, zoos, displays, or speeches. Doing so will help children gain more hands-on experience in their education and will provide a break from the monotony that can accompany learning from home (Power).

#7: Clean often.

Maintaining cleanliness is important in any home, contributing to increased feelings of comfort, safety, and productivity. This principle remains true for homeschool areas; children learn best and see the most academic growth when they are in a clean environment. Students can be responsible for practical, easy cleaning tasks around their homeschool space, guided by parents. These tasks can include:
  • Washing off desks/tables
  • Sanitizing electronic devices
  • Organizing supply bins
  • Vacuuming floors
  • Washing windows
  • Picking up garbage
  • Putting their supplies away in the correct location
#8: Practice good communication skills.

Practicing communication skills is helpful in any learning situation; children should feel comfortable discussing questions and topics with their parents and teachers. Because homeschooled children spend so much time with their parents, children and parents should practice effective communication skills. Openly and respectfully communicating with each other about concerns, questions, problems, or other issues is proven to create a safe learning atmosphere and will help children feel comfortable in their learning environment.

#9: Create a schedule.

An important aspect of learning is having an organized schedule. Just as teachers at school implement learning and recess schedules, so should parents develop a learning and recess schedule for their homeschooled children. Schedules can include details about when to wake up, what schoolwork to complete at what time of day, and designated times for breaks, extracurricular activities, and meals.

#10: Encourage kids to stay away from their bedrooms.

Allowing students to complete schoolwork in their bedrooms decreases their likelihood of academic growth and increases their likelihood of snoozing or getting distracted. Parents should keep students’ bedrooms off-limits during school hours so students can focus (Eusebio). Doing so will be helpful in encouraging student focus and engagement.

As parents implement these suggestions, they will see greater organization and productivity in their children’s academic lives. Homeschooling will become easier and more effective as parents and children consciously take these steps to create a better learning environment at home for school.

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