September is inarguably synonymous with back to school– even for homeschoolers who teach/learn year-round. In that spirit, iHomeschool Network is continuing their fun blog hop through the end of the month, most recently highlighting the school rooms of homeschooling families around the country.
Unlike (apparently) most home-educating families, we don’t have a dedicated homeschool classroom. We’ve never sought to replicate the traditional school setup, but instead do our teaching/learning throughout nearly every square foot of our cozy abode– and even outside it! Our aim is to keep our homeschool, well, homey, to foster a gentle, organic approach to learning betwixt our four walls. In sharing this peekaboo into our schoolhouse, we’re really just sharing snapshots of zones around our home where regular learning, structured and unstructured, happens.
The bulk of written work, crafts, and games generally happens in the kitchen/dining room– atop our large farm table or at the counter.
We quickly outgrew our dry-erase board and have expanded to the sliding glass doors.
We are grateful for an open floor-plan, as our living room tends to get equal play.
We keep games, books, and educational toys tucked close by in the hall closet– essential for keeping the preschooler content during Sisters’ more involved lessons.
We deliberately keep electronics upstairs only to keep distractions at bay, there is no television in our living room.
Even the laundry room off the kitchen sees some regular homeschool action, like the kids’ summer US geography postcard project. It’s also the go-to locale for our messiest projects as the flooring is cheap vinyl.
We try to stay downstairs for most of the day, but do go up to the bonus room for the occasional Netflix documentary (watched both “The Prince of Egypt” & “Joseph, King of Dreams” films this week already after reading from the book of Genesis in The Story version of the Bible), video games (Minecraft, Just Dance, Fruit Ninja, & Tetris are faves), and Firstborn’s new online math curriculum and Center Sister’s French language tutorials.
Not to infer it’s only all fun and games up there, we keep another big stash of books handy in the large closet for quiet reading time… I believe kids are more apt to pick them up if books are readily available.
We selected our current home almost entirely for it’s proximity to nature and wildlife– we back up to a lovely pond and then miles of farmland, a local river about a football field away.
We have plenty of regular activities outside of the home, as well. The girls’ relaxed fall schedule allowed them margin to rejoin a homeschool choir that they’d previously been a part of but had since been too busy for; we bring Little Man’s schoolwork along for learning on the go.
I concede that there are a few unique challenges to teaching at home…
… but how else would we be able to say “yes!” to fun opportunities such as feeding a ten week old Great Dane pup his lunch every weekday for our neighbors…
… or encountering a leashed Bupapest Short-faced Tumbling Pigeon perched on a woman’s shoulder while in town midday?
I heart homeschool.