Whether you Homeschool or send you child to Public School, they need to have a learning station at home. A space that is organized and will give them the focus they need to both complete their school work and allow them the opportunity to learn through play. A learning space, or a homework station, can be big or small and can easily be worked in to what you have. We keep our family room as a “play room” and when the kids were young I began adding elements to create a learning space. As they got older and started elementary school, we again added the element of the Homework Station. Here are some of my tips for creating learning spaces at home.
Use Shelves and Bins. Shelves and bins make it easy to display and separate items in the children’s learning space. I also love how easy they make clean up and organization. I have used shelving from Target with a combination of canvas storage bins (also from target) and plastic baskets from the dollar store.
Display Children’s Artwork. A functional display of artwork is both pleasing to the eye and gives the children a place to admire their creativity. We have used a simple gallery wall to do this but there are many options to display children’s artwork.
Sort and Store Like Items. We have separated our storage baskets into categories. Examples in our home are; Art Supplies, Reading and Writing, Math books and manipulatives, Blocks and Building, Religious Education, Paper & Coloring Pages, and People & Animals. We also have a small caddy that holds scissors, glue, rulers, erasers, and pencil sharpeners. The caddy makes it easy for the kids to grab and bring to the table when working on homework or a project.
Work the learning space into your living spaces. We have a large entertainment center in our family room as well. The bottom cupboards and shelves are also set up to house the kids items in an organized manner. One cupboard holds board games, another holds train table pieces. The lower shelving is set up with the Toddler geared “play house” items. We have two buckets that hold dolls clothes, bottles, and lots of accessories, and set out for easy use are toy tools, computer, and picnic basket.
Use your walls. This works especially in small spaces. If you can’t go out, go up. On one corner wall in our living room we have displayed a large map of the world (my children love maps, and rightfully so as daddy has traveled the world, and their grandmother works as a flight attendant traveling the country. They love to find where the important people in their life are at any given moment), a dry erase calendar for scheduling, a cork board to add important reminders and papers, and their school photos (which I change out each year).
Create a Homework Station. If you have older children you will want to have an easy access place to store, and complete homework. We have two baskets, one for each older child, with their name on it. When they come home from school they take their basket and the supply caddy to the table and do their work. When they are finished they put their homework packet in the basket and are able to easily locate it the following day to work or turn it in.