Creating a Home Learning Environment

Parents are a child’s first teacher and home is the first classroom. The couch, or a comfy chair, is the place where children learn the love of books and the sound of language. The kitchen is where science and math come together when cooking. The dining room table is hub of social interaction. Chores also teach children, for example putting away the silverware or matching socks sets the foundation for sorting. Though, once school begins an academic place in the home needs to be fostered. However, it is not necessary to purchase a desk to give your child a place to do homework or study.

Creating a set time each day for school work is where to start. If your home is like most families, there are multiple activities going on at once. Having close proximity to your child as they work enables you to easily support questions. So, if dinner preparation and homework are occurring at the same time, a learning space in or near the kitchen might be a good idea. Use an empty pizza box (most restaurants will give you one) to store needed items like paper, pencils, erasers, crayons or markers, scissors, glue, etc. you child might need to complete homework. The portability of the box transforms any flat surface into a desk. Additionally, there is no longer the constant hunt to find necessary materials to complete homework.

A reading nook is a must. Once again, nothing elaborate must be created, just having a designated space is sufficient. Let your child choose the area he/she likes best; the only caveat is it must be a quite space with proper lighting. Also, let your child choose the comforts (a favorite blanket or pillow) for the space. You do not need a large collection of reading materials, just a library card. If you want to build a home library, check out books at yard/garage sales, library book sales, book stores for both new and used, or even online shopping, and don’t forget magazine subscriptions. Variety is key to the collection, so create a balance of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, picture books, and chapter books.

Home is not only where the heart is, but also where the head learns.

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