Counting Down the Most Popular Posts of 2015 #6

Post number 6:  (originally posted on August 5th)

The World is Our Classroom

   There is always a lot of talk in the homeschool community about having a classroom set up in your house.  I can't lie and say I've never thought of setting one up; I did briefly consider it when we first started homeschooling and figured over time we might set one up.  Then we started homeschooling and I saw how much we used the whole world as our classroom and realized that, for us, a school room would just end up being a waste of space, money, and time (for me to set up).  We probably wouldn't use it much at all and that's because we don't replicate school at home; we homeschool. Where we "do school" changes all the time and we like it that way.  Here are some of our favorite places to school:

  • Outside on a blanket in the yard-- We often set up a blanket and brings our book outside to read or complete a math page or two; especially in the spring when we're finally able to get out and enjoy the nice weather.  
  • Mom's bed-- We'll snuggle together in my big bed for family read alouds or watching movies.  It's one of our favorite spots in the winter when we just want to feel comfy and toasty warm.  
  • Kids' beds-- At times the boys will take their work up to their rooms and work independently on their own beds.  Alec is most known for this though Evan will occasionally ask me to go read with him in his room and I'm happy to comply.  
  • Living Room Rug-- We'll spread out a game or some papers on the rug and the boys lounge around completing their work.  As long as whatever they're doing doesn't include markers I don't mind at all.  
  • At the Park-- When schoolwork just seems to be a struggle and the sun is calling us we'll pack up our work and head to the park.  They can take many, many, breaks from their work to swing, slide, run and play and while the day seems a bit longer we're all a bit happier.  
  • At the Library-- When winter or rainy weather has us feeling trapped inside we'll pack up a few things and head to the library.  We have quiet spaces to work and we always end up reading a ton of new books.  We usually can't leave without checking out books and movies to enjoy at home too.  
  • Couch-- Mostly we use the couch for reading; whether I'm the one reading to all of them or they're lying on various couches reading to themselves there's just something about getting comfortable that makes reading more appealing.  We've also started sitting on the couch with a lap desk and the laptop for some math and logic game playing.  They like to sit and craft there too. 
  • Coffee Table-- We often have games or manipulatives set up on the coffee table for playing.  The boys find the coffee table more comfortable than the kitchen table because they can sit on the floor and still reach everything that's there without assistance.  
  • In the Car-- We do a lot of school work while we're on the go too.  We listen to books on CD, play trivia type games, play licence plate bingo, or just talk.  They have activity bags that they can bring along if they prefer too.  They've played tangrams, read their own stories, completed crossword puzzles, dot- to- dots or word searches.  I try to keep their binders filled with fun activity pages and with dry erase markers and page protectors they can play the games over as many times as they wish.  
  • The Zoo-- All homeschoolers know that field trips are educational and I can't deny that we do more than our fair share of field trips.  We love to learn when we're on the go.  The boys don't always realize how much they're learning but I could argue that we've easily learned about EVERY single subject while at the zoo; one of our favorite field trips!
  • The Aquarium-- See Zoo...
  • The Museum-- There are so many wonderful museums out there to choose from and we love learning about life wherever we go.  
  • The Beach-- We don't typically pack schoolwork to bring with us to the beach but my boys have been known to read while we're there.  They also love scouting the beach looking for sea creatures, seaweed and all sorts of other wonderful nature observations.  Our nature classes often start in the classroom and end on the beach; what could be better??
  • On the Picnic Table-- We tend to engage in a lot of messy science and art projects during the spring and summer months specifically because we have our picnic table and we can keep the mess out of the house.  We enjoy playing games outside too when the weather's nice and the picnic table provides just the right surface for playing on.   
  • On the Dock-- The kids can sit and read a book while dandling their feet in the water, we've set of soda/ mento explosions off the dock before and we often spend time fishing, feeding the ducks and exploring nature.  
  • On the Hammock -- For me, it's the ideal place to relax and read a book and the more the boys watch me doing that the more they've started asking to read on the hammock too.  
  • The Kitchen Table-- Most of our traditional schoolwork takes place at our kitchen table.  If they need to spread out their books or there's a topic we're all studying together it's the perfect place for us all to fit and have enough room to spread our stuff out.  It's washable with an easy to clean floor under it for those winter art and science projects.  We try to keep them fairy mess- free but I know that's not always possible.  
  • The Driveway--  We play a lot of games in our driveway; I write out words or math equations in chalk for them to practice.  We set off science experiments in the driveway and use it ALL the time for just about anything.  
  • The Windows-- Ever since my boys discovered that you can write on the windows with dry erase markers they use them to practice spelling words, to set up targets for Nerf gun shooting (and keeping score), and all sorts of other wonderful learning games.  
  • The Kitchen Counter-- My boys love to cook and bake and I love that when they're in the kitchen they're reading, using math skills and putting kitchen science into practice.  We do a lot of schooling at the kitchen counter because I encourage the boys to help out in the kitchen often.  

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