1. A separate play space
It’s important for preschoolers to do imaginative play, but we found it distracting to have toys in the school area. Thankfully, we had the space to make a separate play area. I tried to include toys that encouraged imagination (dress up clothes, kitchen/store items, cars, and blocks). I sometimes have to remind myself that play is learning too. My youngest usually follows her older brother to school at first, but eventually loses interest and heads for the play area.
2. Space to display crafts and artwork
I’m always tempted to fill up blank walls with pictures and decorations, but I knew that it wouldn’t be long before we’d want a place for crafts and posters. So we put up several cork boards and a bunch of clipboards. Thank you Pinterest! It makes a cute display and is functional. Plus, it helps the kids remember previous lessons. Every time my three-year-old sees the paper honeycomb we made, he starts telling me all about how bees make honey.
3. Foam Letters
We have so many games we play with foam letters! I’ll write a word on the whiteboard then have the kids find the matching letters. The kids will pick a letter and then run around the room saying the name of the letter or the sound it makes. They also love putting random letters together and asking me what word they “spelled.” I love anything that gets us familiar with the alphabet and numbers. We count checkout lane numbers at the grocery store, play counting games in the car, search for letters or words we know on signs, and write the alphabet in the bathtub.
4. The Bathroom
It never would have occurred to me how helpful a bathroom close by would be, but it has helped with potty training and made cleaning up after messy art projects so much easier! I might never have let the kids use finger paint if we didn’t have a sink just around the corner.
5. Whiteboards, Chalkboards, and Paper
My kids get tired of writing on paper, but they never get tired of writing on the whiteboard. And if they do, they still have the chalkboard. This is a great way for me to observe what each kid is interested in. When my three-year-old is really into writing numbers, we work on numbers. When the only thing he wants to write is letters, we work on letters, their sounds, how letter combinations make words, upper case vs. lower case. When he draws pictures, I have him tell me a story about his picture. We make angry faces and happy faces and discuss the feelings of characters from a story.
Is there one thing you would like to add to your homeschool space?