How can you support your child’s learning at home? - Part 1

Our aim is to encourage you to develop the sense of learning together through moments of exploration and play. Learning at home is sometimes challenging, but we are here to give you some tips and show you how good it can be!

  • Invite your child to set up a weekly schedule with you;

  • Together, set up a place to play and explore;

  • Create a learning journal with your child;

  • Observe, listen, plan and reflect daily;

  • Plan quality time together;

  • Create an environment that facilitates learning and autonomy.

Today we are going to explore with you the first two points mentioned previously.

Invite your child to set up a weekly schedule with you

Daily routine is one of the keys. We believe that children need to feel secure, confident and understand the purpose of the different times of the day (Hohmann and Weikart, 2002).

From my experience as a teacher and homeschool consultant, I have realised how important it is to set up a weekly schedule with children’s participation. It makes them feel committed to their work and they will try to meet their learning goals. It is essential to understand that a weekly schedule must be flexible and cover different times and learning experiences, including learning time, projects, chores, playtime, outdoors, exercise, sleep, breaks, etc.

Every family is different, so you might reflect and share your thoughts with one another, bearing in mind the importance of listening to your child. Through time you will find out your own strategies and develop your own learning lifestyle.

Together, set up a place to play and explore

If you want to encourage your children to learn at home, it is imperative to create a meaningful learning space for them.

Do you like to work in a messy place? Do you appreciate small spaces where you cannot move around properly? Do you like to work in an ugly place? Have you tried to work without the tools you need? Do you feel autonomous when you don’t know where things are or how to use them? - well, we could be here all day asking you a bunch of questions about your work, but that’s not why we’re here. We are here to help you to understand how important it is to set up a learning space to and with your children at home, and also give you some top tips:

  • Make an “intervention” plan with your children;

  • Dialog and participate;

  • Carve out with a purposeful space;

  • Don’t buy, reuse it;

  • Take advantage of natural light;

  • Keep it nice and clean.

First of all, talk to your children about their interests and motivations. Take some notes together and listen to what they have to say since it will be their space and not yours. You might orientate your children instead of telling them how and what to do all the time. Pertinent questions are the key!

A learning space must be flexible and open to improvement and significant changes, depending on the project you are working together, your child’s mood, new ideas, etc. Since you have all the ideas written down and discussed, search for an area at home, with natural light if possible, and collect the necessary materials and tools. Find and reuse some containers/boxes (transparent, card/wooden boxes if possible) and label them according to each material and topic. You can also develop small learning stations such as science, art and craft, maths, reading and writing, music, etc. These stations must be displayed according to your children’s needs, interests and, of course their learning plan.

Together, add some beautiful details to create a cosy and welcome area where your children will feel happy and comfortable.

You and your children must try to keep this learning space clean and tidy to welcome new and fresh learning experiences everyday. It is imperative to teach them how to tidy and clean, because we believe that if everyone helps, all processes become more meaningful and appreciable.

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