Homeschool: Easy Learning Stations

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Homeschooling is so much more than providing a stack of textbooks for our students. When the idea of homeschooling was brought to me, I knew immediately that choosing to do this would not be for the reason of sheltering our kids from the “real world”. Not at all. My husband and I felt led to begin teaching our sweet girls at home to offer them MORE. To us, more meant a broader perspective of learning that would take place beyond the “sit in your seat and do your work” philosophy!

One of my favorite simple designs available at: Educating Everyone 4 Life on TpT website

Learning Should be Active

Perhaps I have some A.D.D. myself, but as the teacher (both in the public school & at home), I learned to evaluate my own teaching methods in terms of this:

IF I AM BORED WITH LEARNING, SO ARE THEY!

~Domestic Chick

So, with that, I began to intentionally seek out creative ways of accomplishing our school day. (If you come from a public school background, this may initially cause you some internal struggle!) ๐Ÿ˜‚ Not to worry, though. Once you experience ACTIVE LEARNING in the homeschooling setting, those old methods of straight rows, sit in your seat, and do your work will dissolve into a distant memory of times gone by.

As the pyramid shows, kids need to move (adults do too, but that’s a topic for another post ๐Ÿ˜‰); and for our kids, it shouldn’t only happen at recess! The more we can allow them to move, touch, experiment, draw, act, observe within their education experience … the deeper the learning will be. AND, studies show they will retain subjects much better as well.

Learn at Home with Stations!

To beat the boredom of monotonous days, we added stations to our school day at home. No, not every day, but as often as I can blend the curriculum with ACTIVITY, we do. I literally made station signs and place them around the house! Yes, I do. Such an EASY strategy to incorporate! They kids look forward to this, knowing today they will be up moving around and not stuck filling in meaningless blanks on a worksheet. Here’s how to get started:

  • Make or buy your signs – they can literally display whatever subject you desire them to accomplish that day.
    • Examples: art, music, cooking, math, listening, science, spelling… etc.
  • Select only a few to use in one day. Depending on the time you’d like them to spend at each one, 3-5 is likely a good number to allow for quality learning in a day.
  • Place them around your home.
    • Examples: science might be in the garage or on an outdoor patio. Math could be at the dining table. Spelling can be outside with chalk. Perhaps history will be a DVD in the family room. And literature can be on the sofa or even on their beds!
  • Gather the items they will need for station and have all supplies ready for them.
    • Examples: digital timers, color pencils, cd player, their workbooks, colored construction paper, maps, audio book, headphones…etc.

Remember, the goal is ACTIVE LEARNING, so make sure the items you select allow them to DO SOMETHING fun while they are learning!

For illustration on set-up ideas, below I have chosen some of our favorite elementary school – middle school specific items. Your choices are only limited to your imagination! Make sure to consider your students’ special skills, what they are currently learning about, and also what they are naturally interested in! Purchasing is not always necessary either! We teachers tend to have items that will work already at home! One simple station we have enjoyed includes: a black Sharpie marker, a ruler & a piece of white paper to create art inspired by Andy Warhol. ๐Ÿ’šthis activity!

Ideas for Science Station

Click on photos to see more information!

Ideas for Math Station

Click on photos to see more information!

Ideas for History/Geography Station

Click on photos to see more information!

Ideas for a Few Other Subjects

  • art station – have paintbrushes, canvas, & water cups ready
  • cooking station – set up a recipe you’d like to teach them to make
  • music station – at the piano (or another instrument) to practice their assignments
  • listening station – have an audio book, spiral for notes, headphones, & blanket

Station Procedures

Make sure to show excitement for a special day like this! If they know their behavior determines how often you allow more fun days such as this, they may be motivated to follow your expectations more closely! From my personal experience, my girls LOVED station days. And, actually, they’re pretty fun for the teacher too! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Walk your students through each station & explain what you expect
  • Have them repeat back to you their responsibilities while at each station
  • Remind them to set a timer when they begin (optional, but helpful)
  • Emphasize to do their best work to share later
  • If siblings are together, address how they are to work together
  • Motivate them by sharing when they can expect the next “Station Day”!
  • Share how to complete proper clean-up procedures

I’d love to hear how you incorporate stations into your homeschool. We can all learn from each other. Send me a comment… ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿฝ

Thank you for reading! Please FOLLOW my blog & be watching for more EDUCATIONAL posts COMING SOON! Blessings, y’all.

~Domestic Chick