Welcome back! I hope you have found joy and a bit of peace in the first two weeks of this challenge. Prepare yourselves for week three. The hard  work is about to begin, lets jump right in!

You have planned ahead and made a supportive team and network for yourself. Now it’s time to actually create your school.

Lets get started with the location.  Finding the right location in your home can be challenging. Be sure to take into account your household style.  For example we do not use our kitchen table. I know that our school projects take time and often need to sit between work sessions. Since we like to eat as a family we have chosen not to use our kitchen table.  Keep things like this in mind as you determine your school location.

Also consider the amount of distractions and foot traffic for your school location.  Is there something that will take your little ones attention away from learning?  It is a warm fun environment?

After you have decided on the perfect location it’s time to set a few ground rules.  Yes that’s what I said rules.   You don’t need an entire school policy, you already possess a household policy, but a few basics are good.  I always encourage the following but take what you like.
   *clean up after yourself
   *wait kindly and quietly for your turn or help
   *homework must be completed to participate in field trips

Let your children help you to make a few rules as well.  They may come up with some very creative ideas that will be helpful too.

Rules are great but kids really enjoy rewards more!  Rewards in your household can vary or you can set a base for them. For little ones a great reward could be a sucker, short educational movie, trip to the library or purchasing new clay. A 97 cent wood car to paint from the craft store is a big deal for Tractor Man.

For older kids you can ask them to provide a list of ten, reasonable, rewards that they would enjoy for their hard work.  For older kids remember their list is suggestions you still have the control to say yes or no.

If you don’t want to do individual rewards you could try a group reward.  Consider ice cream after a field trip, bowling as a family or a family pizza and sparkler night.  I love doing these rewards since it gives them the “good job” they need but also promotes some family fun time.

Ok we are getting there! Your final step is a combo plan. It is time to decorate your school space.  The combo part here is letting your child create and take  ownership of their school by helping to create and decorate.  For me this is always a challenge since I like things just so, my 3 year old likes things everywhere. We compromise though and store supplies nicely away but he still has control of his learning space. 

So Mom and Dad it’s now time to get creative with your little ones.  Set the rules, establish rewards and have some decorating fun.  Be sure to post your progress as you create your school.  Happy home schooling!