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A homeschooler's workspace

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Homeschooling comes with the flexibility to conduct lessons and enjoy learning anywhere. Nevertheless, most homeschoolers still complete the bulk of their learning activities at home. So, with the home as the central hub of homeschooling activity, it becomes very important for these families to set aside work areas for students to store materials and complete daily assignments. No matter what teaching model is being followed or the family’s own homeschooling philosophy, it is crucial for parents to identify and equip these areas early on, in order to experience the most productive and successful homeschooling possible.

Student work areas for homeschooling are as varied as students themselves. Depending upon the ages of the children, the amount of available space in the home, the topics being studied, and the resources available for learning, these work areas will reflect the unique nature of the experience for this child in his or her home environment.

Despite these differences, however, there are many things that student work areas have in common. All students need access to basic school supplies, a decent calculator, whatever books, worktexts, workbooks and other printed materials are being studied, plus computer access with an Internet connection and any software needed for school.

In addition to meeting the most basic needs, a well-equipped student workspace should also include as many of these additional things as possible: comfortable seating, adequate lighting, and a selection of reference materials appropriate for the ages of the children (think: calendar, dictionary, thesaurus, map or atlas, globe, quick reference charts, and so on). Space-permitting, an even larger bonus in this area is to add a place for students to place completed assignments and papers, either for grading or for record-keeping purposes later on.

There are so many different ways to set up student work areas, including solutions for those on a budget and those living in very small spaces, that it would be impossible to list them all. Luckily, a quick Internet search should yield hundreds solutions for every family, under every set of homeschooling circumstances. With a little creativity and the willingness to dedicate an area in the home for schooling (or maybe even several smaller areas), families should be able to come up with a workable plan for their homeschooling needs.

And while there are some students who really prefer (and actually work best) in a variety of different settings (not to mention lots of parents who don’t mind this particular practice at all) having a dedicated homeschooling area has other benefits, too. Just having a place to store materials every evening helps with organization. Having an area to hold a morning or afternoon meeting with the student works well, too. And there is nothing better than having a place to hold all of evidence of homeschooling (logs, records, school papers) rather than having these documents haphazardly left all around the home. Most students really enjoy having their own work area, too, making this a great idea in all homeschooling households.

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To learn more about homeschooling, read more Examiner or visit Dr. Moreau's own web site -- Quick Start Homeschool . Pick up a copy of her new book, Suddenly Homeschooling, to set up your own homeschool in as little as two weeks!

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