A year ago, I realized our children were not receiving the well-rounded education I had initially anticipated giving them.
When housework, outside activities, and everyday life pressed in, there were certain subjects that became easily neglected. Art and music were often slighted in favor of accomplishing our more pressing daily school work.
Yet I knew I was failing to fully expose my children to the beauty contained within these subjects.
I understood the distractions of life wouldn’t magically disappear, so I searched for a way to weave these subjects into my children’s education.
I set about creating an atmosphere of learning within our home. Collecting resources such as books, CDs, computer software, and art supplies my children could use independently was just the beginning.
From there, I carefully arranged and displayed these learning materials in appointed areas of our home. I hoped the resulting learning corners would encourage the children to explore our neglected subjects.
I have since discovered that learning corners are not a concept of my own mind, but have been used by many other homeschooling families.
Learning corners extend well beyond the arts and are limited only by your own imagination. Here are some ideas and ways to implement learning corners in your homeschool:
Place paper, pencils, markers, crayons, paints, brushes, scissors, and how-to art books on a table to encourage art exploration.
Also prop an art print book on a cookbook holder for easy artist study. An easy to clean table and floor is a must.
Keep children’s instruments, music books, and the family piano in a well-used area.
A CD player and easily accessed collection of classical music will help educate your children in famous composers and their music.
A desk filled with stationery, stamps, and an address book will encourage your children to use their writing skills to send letters to family members and friends.
Plain composition books that your child can personalize make writing stories fun.
Take your children on a nature hike and pick up specimens to add to a science corner.
Stock the corner with field guides, microscope, magnifying glasses, and nature journal.
Let your child investigate mathematics by providing math puzzler books, manipulatives, a scale, and paper and pens. Mathematically themed board games would be a great addition.
The results of our own learning corner experiment have been obvious. My children now stop as they pass through the living room and gaze at the art book propped open on the art table, asking me questions about the picture or the artist.
Creating artwork is commonplace with the pencils and paper within easy reach. In the music corner, the guitars are constantly taken off their pegs for the children to pick and explore. They notice the CD containing a collection of a famous composer’s works near the player and pop it in for a listen.
Find the perfect location, add the right materials, and you may have a successful learning corner of your own!
What do you think? Are you going to try it? How will you do it?
Crafts phot ©Nikola Solev / Dollar Photo Club