The Schoolroom as a Resource for Independent Learners

Welcome to The Homeschool Village’s first ever Tour of Home{schools}!  We are so excited that you stopped in. We hope that you will find encouragement and ideas for all types of spaces, styles and personalities.

 

photo of The Schoolroom as a Resource for Independent Learners | The Homeschool Village

We all want our kids to become independent learners.  While this is probably more common for older kids, it can feel like such a lofty goal when our kids are young.  Mommy is many times seen as the only resource and “I need help” becomes the schoolwork mantra.  But it is truly amazing what happens if you set up your schoolroom as a resource to help those young learners read and write with independence!

A Word Wall

A word wall is a place where I store the sight words we have studied.  Instead of asking mom “How do you spell…?”, I use this as a kind of dictionary for the words he should know.  Word walls don’t have to be large.  My favorite kind of “word wall” is a portable mini word wall in a manila folder.  To read more about sight words and my word walls, please read my recent Sight Word posts: Part 1 and Part 2.

Independent Reading Bin

I keep a bin of books that my son can read with independence.  These books have already been read to me and I KNOW for sure that he can read and comprehend them with 98% accuracy or above.  Part of his homeschool routine is to read for 10-15 minutes each day from his indpendent reading bin.  This helps especially to build fluency.  My younger son also has his own bin, filled with the emergent readers from my free Reading the Alphabet curriculum.

Labels around the Room

photo of Labels as a Resource for Reading and Writing | The Homeschool Village

Many of the objects around our schoolroom are labeled.  This helps my kids with reading and writing.  Sometimes we’ll “read the room”. Quite often, these words are used when my kids want to spell a word in their writing.  Our IKEA organizer is also labeled {pictures included for the youngers} and also serves as a help when my kids want to write about the items inside the bins. If you want honesty, much of my house is labeled.  Go ahead.  Call me a dork. But you’d be amazed at how these word labels have been used in our home by my kids. You can see more about that in my 5-day series on organizing your home to promote litearcy.

I have color words {in the form on crayons} posted on the schoolroom wall. These color words have come in quite handy when coloring a worksheet, reading a book, or writing a story; starting at the PreK level.

photo Question Words | The Homeschool Village

When my son was a bit confused with his question words, we used the theme song of Busytown Mysteries.  The fun chant of “Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How?” from that song became the way my son knew which word was which.  The list of question words on our wall was a great resource for him as he read and spelled these words.

Resources Posted at His Desk

As a part of his routine, I post a “to do” list, with each bin above his desk labeled.  These words provide an authentic reason to read. My son has quite a few words posted around his desk…words we haven’t studied as sight words; but still needed for writing and reading {currently in 1st grade, because and favorite are posted}.  Last year, I posted the -ing chunk as it it used quite a lot in the early readers and when he wanted to write.

photo of Reading Directions with Independence {free printable} | The Homeschool Classroom

He also has a printable page posted at his desk that helped him read the directions of worksheets with independence {feel free to download HERE and use, too}.

It is imporant to note that I model daily how to use these resources until my kids are ready to use them with independence.  Sometimes, my 1st grader forgets they are there.  I am quick to refer to them, reminding him that he is surrounded by resources to help him become more independent in his learning.

What other ways do you use your school space to encourage and foster independent learning?

 

A special thank you to our series sponsor, See The Light.

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