With schools shutting due to Coronavirus parents are now facing the prospect of becoming their children’s educators and as the majority of us have no idea how to go about this there is a lot of anxiety flying around– me included! But because I don’t deal well with stressful situations my mind goes into an ‘I must be pro-active’ mode and organising things in my life really helps to settle my worries which is precisely how my house has ended up looking like a homeschool within one morning!! I am no expert, I am an ordinary parent like you but by taking the basics into mind– reading, writing, maths, crafts, art, music– I have created areas that both my 6-year-old and 2 year old can enjoy either separately or together during this tricky period and I wanted to share it to help you to create your own too.
Setting up your house for homeschooling
School Age Child
Jake is in year 1 so I have set everything up based on what we already do at home, what he has been learning and what items I can utilise for this. The cabinet here is in my kitchen and is usually a complete mess of mixed up arts and crafts bits so I decided to use this whole area to set up our homeschool. As my husband is using the office to work from home the kitchen/diner is the only workable area for us. But it provides us with this space as well as a table to work from and easy access to get drinks and snacks and to also go outside when the weather gets warmer.
I have spent the morning organising every part of this so it is easy to find what we need, I can see what else I need to get and it makes it nicer for Jake to look for things on his own.
Ok, so let’s break down what I have for my homeschooling setup…
- The sign above is for the kids artwork and I purchased this on Etsy
- The whiteboard is something that is often used at school to help with handwriting
- The dinosaurs in the tub can be used for a wide variety of activities such as tuff tray play which you can see us doing in this post here or you can freeze them and watch them melt and so on
- Keywords from school. The children work through these and move up stages. I want to keep these going during this time
- A microscope. It is only a child’s one but it comes in very handy if you like woodland walks, collecting things you find and then looking at them more closely once you’re home like we did when we reviewed it here. I’ve just added some gems we had already as another idea of something to view
- The papier-mache dinosaur is one we have previously purchased and painted. We get these a lot from Hobbycraft because they make a nice activity to do and it works for all age groups
- A globe for Geography topics
- An abacus to help with maths topics
Then inside the cupboards I have:
- Paint (variety of colours, some with sparkles, some is poster paint and some acrylic)
- Craft tub full of plenty of bits and bobs for making collages and models
- Paper planes making set that we received for Christmas
- Mats to cover the table or floor
- Paint pots
- Chalk– small chalk for the chalkboard and larger chalk for path drawings
- PVA glue
- A glue gun
- Dinosaur modelling set
- Face paints
- Canvas for painting on
- Kinetic/magic sand
- Modelling monster
On the other side of the cupboard, I have card and paper for artwork as well as colouring-in books and sticker books.
Down the side of the cupboard, you will have seen these wooden crates. Each of these also contains something handy:
- Crafting box which is full to the brim with flowers, petals, pipe cleaners, goggly eyes, tissue paper, feathers and so on. We have collected a lot over the years!
- A box full of everything the boys will need for painting. Paint brushes, sponges and stamps
- A pen, pencil and crayon box
- Another craft box full of shredded paper and tissue paper
We also have playdoh with cutters and rollers etc and then a tray for using this on or for the sand to be used on. The tuff tray is currently still in the garden but we do use this inside too. It is perfect for so many ideas such as water play, messy play, crafting, creating a dinosaur world… Pinterest will have lots of inspiration for you as does Sarah from Arthurwears Blog.
William is only 2 and he isn’t yet at pre-school but he joins in with a lot of activities already as he learns from Jake. We are lucky that he is used to this now but it is still going to be testing with having to stay home more so I have also prepared for this too. And of course, both boys can play in these stations as well…
A reading nook for cuddles and storytime, for Jake to practise reading in and a bit of downtime:
A wooden toy play station. Perfect for independent play and learning:
A music play area for the boys to enjoy. I will be setting time to focus on music too as I think this is an important aspect of school (we also own a piano):
Play cafe area where they can play alone or together:
This is more of a physical area for William. The arch can be climbed over and also turns over to convert into a rocker. The walker is great because it can be used in different ways– he loves building the blocks. The wooden unit has a different activity on each side.
In Jake’s room I have created a dressing up area for both of them to play in (dressing up clothes live in these boxes):
Outside play is going to be vital during this period and even though the weather isn’t too good right now it should get better and I will be using the mud kitchen, the tuff tray, toys, as well as encouraging growing our own again this year in the kids garden. This will also be where we will do sports.
And that’s it. That is the most I can offer you as a parent who has been thrown into this very odd situation and now finds themselves a homeschooler. I really hope this has helped you to think about how you can set up stations in your own home and give you a few ideas on activities that could take place too. Now I am off to study my phonics!
All the best guys!
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