There are many reasons a person might choose to homeschool their teens. There could be a pandemic, or perhaps they reside in a remote location or travel a lot. The reason doesn’t really matter. What matters is that homeschooling takes effort. Every parent who has attempted it can attest to that statement. One of the most challenging things about learning at home is creating space to do it. If you’re thinking about homeschooling, or if you’re currently struggling with it yourself, here are some tips to help ease some of the stress of establishing an environment for learning in your home.
One of the most important parts of learning from home is being organized. If you don’t have a designated area to keep all your homeschool supplies, including tablets and books, you’re going to spend the first part of your school day searching for those things. Create a space to keep these items that is close to where the actual learning takes place. Consider the option of installing a custom drawer organizer so everything is neat and easy to find.
2. The Space
The homeschooling space needs to be away from other activities going on in the home. If you have preschool-age children who are watching cartoons, you definitely don’t want that going on in the same space as the teenager who is trying to study. However, you also don’t want to put the teen in a space where they are alone. Deafening silence can be just as distracting. So you have to find just the right place.
The perfect space is going to be a spot where you can check on them often, and maybe even keep them in your line of sight. If you work from home during the day, creating space for your homeschool student within your office would be ideal. That way, you can both work without distraction, yet you are there should they need assistance.
Having a desk that is designated for school only is ideal, whether that desk is located in your office, the dining room, or another quiet space in the home. Some homeschoolers do their work in their own bedrooms. However, some children (and teens) can’t resist the temptation of their electronics and toys. It’s really going to depend on the student.
3. The Time
Consistency is key to homeschooling success. Having a designated space is consistent, but so is having a designated time. If the time for school changes each day, your teen might be tempted to argue in favor of doing their work later, and this will lead to procrastination. Equally important is your school schedule. Decide in advance what holidays you’ll observe, as well as seasonal vacations. Once you have your schedule, set a standard start time for the school day that must be met each day, no ifs, ands, or buts. There are some things in life that should be flexible. School start time is not one of them.
The last thing to consider for your homeschool space is the student’s seating. They need a chair that promotes good posture. If they sit on a bean bag to do their work, it could lead to potential back problems in the future. At school, the chairs have straight backs so children can’t slouch. Your chair at home should also promote good posture but it can certainly be more comfortable than the hard chairs offered at schools. Make sure the desk is also at a comfortable and appropriate height to the chair. If the desk is too low, then your child will be forced to bend his or her back when writing or typing.
Homeschooling allows parents and children to stay close throughout the day. It also offers some degree of flexibility, though it’s important to have a schedule. By creating space in a designated place that is organized and comfortable, you will lessen a big part of the struggle that many parents encounter when they journey into the homeschooling arena.