In a classroom situation, the teacher works very hard at creating a classroom environment conducive to learning – a creative, safe, engaging place for children to learn. We immediately envisage posters on the wall, artwork hanging from the ceiling, and a display in every corner but this is only an external expression of a creative, dynamic learning space but there are things that are less seen and yet make a bigger impact on your learning environment.  These are the things that will impact your homeschooling far more than curriculum and resources.  Let’s talk about the things you can do to create a learning environment in your homeschool.

How to Create a Learning  Environment where your Children will Homeschool Successfully

We all want our children to learn – regardless of the reason we homeschool, that would be a part of our goals with homeschooling.  So how do we create an environment where they will learn?

The first aspect to consider is your heart – the parent.  If you are striving to copy a school classroom, if you are comparing yourself to your homeschool friend, if you set your standards by what you see on Instagram, if you are anxious or fearful about homeschooling – then these heart issues will be reflected in your homeschooling.  For your children to learn well you need to deal with your heart first.

 When my heart was heavy with either big question stuff, or even the stuff that gets thrown at you daily – there were times when I knew my heart (what was going on inside of me) was affecting the family.  When this happened I knew I had to take some time to look at these issues, look at my heart – and deal with it!  I did this by putting aside our study plans and doing activities that allowed me to breathe.  I still had to ensure my kids were doing okay so most of what I did in these times had to include them.

  • I would visit my friend – and my kids would play at her place
  • I would go to the pool – and my kids would have water play
  • I would go to the library – and my kids would read
  • I would turn a DVD (yes, aging myself here!) on – and my kids loved that!

 

If your heart is in turmoil and not able to focus on your children and their learning (and I don’t mean just book learning – I mean all of life learning) then this is the place to start.  You need to find the time to deal with your heart, time to breathe, time to deal with the things that are making you anxious.  Parents need to be present and positive, they need to be focused and actively engaged for homeschooling to go well.

{I have a short email course – its a free course – that you can sign up for that helps you deal with a lot of heart issues that homeschooling mums process. Sign up below}

What’s going on in your heart?

Deal with the fear and anxiety in your heart

5 Things you can do to build a Learning Environment in your Homeschool

 Once your heart is sorted {I have 5 other things that will make a big difference in your homeschooling } These five things will do more for your children’s learning than any fancy posters, resources, or projects you display:

  • Relationships
  • Clear communication
  • Order and Calm
  • Praise
  • Positive attitudes

 

1–Relationships

Our children need to know, from the bottom of their heart, that they are more important to us than a programme, than a goal we’ve set, than resources we’ve bought – they are our primary focus. 

This means we may have to let go of some things if they are not working – we may need to let go of a curriculum, of a commitment, an ideal or dream.

My ideal was that we would learn together as a family but I was struggling because my oldest son was a gifted learner and my youngest struggling with learning challenges.  I had the opportunity to talk to Sally Clarkson at a homeschooling conference and she said I had to let Josh (my eldest) move on and start learning independently.  I knew she was right and for some reason, it was like I needed permission to walk away from the ideal that I had set my sights on.  And yet that is exactly what we needed to do for everyone in our family to learn at their best. 

It is so easy to say that our priority is our family but is it?  It has been said – show me your diary and I’ll show you where your heart is. What does your diary reflect? What do your lesson plans reflect?

Do they honestly reflect your child’s real needs?

 

2–Clear Communication

We need to be able to communicate well with our children. Remember that we use our words, our tone, and our body language to communicate. 

There are two different things that we communicate to our kids – the first is instructions.  Parenting and homeschooling are all about giving good instructions.

We cannot just shoot instructions off at the hip as we walk away from our kids hoping that they will hear and follow through. We need to pause in what we are doing, make eye contact, give the instruction clearly, and allow for questions or clarification before we move on comfortable that our kids know what to do.

The other thing we communicate is our expectations. Our children need to know that we aim for excellence but understand and accept failure – because learning is a journey. I think we often focus on the excellence which then puts pressure on ourselves as well as our kids when things don’t go well. 

So how are you communicating this standard to your kids?

We need to have a culture of learning from mistakes in our family. Do you help your kids pick up, dust off, and move on? Or are you so disappointed in the ‘failure’ you can’t think of anything else let alone help them move on?  I can guarantee that how we react when our kids don’t do well will be communicating something to your kids.

What do you think your kids hear? Because they hear something even when we keep our mouths closed! Our kids are very attuned to picking up signals…. What are you communicating to them about their learning journey?  What are you communicating to them about their struggles and mistakes?

Our kids need to know that we are there for them.  We love them, support them, encourage them, and make a way forward for them.  We communicate that to them by our words, actions, and attitudes.

 

3–Create Order and Calm

A routine helps us find time for all the different parts of a family life-giving time and space to the things that are truly important. The beauty of a routine is that it allows for the important things to happen over and over again in our day which communicates to our children that this {whatever it is} is important.  It also allows our kids to develop habits, which means they don’t have to think about what to do next – it has become habitual.  When this happens there is less conflict and chaos because there is a rhythm in the family that directs people’s activities.

A routine deals with managing our time, but clutter is another aspect that distracts our homeschooling.

There are two kinds of clutter that can overstimulate and therefore slow down the brain: visual clutter and audible clutter.

 Visual clutter is the stuff we have around us – our belongings. We need to have our stuff organised – on bookshelves, in cupboards, or stacked in boxes. When things are in order we not only create a peaceful environment we create peace in our brains and emotions because we can find things, and we have space to use things and feel things.

The second aspect of clutter is audible clutter – that is the noise around us. It also clutters up our emotions and brain but it can be organised too (well, brought into control may be a better word!) 

  • We can determine to speak with quiet and gentle words (this means getting up and going to where our children are, or calling them to come to us, and not yelling instructions or corrections throughout the house). 
  • We can make sure our children are speaking words that encourage and not pull down (that changes the audible tone in our home). 
  • We can also control the background noises going on in our house – is the T.V. on all the time or possibly the radio or music? 

Noise clutter is when no one is really listening – it is just there. As our kids were growing up, we liked music in our family but we learnt the effects of different music on our brain and emotions – some music entertains and gave us energy and this is best for chore time or free time, some music is calm and reflective and we usually put this on during study or creative times. Sometimes though we just needed quiet. 

Quiet is an unfamiliar experience in many households but it is in the peace and quiet moments that we are able to think, reflect, and dream – and that’s a part of learning. It is in the peace and quiet that we will hear God’s voice. It is worth setting up a regular time of quiet in your home – and you may need a ‘routine’ to help you do that!

 

4–Give Real Praise

Praise can be a powerful tool to motivate someone but praise can also be empty. Words of praise that address the ego are indeed empty and will return to you nothing of value; our kids know they are empty words and mean nothing.  Whereas words that build up the heart will return to you profit of deeper and richer character growth in your children.

Real praise comes from knowing what the standard is that you are aiming for and commending people when they reach that standard, or when they work towards that standard. 

  • We want to praise for diligence when our child worked with diligence even if the job didn’t get finished -yet.  They chose diligence – they are just still working on it!
  • We want to praise for tolerance when the child makes room for the weaknesses of others, 
  • We want to praise boldness when the child stands up for what is right, and 
  • creativity when the child finds an unexpected solution.

Just saying ‘good job’ or ‘I’m proud of you’ is limited and makes our happiness or pleasing us their parents the reason why kids will do the right thing. We have an opportunity to build more into our children when we give them praise connected with a value, or a character trait because this is not only telling them they’ve done a good thing but it is consolidating why that good thing is important.  This is a key way of building up and strengthing our children’s value system.

 

5–Have a Positive Attitude toward Learning

When parents have a positive attitude towards learning – the learning that happens grows exponentially. 

What do you believe about learning?  If you believe learning is a duty that you have to plough through then that attitude will be passed on to your kids – and homeschooling will be a drag.  But if you believe learning is amazing and exciting then your kids will pick up on that – you’ll be infectious.

One cool thing about homeschooling is that you have an opportunity to up your education.  If school was hard that doesn’t mean homeschooling has to be hard for you or for your kids.  Learning can now take a whole different form – and that is an exciting thing.  Not only can you learn in different ways, you can also learn different things than you did at school.  This changes the learning experience for you and your kids. 

I really encourage homeschool parents to pick up a book, start a project, watch youtube and start learning something that interests you.  As you get excited about learning so will your kids.

 

What is the learning environment like at your place?

Another word for environment is atmosphere.

If we think about a party that we have been to and you walk in the door and there is atmosphere – a coffee shop has atmosphere, a church has atmosphere – what are we sensing when we say ‘atmosphere’ in these places?

  • There is a sense of anticipation; we know something is going to happen.
  • There is a sense of enthusiasm; people are excited and happy to be there.
  •     There is a sense of purpose; people have come for a reason.

 

These are the things that create an atmosphere – anticipation, enthusiasm, purpose.

Does that describe your homeschool? 

Heart-focused Action Step

If you don’t think those words describe your homeschool then I strongly encourage you to hit pause on all your plans and make some adjustments.

Adjust your heart – deal with the fears, comparisons, lethargy, and anxiety.  Whatever it is, stirring up in your heart – take time to deal with it.

Adjust your expectations – have a fresh look at where your kids are at; what they are good at, and where they struggle.  Is there something you can take away or add to your homeschooling plans that will bring a bit of life into your child’s day?

Adjust your understanding of learning – do you see learning only as bookwork?  Do you equate learning with study?  Do you give value to learning by doing life together, or by practicing a hobby or talent, or by pursuing a random idea and creating a project?  That’s learning but we may have to adjust what we understand as education, or as learning if we want to see real-life-giving homeschooling experiences. 

 

Extra Help for you

I have two resources that I think will be really helpful for you if you have some tweaking to do.

-1- {as I’ve already mentioned} Is a short email course – it’s free – Prepare your Heart for a Heart-focused Homeschool and it works through a series of daily emails helping you look at your heart.

-2- is a paid workshop:  Deschool for a Strong Homeschool.  It is a 2 part workshop that helps you adjust preconceived ideas and ingrained habits so you can find life in your homeschooling and move on for the rest of the year with purpose. 

Follow on Social Media:

 

If you’ve enjoyed this homeschool episode I’d love to hear from you – you can send me an email from here, or a Direct Message from Instagram or Facebook and let me know what other topics you’d like me to address in our homeschool episodes.

0 Comments

Let me know your thoughts...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

What’s going on in your heart?

Deal with the fear and anxiety in your heart

Further Reading:

Asking Questions when you Talk to your Kids Helps them Learn:  Asking questions helps your kids think for themselves which leads to deeper learning. Learn how and why asking questions works.

Practice these 4 Skills to be a Lifelong Learner:  These four skills give our children the opportunity to be a lifelong learner where they make the most of the world around them.

What Learning Styles can mean to your Homeschool: Understanding learning styles can help you understand your kids which will help you in your homeschool.

Make your Family Room your Learning Room: By thinking about how you use your space you can create a learning room in your family room.

 

Hi there! I'm Belinda and I'm glad you are here!

I am a family life coach and help parents to raise their kids with faith, values and life skills in a way that is intentional, relational and heart-focused. Read more on the About page

You can learn about heart-focused parenting through my podcast, blog and weekly email (Heart Boosters).

You can email me here.

Search by using keywords to find what you are looking for

Need to talk to someone?

I also offer one-to-one coaching.  Your first coaching call, JumpStart, is free - and we spend time getting to know each other, as well as discussing the things you are finding hard so that we can clarify the key step forward.  At the end of the call, you will have a heart-focused action step to work on.  You can then decide if you want to book a Moving Forward call and then later continue with an Accountability call.

Learn more about my coaching offers.

 

 

The download link is on it's way.

Individual Education Planning Worksheets - brainstorming every area of your child's life.

Get your Planning Worksheets

I will email you the download link so you can start looking at all the different spheres of your child's life before you make any curriculum choices. 

The download link is on it's way.

An Alternative to Chocolate

An Alternative to Chocolate

Not that I have anything against chocolate - but these jelly beans can help your kids share the message of Jesus, his love, death and resurrection at Easter time.  

The download link is on it's way.

Parent Guide: How to make your Family Bible Study Really Work

Family Bible Study is Tricky with all the Different Ages

 

But there is a way to make this a rich learning and bonding family time.  This Guide includes tips, planning worksheet, and discussion prompts.  

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download yourCharacter Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download your Character Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

The download link is on it's way.

Download your Cheat Sheet

 

A quick reference to help you discern between a heart attitude and a lack of skill for when your child loses it!

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on its way.

Make God your First Response

Print out this parenting reminder to call out to God in the middle of the moment.

I'm excited to share this download with you. Watch your inbox.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

 

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Our children hear different words when we react to when we respond. Do your children hear blah blah blah when you correct them? Includes a parenting poster.

Download Parenting Poster

 

When we Respond instead of React we find a way to deal with the heart not just behaviour.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Character Lesson Guide

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

When family relationships get tense - look for the niggles.

Heart Focused Parenting Resource for the Intentional Parent

 

Your download will arrive in your inbox shortly. 

Print it out and use to teach the hearts of your kids.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Free Email Course

Daily emails  (6 days) to help you walk towards being a heart focused homeschool family!

You have joined the email course. Watch your email inbox!

Find ways to Re-engage your Student

Download this checklist and stir your child's curiosity

Watch your Inbox - the Checklist is on it's way!

FREE Parenting Worksheet

This worksheet will help you move from addressing behaviour to really parenting the heart, one issue at a time.

 

 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Personal growth starts with an honest assessment

The download link is on it's way. Please check your email.

Give Effective Consequences

Think before you React

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

 

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

One Another Verses

Be Intentional in the Teen Years

Use this Cheat Sheet to remind you of how you can love your teen.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

#14 Heart Booster from Resource Library

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Download your copy

Download your copy

Blending Life and Lessons - and start your journey of changing your thinking about education.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Download: One Another Verses pdf

Download this list of One Another verses and teach your children how to love others.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Raising Kids with Character

ATTEND LIVE : FREE PARENTING WORKSHOP

A bonus for Heart Booster readers:  Learn how to teach character to your kids so that they can live their lives making values-based choices.

 

Live Session:  5th May 2021, 6.30pm AWST

Replay available until 16th May 2021

 

I'm so excited about this workshop - thanks for joining me!

Raising Kids with Character

REPLAY OPTION : FREE PARENTING WORKSHOP

A bonus for Heart Booster readers:  Learn how to teach character to your kids so that they can live their lives making values-based choices.

 

Replay available from 6th May until 16th May 2021

 

I'm so excited about this workshop - thanks for joining me!

Raising Kids with Character

WAITLIST

 

The Raising Kids with Character parenting workshop will be offered again this year - details yet to be confirmed.  Join the waitlist so you don't miss out. 

I will keep in you in the loop as soon as decisions have been made!

Bonus Reading list

 

Sharing my Homeschool Belief File

Knowing what you believe and why about education and homeschooling helps you make good decisions.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Build your Family Routine
Starter Kit:

Assess and Plan how to use your time wisely with this worksheet bundle.

Instant download, and then join the Heart Boost Weekly, by confirming in your email.

Success! An email link is being sent to you!

Success! An email is on it's way!

Free email course

... delivered to your email inbox

Success! An email is on it's way!

Download: Family Devotional Activities (PDF)

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Download:Workshop Resource

This is a digital product. Download and print - but please don't share. 

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

#21 Heart Booster from Resource Library

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Free email course

... delivered to your email inbox

Success! An email is on it's way!

FreePrintable Posters

... delivered to your email inbox

Success! An email is on it's way!

Download:Parenting Reminder Posters (PDF)

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.