A Heart of Dakota Life
Work Areas for Older Students
Older students tend to crave their own work areas. As our sons reached their teenage years especially, they each wanted an area to call their own. Spreading out to different work areas helped them so much. Wyatt, our oldest son, loves the outdoors, so his favorite work area is at a table by the big windows in our addition. Riley, our middle son loves to spread out, so his favorite work area is at our dining room table. Emmett, our youngest son, loves small areas. His favorite work area is at a library table behind our couch. Each son does his seated, independent written work in his own work area. This helps each of them maintain focus and have their own space for their things. Each son also has either a bookshelf or pie safe for his homeschool books. This makes finding books so much easier!
Common Work Areas for Older Students
We do have common work areas too. Our sons do their computer work at the library table in our addition. We have two desktop computers at the library table. Math and geography are two subjects our sons use the computer work area to complete. We have graphing calculators, protractors, etc. in the small drawer in the library desk. Another common work area is the living room. Our sons can often be found on the couch, in a recliner, or even on the floor with a pillow by the fireplace reading their school books. Riley’s room has a TV on the wall with a DVD player. It is not connected to cable television. Riley’s room is a common work area for our sons to watch DVDs for homeschooling. Our kitchen table is a common work area for me to do teaching that involves seatwork (i.e. grammar, writing, etc.). The living room couch is a common work are for met to read with our sons.
Common Meeting Areas for Older Students
Our sons also have common meeting areas where they love to get together and hang out. The first common meeting area is the kitchen table. This is where we all gather for breakfast, lunch, and supper. Another common meeting area is our addition, which has a couch, several chairs, and a fireplace. This is where our sons have their “private” meeting and hot cocoa time in our school day. I am not invited, which is fine! I need the mid-morning break to do other things. It is such fun to hear them laughing and enjoying hot cocoa together in this common meeting area! Finally, our sons have a common meeting area in the basement. Here, they built a two-decker area with a tiny fridge, a TV/DVD player (not hooked up to cable), and pillows and blankets.
In the basement, we also have exercise mats on the floor in a fairly open area. Two mini-basketball hoops, a popcorn maker, weights, a pull-up bar, and plastic cabinets full of nerf guns provide endless entertainment in this common meeting area. It is not a beautiful place, but I think that is why they love it! It doesn’t need to be picked up so neatly. A basement is meant for making forts and having fun! So, for your older students, here are a few ideas for how to set up work areas, common areas, and free space areas!