Thursday, August 2, 2012

Where's the Blackboard? {Back to Homeschool Blog Hop: Classrooms}

We don't have a classroom.  We used to, but then we converted it to a bedroom.  So we haven't had a separate room for our schooling for several years.

our bookshelf - when it's neat and organized
The majority of our school time happens at the dining room table.  The subjects that the kids do on their own might get done in any number of places (or positions!).

Some years ago I bought, read, and was influenced by a book called I Hate School by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias. Much of the book is written to parents of students in a brick-and-mortar school, but I found it valuable as a homeschooler as well. In a nutshell, Tobias argues that the traditional school setting - brightly lit classroom with hard upright desks, classroom scheduling, and rules forbidding food or music or fidgeting in the classroom - are not conducive to learning for most children.  She suggests that allowing a student to study in a way that is comfortable for them could help them learn better.  Some people need silence and others need background noise, some prefer low lighting and some prefer bright lights.  The idea is that if the work is getting done and the kid understands it, let them do it when/where/how they like.  As homeschoolers, we could experiement with that quite freely.  Harrison did most of his high school work lying on a sofa with low lighting and music playing in the background.  Spencer is more often found sitting at his desk, with brighter lights, although he does like to have his music playing.  Landon lies or sits on the floor when allowed to do as he pleases, and Kennady is still finding her style but she seems to be able to get comfortable just about anywhere.

As long as the work is getting done, I'm not too worried about where they do it.  Some relatives expressed a concern when Harrison went to broadcast school that his habit of lounging on the sofa would be a problem in the college setting, and I confess that I wondered how he would adjust to being in a classroom and having to dress for business every day.  But it was never a problem for him, and I don't even remember that he complained about it.  So I am not worried that allowing my kids to study in their unique comfort zones will develop bad habits when they do need to conform to a more traditional setting.

All that said, I still wish that I could have a classroom with a blackboard and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.   I dream about a home classroom sometimes...

Do you have a classroom, or dream about having one? Leave a comment and let me know!


Fellow bloggers from the Schoolhouse Review Crew talk about their classrooms today in the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop!


Stefanie said...

Well you know we have one but you'll just as likely find Mackenzie doing her work anywhere. We just to love to do school outside. You know, before it was 800 degrees every, single day.

Anonymous said...

We do have a school room, yes...the kind with blackboards even, etc. But you know what? You use what you have and you can still successfully homeschool. :) Thanks for sharing!

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