By Megan Wiles
1. Dress for Success
As tempting as it may be in the homeschool setting to roll out
of bed, pour a bowl of cereal, and begin instruction in your
bathrobe, it is important that you dress for success. Your
children need to know the importance of the education they are
receiving. There is no quicker way to give your at-home
classroom an aura of respect, than by dressing the part.
Clothing does not have to be formal, but it can't be sloppy
either. Similarly, your students should get ready for school
in the morning by grooming and dressing appropriately to set
the tone for the days work. Expectation is one of the greatest
factors in student learning, and your dress reflects your
2. Eliminate Distractions
Learning time should be focused and efficient. It is
therefore, to eliminate as many distractions as possible. As a
homeschool teacher it may seem impossible to get rid of all
daily interruptions that take place, from phone calls to
door-to-door salesmen. However, with a little bit of effort
preplanning disruptions to your class schedule can be
To begin with make sure that you choose a room in your home
no TVs or inherent noise problems. To prevent disruptions in
your class, hand a sign on the front door reading, “No
solicitors, homeschooling in progress.” Also make sure to turn
off the phone and put any pets outdoors.
3. Schedule, Schedule, Schedule
To create an efficient use of time and space in your home, it
is vital to have a daily and weekly schedule. School hours
should be set and regular so that students know what to expect
and are prepared to learn. While schedules are important to
the educational environment, don’t let them be your only
Unique teaching opportunities arise all the time that should
be passed over to keep to the schedule. These are some of the
greatest joys of homeschooling, being about to adapt learning
to your individual students.
4. The Proper Tools
The homeschool environment needs to have the proper learning
tools just like any ordinary classroom. Beyond the obvious
paper and pencils, students need tools at their fingertips to
encourage inquiry and problem solving. Every homeschool
environment should have reference materials such as a
dictionary, encyclopedia, atlas and internet. Hands-on
tools are also important. Simple objects like dried pasta or
building blocks can serve as aids to demonstrate math
5. Text-Rich Environment
The homeschool classroom can always be improved with posters,
letter cards, word walls, diagrams, and poems displayed for
easy reference. Students are influenced by their surroundings.
Giving students a text rich environment will encourage them to
read and the repeated reference to these different pieces of
language will encourage understanding and memory.
6. Multiple Modalities
There has been a great deal of focus on multiple intelligences
in the area of education. The idea that each individual has
strengths in different areas can be a very important key in
presenting information in a way that individual can
Consider including things in the learning environment that
promote the different intelligences in your child. Include
photos, graphic organizers, and illustrations for the visual
learner. Have books on CD, music and chants for the auditory
learner. Provide physical gestures, models, and tracing sand
for those kinesthetic learners. There are ways to encourage
incorporate all of your learner’s specific intelligences into
the daily lesson.
While you certainly have rules that your children follow in
your home, you may want to create a more specific set of rules
for school time. Having a set of rules that you develop with
your children for their learning time is very effective. When
everyone knows the rules and why they are necessary it is much
easier to get compliance. Once you and your kids have decided
on the rules and the consequences for following or not
following the rules, take the time to write them down and post
them where they can be referenced when appropriate.
8. Take a Break!
While, as adults, we may be able to push through an entire
work with few breaks, this is not ideal for children. In fact,
it may be more beneficial to allow students regular movement
breaks. These breaks can be part of the learning process or
more of a recess. Either way, physical activity breaks refresh
students and give them energy to refocus on their studies.
About The Author: Megan Wiles is a successful writer for
Homeschool-Guidance.com. She provides a free e-course on
"Maximizing Your Child’s Learning Potential"
www.homeschool-guidance.com and other valuable
information on her website.