One of the best ways to change your attitude when you feel stuck in a rut is to change your space.
You don’t have to do huge renovations to make your learning spaces feel brand new. Here are a few simple ideas that will breath new life into your school space this winter.
Color your world. A fresh coat of paint will brighten up the room where you do most of your hands-on learning. Not ready to paint the walls? Consider painting bookcases or other furniture to brighten up the room.
Create a reading nook. Move an oversize chair and side table near a sunny window, add a lamp and a snuggly blanket, and you’ve got a cozy spot for readalouds or independent reading.
Set up a nature station. If it’s too chilly to spend much time outside, set up a nature watching station near a window with your binoculars, bird identification guides, nature journals, and other nature observation tools.
Make a mini library. If your kids are feeling ho-hum about reading, make them librarians. Dedicate one bookshelf to independent reading books, and let kids create a card catalog and add checkout cards to books.
Switch out your walls. If you’ve had a world map up for years, trade it for a map of the solar system, or sub quirky grammar posters for your multiplication charts. You don’t have to make a permanent change, but giving your walls a refresh will make the space feel new again.
Buy new school supplies. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy scented pencils and pretty notebooks, and that’s pretty close. If your budget has a little wiggle room, you may be surprised by what a difference those cool sushi erasers make in your everyday homeschool.
Do you have a friend who’s also in a rut? Consider organizing a swap — you spend a couple of weeks following her schedule and curriculum (including her favorite readaloud), while her family follows your regular routine. When you switch back, your materials will feel fresh and fun again.
If a space revamp isn’t possible right now or your budget is already stretched, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck in less-than-inspiring digs. Consider these out-of-the-house destinations your temporary classroom.
Libraries. A homeschoolers’ standby for good reason, libraries are always a good place to get a change of perspective.
Public atriums. Lots of gardens and parks have enclosed, climate-controlled spaces for community classes and activities. Often, they’re virtually empty during school/work hours.
Train stations and airports. Public areas at these spaces are a great place to people watch and journal.
Fast food restaurants or coffee shops. Mornings and mid-afternoons are often quiet times for these kid-friendly establishments, so you can settle in for an out-of-the-house math lesson or history essay session.