Wow! This blog piece, originally posted on October 30, 2018, takes me waaayyy back. I’m so thankful to have important life events, such as my homeschooling experience with my son, chronicled here at Degrees of Maternity.
This history — what I was thinking and doing at these pivotal points in my timeline — highlights moments that my family and I will be able to look back on and fondly reminisce about. Boy, I’m so glad I started blogging when I did!
But, the main thing I wanted to emphasize, after rereading this post (a year and some months later), is how my son and I function better in a similar type of work location. The other blog post, referenced within this reblog, lists the “Top 10 Must-Haves for Your Homeschooler”. (They’re included below).
And, wouldn’t you know? All 10 of the must-haves for my son’s homeschooling are essential to my creativity and productivity as a content creator as well. There’s no place like a strategically-located workplace.
Homeschooling Top 10 and my Side Notes
- A designated area devoted to school instruction and work/I do my best creative content work in my home office.
- A quiet area (distraction-free)/Yes, I need this.
- An ergonomically-appropriate work station with desk/table and chair/Ditto, I have the furniture I need in the office.
- A computer, printer, and supplies/Yes, must-haves as far as I’m concerned.
- School supplies (pencils, pens, markers, paper, crayons, scissors, glue, etc.)/I need supplies for writing and access to online programs to do my work.
- Hardback books, paperback workbooks, and supplemental materials (worksheets)/I need books that provide information about creating content and entrepreneurship. I also enjoy using calendars, planners, and journals to help keep me on track with to-dos.
- A schedule (refer to previous blog post ⇒ “Structure: Step #1 – Start with a Schedule)/Yes, I’m working on scheduling goals in 2020.
- Visual aids/teaching tools (letters and numbers charts, flash cards with math facts and spelling words, map puzzles of the U.S. or world, etc.)/Yes, I need access to teaching tools such as online tutorials, YouTube videos, informative articles (online and offline), etc. I also created a Schedule Board that assists me in knowing what to do and when to do it in order to perform at my most productive output.
- A well-rested child/ I need sleep to create content.
- A well-nourished child/I need to get the necessary nutrients to feed my body, which then feeds my creative mind.
Enjoy the post.
Just as any long-standing successful business operation (brick-and-mortar or online) relies on its location for its viability, so does a child’s quality of education depend on having a school work setting that fosters a healthy learning experience. And, by “school work setting”, I mean the actual at-home set-up in which a homeschooled child receives his or her educational training and completes school work assignments.
Let’s go on a hypothetical journey for a minute. Imagine yourself as an entrepreneur (or an employee working for an employer), who has a major project to accomplish before the week’s end. And every day, you find out that the location, where you will be performing your assignment, has changed. You even notice how you may or may not have the same resources at your disposal to carry out your tasks, because those very resources are sometimes at your new location and sometimes not. And when they’re not, your day starts out disorganized and off schedule because you have to scrounge around looking for supplies and equipment before you can even get going on your list of to-dos. You go on to observe how the quiet-as-a-public library or noise-polluted environment, in which you are to work, may or may not even be conducive to cranking out the type of quality output you’re so desperately wanting to achieve.
Here’s the thing. The online entrepreneur that, at minimum, needs a computer and internet connection to do his or her job may be able to navigate and even thrive within this type of scenario, where there are no absolutes, no structured set-up, and inconsistencies that would tend to result in decreased productivity, for most. But, if you were to ask me if the homeschooled child could perform with a high level of productivity in such a setting, I would say ABSOLUTELY NOT! In my post entitled, Top 10 Must-Haves for Your Homeschooler, I list the top three as: 1) a designated area for schooling, 2) a distraction-free environment, and 3) an ergonomically-appropriate set-up. The thing that all three of these items have in common is location…location…location. I think I’ll take these top three and relate them to my homeschooling experience with Little Man.
The homeschooling methods, implemented in my household, were a continued work-in-progress. My intentions were always to provide Little Man with the best homeschooling environment possible; but sometimes, I lacked in structured approach and execution. There were times when we had to complete school work in route while in the car, at appointments, during sporting events, or even in someone else’s house because I was trying to multi-task and cross things off my list while giving Little Man instruction. There have been times when we had to go on treasure hunts because one or the other of us couldn’t find some teacher or student resource we needed because we failed to return it to its rightful place the day before. And, we’ve even struggled through finding the right desk/table, chair, and computer set-up that didn’t cause back or neck strain on Little Man, while completing assignments. If any of this is hitting home, please don’t beat yourself up; I’m not aiming for the negative discourse here. My purpose for this whole discussion is to let you know there is hope.
Children are moldable and mendable and will tend to go with the flow; but, structure and consistency (in a good direction) are key in developing effective school work behaviors. I found that Little Man’s level of acuity was higher when getting verbal instruction while sitting on our basement couch. He was more comfortable and locked in. He did better sitting at a desk down in the basement when doing his online work and performed his written assignments more successfully at the dining room table. The positioning of the computer on the basement desk was perfect for hand-to-keyboard placement and eye level viewing of the computer screen. And the dining room table and chair were at heights that didn’t cause neck and back discomfort when looking down to do written assignments. Because of its appropriate fit to this very day, Little Man uses the dining room table as his homework station when he returns home from school. So, these are the locations that I routinely went with… the locations that fostered a healthy learning experience, catering to Little Man’s needs. And with all three settings, the entire family has been receptive toward reducing distracting noises and actions while Little Man’s academic juices flow.
If you’re homeschooling your child, then you’re very aware that homeschooling affords you some awesome flexibility. However, let them be the exception and not the rule. Bring your focus into clarity on the importance of providing a stable, organized, distraction-free, and comfortable school work area for your child.