What exactly is a delightful learning atmosphere? How can you create a relaxed homeschool space in your home, even if you don’t have a dedicated homeschool room — or even much space at all? What does it really take to create your ideal learning space at home?
Close your eyes for a minute while you imagine the answers to those questions. What do you think about first? The furniture? The books? The view from your window? The music you listen to or the wall art you display? Do you like little desks arranged neatly like a classroom or do you prefer the relaxed style of bean bag chairs and throw pillows?
There is no right or wrong answer to these questions. Just as there are many different reasons for homeschooling, there are many different ways to homeschool. Different learning styles and different seasons in life contribute to our choices. Sometimes we just have to make do because of a limited budget.
No matter how you choose to homeschool or what your current situation, you can create a delightful learning atmosphere at home by considering a few key ingredients.
How to Create a Delightful Learning Atmosphere in your Home
I’ve shared about our simple, cozy homeschool space before, but things changed for us with our latest move. We moved to an even smaller house, leaving us unable to have an entire room dedicated to just homeschooling. We’ve made it work by using the space we have to create learning nooks and comfy places that encourage reading and creative projects.
If you’ve been in the homeschool community for a while, you’ve probably heard of “strewing.” It’s something that unschoolers have fully embraced and now relaxed, interest-led homeschoolers also use this technique.
What it basically boils down to is having interesting resources and supplies available and easily accessible so that hands-on learning is encouraged. As parents we provide the materials so our kids can take a lead in their own education by following learning opportunities that spark their interests.
I talk about our preferred method of homeschooling (delight-directed) a lot, but I haven’t talked much about what we consider the essential ingredients in a delight-directed homeschool environment and how I use strewing techniques. It’s easiest to name the tangible supplies and resources we use daily in our homeschool, so I’ll start with a few of those.
The tangibles of our delight-directed homeschool
- Paper of all kinds — colored, cardstock, notebooks, plain copy paper, construction paper, sketchbooks, etc.
- Pens, crayons, markers, colored pencils, pencils, chalk pastels, watercolor paints
- Notebooking pages
- Lots of great books!
- Modeling clay
- Manipulatives and building supplies
- General craft supplies
- Sensory bins and the materials to make them
This is just a short list, but they are the foundational tools of our daily learning.
Turning to the intangibles, I would say that these are building blocks of good character and strong minds. Things like learning to think critically about things, being able to independently discover answers, and a chance to be creative on a daily basis contribute to happy, healthy children and eventually happy, healthy adults.
The intangibles of our delight-directed homeschool
These are the traits that will serve them well their whole lives, come what may.
For years, this was our view at sunrise from our schoolroom:
Our current view is decidedly less impressive since our recent move. The misty harbor has been replaced by city streets and neighbors. The sound of the water lapping against the shore has become the roar of motorcycles and garbage trucks. We miss our old location, but we’re making the best of it because this is a different season in our lives.
Most homeschooling families discover eventually that learning doesn’t have to take place in one location, in one room, at one desk, in the same way every day. Some of us begin that way because we still have a public school mindset, but after some time and some trusting of the process, we relax. That’s my hope for all homeschoolers — that they relax and enjoy the time building their relationships together as they learn.
Even in a less than ideal situation, we can still create a delightful learning atmosphere at home because we’re all about the lifelong love of learning — the heart and soul of homeschooling — rather than the outward accessories.
Creating a Delightful Learning Atmosphere Workshop
I wrote and recorded a workshop to help you set up your own delightful learning atmosphere at home. It goes over the mindset and principles of delight-directed homeschooling in more detail — and how you can make it work for you.
Creating a Delightful Learning Atmosphere is a 23-minute workshop designed to encourage homeschool families to incorporate delight-directed learning in their days. This can be accomplished by creating a delightful learning atmosphere in both tangible and intangible ways. Inspired by Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of encouraging lifelong learning, this workshop walks parents through the whys and hows of delight-directed learning, living books, and creating the learning environment at home. The principles work well for child-led homeschooling, Charlotte Mason homeschooling, unschooling/strewing techniques, and eclectic/relaxed homeschooling. This video with slideshow (mp4 format) includes Interest Inventory printables, notes, and resource lists.
You can purchase Creating a Delightful Learning Atmosphere workshop in my store right here on Heart and Soul Homeschooling. It’s available for instant access so you can get started today!
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