THE MOST important thing to educating your children at home is creating a rich learning environment.
But what does that look like?
First off, let me tell you what it DOESN’T look like.
It doesn’t look like a beautiful Pinterest-worthy “study area” with cute kid chairs and a desk to make a teacher drool. It doesn’t include fancy pens and a laser jet printer. It doesn’t even include the latest technology. And in my opinion, it doesn’t include tons of new curriculum and textbooks just waiting to be groaned over.
What it does include is books, the right attitude, and maybe some pens and pencils.
Everything else is nice, and it may make your life easier, and it may make the process more fun. But if you can’t get those things, or your house doesn’t have enough room, you don’t need it.
Setting your child up for academic success is all about being ready to learn, wherever and whenever it happens.
It’s about reading. LOTS of reading. Reading about things. Looking information up. Finding new books to read. Going to the library (or borrowing books online). Perusing a magazine. Looking at books that are “too advanced” because your child things space is super awesome and wants to learn more!
You do not have to know everything in order to home school. Unless you just happen to have your doctorates in physics, and chemistry, and biology, and genetics, and earth science, and geology … there might be new things that you’re going to learn about science. And that’s amazing! Your child will LOVE learning with you! I knew literally zero about space (well, I knew there are now officially 8 planets, go me), and my five-year-old loves being able to “teach mommy” things. Then, we get to tell daddy about what we learned about when he gets home from work. It gets kids really EXCITED about learning! They love sharing with you what they have learned and telling others. It’s the best opportunity ever. Don’t let “not knowing” hold you back from being an amazing parent-teacher. Being excited about new things and sharing that interest with your kids will inspire THEM to be excited about learning!
In your home school area you may also want some fun things like pencils and paper, as a minimum, and we’ll go over my favorite “school supply” list in a different section, but if this is holding you back from homeschooling, don’t let it.
An environment that consists of your couch (and most of the time my kids sit on the floor!), books, and the desire to learn more will be more valuable than any fancy curriculum. Textbooks and worksheets are great, cute desks and fancy laptops are nice, but that’s not where the real learning takes place. Use every opportunity to ask questions with your child and to find out things that are fun and exciting and useful to know.