At Home #5: Creating Your Child’s Work Area

Creating an organized area for you child to “go to school” (while at home) will help you and your child.
Your child’s work area should have the following attributes:

  1. Visibility: be where you can see your child at all times.
  2. Table/Chair/Rug: have a small table and chair, for “table works,” and a rug/bath towel, for “rug works.”  Have your child push in the chair every time your child leaves the table, and roll up the rug/towel whenever s/he’s finished working.
  3. Music: have only quiet instrumental music playing throughout work time, it minimizes distractions and helps children focus.
  4. Works – traditional: have a variety of works set up on shelves/tables in an orderly fashion, “divided” by categories:  numbers (math), sounds/pre-reading (language), sensorial, practical life, art, cultural/science, and handwriting.  You do not need a large number of choices within each area, just appropriate choices.  There are many ways to use a single work, so be creative, and rotate works in and out.
  5. Works – enrichment: have a variety of enrichment-type works (see “Our Daily School Schedule”…12:15 – 2:25 Children’s Work Time).
  6. Divided work areas: have the traditional and enrichment works in different sections of the work area, so it’s clear that you are completing one set of works (morning) and starting another (afternoon).  Or, you can simply cover up one area with blankets while using the other.
  7. Minimal distractions: be in a room that is not your child’s bedroom or toy room (if so, move the toys out of sight)
  8. Snack: include a self-serve snack and drink area.  At school we only provide water to drink (less mess in the work area), and children eat or drink only what they want.
  9. Library/Peace area: include a comfortable chair and basket of books for the child to look at by him/herself, and/or a few “peace” items:  small mirror, finger labyrinth, tabletop Zen garden, plant, smooth rocks, variety of shells, other natural items.  The child may go to this area whenever s/he wants during work time.

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