You can learn anywhere. Physical space creates a mood and having physical control over one’s space is as important as self regulation when it comes to learning. Let your kid decide where to read or write even if it’s the floor or the driveway. Create an atmosphere of “I can learn anywhere.” Why not read on a bench or the lawn? Kids learn best when stress levels are low and when they’re comfortable. Allowing your child to find the spaces that work best for them will also help to develop the ability to self regulate.
Homeschooling is more than an educational philosophy. It’s a lifestyle. My kids have desks yet most of their “work” happens elsewhere. Let go of the need to limit learning to one area of the house. When there is space to learn, children will fill it. My job as a parent is both educational facilitator and to step back and get out of the way so they can take the reins of their education.
My daughter is obsessed with K-Pop like a gazillion other American tweens. I wanted her to study another language and she chose Korean to better understand her idols while I get to check off the foreign language box for the year in my head. Since we are in a small house with kids, a dog, working parents and a pandemic we need to be flexible about shared spaces. As you can see in the photo, she is sitting on the floor of the dining room while studying Korean so that she can be physically near others while studying. Shared learning spaces and shared self directed learning isn’t in abundance right now due to the virus. However, kids are finding ways to address it if we let them. My daughter decided to stay in close proximity to her brother while he read a book. Connection has been lost due to COVID for so many of our kids and with the absence of coops and playdates, sports teams, libraries, schools and other connections knowing someone else is close by can be a great source of comfort. Another favorite reading place is an old tent I had gotten as a wedding gift from REI 15 years ago. It has withstood snow and rain and my kids reading and playing for hours in their own little bubble. They have pillows, secret envelopes and notes and books inside. Math for my son is often at the kitchen table while my daughter prefers working on math at her desk in her room.
Reading can happen on a park bench.
I don’t set boundaries on reading therefore I encourage my kids to always carry a book just in case they have a spare second. It’s like having a best friend close by so independent reading can happen on the sidewalk at random places or on a park bench with a lot less resistance than if I had decided my kids had to sit in spot x for 30 minutes.