Does the “home” in homeschool make you feel claustrophobic? Don’t worry—“homeschool” doesn’t mean “homebound”!
All of your child’s learning doesn’t have to be done at your house. Some parents have even coined terms like “roadschooling,” “boatschooling,” and “worldschooling” to describe their family’s homeschooling adventure!
But no matter if you’re roadschooling or boatschooling, a significant component of your child’s education will be taking place where you live.
At Your House
While your child does need at least one inviting, climate-controlled, and ergonomically friendly place to study inside your house, learning doesn’t have to be limited to a “homeschool room,” your kitchen table, or a desk in your child’s bedroom—it could be all of these places.
Some kids can listen better while sitting upside down on the couch and others may need to go outside and read in a tree for an hour or so. One of your children might love reading or ciphering math alone at a desk or table, while others learn best by piling together on the couch for a read-aloud or animated discussion.
One curriculum publisher—Sonlight—even offers suggested categories such as “couch” (like history and literature) and “table” (like math and handwriting) for their subjects!
So you need to think through and create some space—or spaces—where your child will learn best.
Wondering if there are other kinds of organization that could help give your homeschool a great start? Doing a “homeschool room organization” Pinterest search will give you lots of creative ideas.
Away from Your House
In addition to homeschooling, every family has schedules that have to accommodate other responsibilities like taking care of an elderly relative or getting kids to soccer or music lessons or other extracurricular events.
These helpful questions outlined in our “Lesson Planning” series will help you think through your unique scheduling demands. (And how that might affect where you homeschool this next year.)
If you’re caring for grandma at her house one day a week, what subjects could your kids do at her house? She might enjoy discussing history lessons, hearing creative writing assignments read aloud, or supervising your kids as they learn to cook a family recipe.
And when you drive an hour each way to your 8-year-old’s music lessons, are there things your kids could keep learning in the car, such as math drills, spelling words, history timeline songs, poetry memorization, or anything you can gamify? (Of course, kids who don’t get carsick can get a lot of reading done!)
Learning in other environments could mean . . .
- the library
- a coffee shop
- in the dentist’s waiting room
- Auntie Em’s house
- homeschool co-op
- cottage school
- field trip
- trading off teaching half-day or day with another homeschooling parent
- in the car, on the go
But even if your homeschool schedule doesn’t include these types of commitments, sometimes switching up the learning environment can help your child learn.
Are attention spans and tempers shorter than usual? You might be experiencing an outbreak of cabin-fever. And planning a learning day out might be just the right remedy!
“Sometimes my kids and I need a break, so I will plan days where we all take our work to the coffee shop.” —Kristy Horner, HSLDA Educational Consultant