Without much warning, the world got turned upside down within just a couple of weeks.
A big result of that was that parents quickly became teachers with no preparation, no training, no choice! Schools were one of the first places to close and would probably be one of the last places to reopen. IF schools reopen in September, that's about 6 months of kids being at home! (How are you surviving so far?!)
Here at home, we have been trying to create a classroom environment. Over the past couple of years, we have been slowly trying to turn our dining room from a toy room into a classroom (it was never actually a dining room!) Little by little, we began moving the toys into the basement and putting learning resources up on the walls. When we first started, our son was not even in school yet, so it began with the basic alphabet and numbers. He is now in Grade 3, and our daughter is in Junior Kindergarten. Needless to say, the material has had to grow with their ages.
Since we've been in lockdown, I have updated our learning walls once again, and this time, it's the fullest it's ever been, and it's really feeling like a classroom now!
To add to it, my husband repurposed 2 desks that we had in our office and created the perfect work desks for each kid.
We have a central set of standing drawers that have crayons, markers, coloured pencils, erasers, rulers, scissors etc. for both of them to share and use as needed. Our daughter's play kitchen is still in the room since she is young enough to use it daily, and it still sparks a lot of imagination. And finally, we have a big comfy couch that is used for cuddling up and reading books.
They are both virtually connected to their teachers, who assign daily and weekly work, and I am here to help them along the way whenever they need (in between my own design work, cooking for the family - who is ALWAYS hungry - and trying to keep the house *somewhat* clean!)
Of course, things don't always go as smoothly as planned... they're always late to start "school", cleanup time is often an issue, and work time often turns into playtime! But hey... we're trying our best, just like you are! :)
Most of us are new to this, and as long as you're there to support your children, that's what's important at this time. Balance is key (academic work, outside play, meals and snacks, hands-on activities... and maybe a little screen time too ;)
Set up your "classroom" the way that works best for you and your family... there's no "right" size, layout, method or schedule.
I would love to see your "home classroom" pictures in the comments for us and others to get inspired!
[P.S. A HUGE "Thank You" to all of the teachers out there! Now more than ever, the world is realizing that you are the true rock stars!]