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52 Weeks of Happier Homeschooling Week 11: Play Musical Chairs

52 Weeks of Happier Homeschooling Week 11: Play Musical Chairs

There’s nothing wrong with having a designated learning space, but if you’re spending most of your day there, you may be missing out on one of the big benefits of homeschooling—the ability to change locations throughout the day.

In workplaces, this notion of relocating for different tasks—maybe you start your day at your office desk, switch to a cafe at midday, and hit the park for an afternoon conference call—is called “workstation popcorn,” and it works great for homeschoolers, too. Switching locations helps you concentrate better, think more creatively, and complete work more efficiently than sitting in the same chair all day. Some research suggests that we even remember information better when we connect with it in different physical locations.

Happily, a change of scenery is easy to incorporate into your day. Maybe it’s as simple as moving from your readalouds on the couch to your kitchen table for more structured lessons, but you can experiment with other kinds of movement. Start a nature journal, and you’ve got an everyday excuse to venture outside (or—if the weather’s icky—to relocate to your biggest, brightest window). Take your independent reading out to the porch, or spread your map work out on the living room floor, or bring your laptop to your favorite coffee shop or to the library so you get that cafe-buzz background for your essay writing. You could even just set a timer, and have everyone jump up and switch seats at the table every hour or so. There’s not really a right way to get your homeschool moving, so try lots of different things to see which work for your homeschool. You may find that you love big, dramatic transitions that require walking two blocks to the library—or you may find that moving from the couch to the kitchen gives you plenty of fresh inspiration.

Your challenge this week: Get your homeschool moving! Think about logical places to relocate during your homeschool day, and move your homeschool to a different part of your house, yard, or neighborhood for part of the day.

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