Organisation + home-schooling = Organised Chaos !!
When organisation is added to the word “ home-schooling” somehow the image comes into my mind is….. Chaos !!
Books and pencils covering every surface, screwed up paper all over the floor and a mother looking like she has been dragged through a thorny bush. (this is how I look on most weekday afternoons)
Organisation Does NOT Mean Tidy
Somehow organisation implies that both you and your workspace are the ultimate model of perfection. Everything is neat and tidy and not a thing out of place and our surroundings are colour coded and coordinated. From my experience this is rarely the case, so we need to embrace it.
Time Management Skill are Never Perfect
In addition to organisation, one assumes that time management skills are also perfect and that you are on time every time. This picture perfect reality, is totally unrealistic and will cause nothing but conflict and disappointment which ironically is the complete opposite of the harmony and happiness that we are striving to achieve.
I prefer to explain and imagine it as more of an organised chaos. It is natural and typical for kids to be disorganised to a certain extent. It’s common for them to forget where they left their shoes and be in a frantic panic when there is so much more stuff to be done and so little time left to do it before Mum has a complete flip out.
Kids always have so many things going on in their minds that forgetfulness and disorganisation is common. It is also a fact that in some circumstances disorganisation can create anxiety and a feeling of being overwhelmed in some children. To prevent or minimise this, it’s worthwhile to work together and create a organised learning environment.
Everything has its own place and space. Everyone knows where everything should be found, if it’s returned to its rightful place.
This eliminates wasted time and efforts finding misplaced stuff and minimises the risk of frustration and fights.
Organised Chaos is the 3rd Chapter of my e-book:
How to Homeschool – The Good the Bad and the Ugly Realities of Doing it Successfully
Prepare Study Station For Home School
So lets start by organising a study space.
It is extremely important to create a relaxing and productive workspace or study station as I like to call it for your child. We all need to feel comfortable when we are to begin our work. Here are a few of my secret little tips to create a comfortable environment.
Firstly, you will need to ask yourself a few simple questions to understand the environment you will be creating:
● Will work be done on a kitchen table or in an allocated space or room ● Is there wall space to allow for pin ups and shelving ● Where is the closest power point to the workspace for laptops and printers? ● Is there an internet connection available? ● Is there adequate ventilation and lighting ● Can the temperature be controlled in the space (for heating or cooling)
What to Ask Your Child When Choosing a Study Space
It’s important to remember that in order to maintain focus and enhance our learning we need to be physically comfortable.
I first ask the questions:
- What are their favourite colours?
- Do they like to listen to music when they study
- What type of chair is comfortable for them
In addition it is nice to be surrounded by things that make us feel happy and that are personal to us.
My Secrets for a Comfortable Study Space
The number one secret is to Invest in a good comfortable chair. They will be sitting on it for many hours in a week. If you want them to pay attention make them comfortable.
Add extra task lighting to the main ambient lighting ie. adjustable table/reading lamp. And also mount a large clock that the child can visually see. This will help them keep track of the time it takes to complete tasks and when lessons are scheduled.
Make sure everything has a place and a space. Use containers or boxes that are clearly labelled and returned to the same space after use.
Access to music can provide relaxation or motivation if needed. It creates an ambience to assist learning. Ensure there is adequate ventilation, open a window, turn on a fan or regulate temperature in the room.
Use your child’s favourite colour to accessorise. This may be used in containers for storage, notebooks, cushions, lamps, stationery and wall hangings.
Where possible add a potted plant. Peace lilies are beautiful and are cleansing to the air quality. They are minimal fuss and look lovely in any setting.
Personalise the work area with photos or pictures that are of happy times or memories for the child. Also include awards or special artworks that instil pride. This will evoke a positive thought reminder. You could mount them on a cork board or blu tac to a whiteboard or wall.
Read more of my tips for setting up a study desk here: How to design a Study Desk?
Organised Chaos is Chapter 3 in my book: How to Homeschool – The Good the Bad and the Ugly Realities of Doing it Successfully. I go into great detail about what to expect when home-schooling and how to cope with the organised chaos that will ensue.
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