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Keys To Successful schooling at home, Key #2: The Stage

Updated: Aug 10, 2020

NOTE: This series is about “schooling at home” which is not the same as “homeschooling.” What I’m speaking about is video instruction through the school your child usually attends. Homeschooling is also a terrific option, and later I will provide helpful tips for that!

Key #2: The Stage

“All the world’s a stage” according to Shakespeare. A stage is where the action of a drama takes place, and in this case the drama is Daily School at Home, starring Your Child(ren). Obviously it’s not really going to be a big drama (hopefully!); I’m just using this language to illustrate the keys I’m using.

Your “stage” should be a place that is dedicated just to your child’s work day. If he/she is in elementary school, it definitely should be close enough to where you will be that you can fairly easily supervise what’s going on without hovering, but still separated enough for the child not to be interrupted or overly distracted. They should work independently as much as possible.

Even if your home is small, do your best to find an out-of-the-way corner, or move furniture around a bit in order for your child to get the sense of being in a place set aside for a special purpose. I suggest you not use the kitchen table, simply because it requires setting up/tearing down every day, and the kitchen is usually a hub of activity. Having said that, if that's your only option, you can make it work! Also, please understand that this isn't supposed to be a re-creation of "playing school" when you were little.

Here is all you need: a space with enough room for your child to comfortably use paper and pencil as needed—desk, table, lap desk--decent headphones, and a place for all required materials to be within reach and somewhat organized so they don’t have to rummage around for things. No need to buy anything--find a box large enough to house several smaller plastic containers (like you get at the grocery store—you probably already have plenty) or something similar, for pencils, etc.; it will depend on what your child will need.

Natural light is a big plus, but because you never know what the weather will be like, also provide a lamp if you can. If the space you choose has fluorescent lighting, put a lamp by the desk or table anyway—fluorescent light often buzzes and can cause headaches, plus it’s just not as friendly. :-)

Minimize distractions as much as possible; you don’t need a bulletin board or anything fancy, you just want your child to be able to focus. Oh, and if you have toddlers—CHILD-PROOF the rest of the house! You may want to gate off certain areas during school time, just so you don’t have to constantly wonder where they are/what they’re getting into!

Let your child help with set-up, explain the purpose of each component, and remind them that even though they aren't "going" to school, it's still very important! They will love helping to set up and the knowing that you value what they're doing, plus it will give them a sense of ownership over their work. Have fun with it!

If you have any suggestions or ideas that have worked well for you, please share them in the comments! I would love to hear from you, and you may help someone else!

Next: Key #3: Wardrobe

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