Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Our learning spaces and places

When we started home educating in the more "formal" sense as our eldest approached grade 1, we had a dedicated "school room". That was a long time ago as he is now in grade 11. 
The time has flown and my ideas of " home school" have evolved. 
Back then we bought the little kids real school desks for our dedicated school room. 
The room had all the games and puzzles neatly packed into a large cupboard, the walls were decorated with posters and shelves contained our school books. I remember spending mornings in that school room, with the door opened out onto the garden, complete with jungle gym and sand pit. 
Those were happy carefree days when learning involved lots of play.

As the children have grown, ideas have changed,
we have moved house and even moved countries and back again...... 
all the while home educating and discovering along the way that life is learning!

With two teens and a pre teen, it is not possible to keep all the learning in one space or place in our home. As we live and learn at home, every part of our home has become a learning space or place.... 

 Though each of our children have their own desks in their rooms...
( our grade 11 son has worked at his desk on his own since grade 8)
they can be found learning and working on their beds or even on the floor...
 and if it is very cold in winter, they can be found cosily tucked in whilst reading....
and sometimes we pile into our king size bed and read there too!

Our daughter has been known to set up an art table in front of the patio doors so she can work 
while I read aloud from the comfort of the couch....
and her brother tinkers with lego or the likes on the lounge floor.

In winter a fire warms the lounge and learning takes place as close to the coals as possible. 

Our dining room table could tell many a tale of knights and kings,
Khoi khoi, the history of South Africa  and more..... some poetry and math too!
 We like to use it when we are doing unit studies together and books are shared.

The kitchen is often a hive of activity,as the kids practice their culinary skills.....
 or cook up some weird and whacky experiment!
The little kitchen table works well when I am whipping up a meal and the kids want to be close by as they work on a page of maths or language arts....
many a messy experiment has been done there too!

Outside on the patio at the poolside, the children often enjoy their lessons or creating some art. 
In the height of summer we have been known to dive into the pool for some relief from the heat!

 The children have been known to sneak up the tree while I read aloud in the shade below...
the garden is a place where we seek the suns warmth on cooler winter days....
reading works just as well inside or out, up or down!

 So we live in our home and do what works best for our family. 
There is no school room....
learning takes place wherever we choose...
there is no particular learning space or place.

SAblogsbutton100This post features on the South African Carnival of Homeschool Bloggers where South African home schoolers share experiences, ideas, philosophies and much more.  You can join the carnival too by heading to the South African Carnival of Homeschool Bloggers sign up page.   In the meantime, head to Mel's Mouthful on Mothering  where the carnival is hosted this week.  We hope you enjoy the carnival as much as we have!


  1. Love to see all the places you school!

  2. Thanks for sharing. We are in the first stages, with doors open wide to the jungle gym, swings and sandpit, and learning takes place everywhere, but especially right next to the bug my sons discover and I have to tell them about it!

  3. Enjoy them while they little and finding those bugs bearakademie!

  4. I love how chilled you let us be :) <3


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