Atmosphere of Learning

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  • CDP4774

    How do you let your “school” activities become a part of your family culture? Our life is very compartmentalized right now into “school” and “the rest of life”. When “school” is done for the day, those books don’t get touched at any other time. We are coming up on finishing our second year of homeschooling and my daughter is nine.

    Could I get some snapshots of what your atmosphere of learning looks like in your home?


    Here are some ways that we have created an atmosphere of learning in our home. 🙂

    Playing classical music any time, not just during school hours.

    Making books a part of life instead of just a part of school. I read aloud all the time when my kiddos were little. When we went to the park, I would bring a book along and, after the kids had played themselves out, they would have a snack while I read aloud. That’s one example. I read aloud while they played with small toys, legos, crafted, etc.

    I also made my kids go to bed early but they were always allowed to stay up and read for 1 hour. That made reading a fun activity to postpone actually going to sleep.

    We listened to audio books and history cds in the car. We studied nature whenever we could and not just during school hours. We went on lots of walks on the weekends and in the evenings and paid attention to the birds, and flowers, and sky.

    We discuss everything! 🙂

    It’s all very organic and relaxed.


    Here are a few things we do:

    -My kids enjoy nature walks anytime.  Just last week when we went they were flipping up logs looking for slugs and salamanders.  They are just naturally curious about nature.

    -My husband does a read-aloud with the four of them every night at bed time.  He has done the Wizard of Oz series, the Little Britches series, and is now finishing up the Rush Revere series.  He’s been doing this with them for four years or so.

    -I have a rain gutter book display full of book related to things we are studying.  Currently it has books about WWI, the Titanic, some nature books, a how-to-draw animals book, and a few others.  I rotate these books out frequently and my kids grab things often.

    And, let’s be honest, there are some afternoons that they rush to get their schoolwork and chores done so that they can Skype and play video games with their friends.  They’re normal kids, after all.   😉


    What a good post! Great ideas, ladies. It’s refreshing to get a peek into someone else’s school/life integration process. 😉


    Audio books in the car. Read alouds during lunch. Not too much tv and electronics. And just talking about things whenever they come up.


    Nebby, how do you read while you eat??


    Cdp4774– I read while my kids eat. I eat later when they are done.


    Great ideas.  We have art and craft resources and learning toys easily assessible and limit tv and electronics.  So when they have free time, they will naturally want to write a letter to their cousin, make a card for grandma, write a story, draw a picture, put together a puzzle, act out a play or puppet show, etc.  We also play classical music and hymns in our free time.  I read bedtime stories aloud still.  We enjoy seeing a live performance when we can.  We try to get to a park once or twice a week and we notice nature around us, even though it may not make into an official nature notebook.

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