Monday, June 24, 2013

Setting Up a Learning Station for a Preschooler

As we prepare for a new school year I'd recommend setting up a learning station.  It is like a command post for learning.  It is a fantastic use of space even in a small apartment.  EMan (almost 3 years) is getting his own learning station this year.  CJ had a similar one a couple of years ago and will be getting a new Kinder learning space soon.

There are a few things to keep in mind as you're setting up a learning station for a preschooler.

  1. Use as many visuals and printed words as possible.
  2. Make the learning station personalized.
  3. Incorporate all the activities that you should review every day.
I'd recommend using a large magnetic white board as your "home base" for learning activities.  Set aside some time each day (maybe a large chunk of time or a couple shorter chunks) to work on learning activities. 

Activities that should be reviewed everyday are detailed with printables in the Welcome and Manners Preschool Pack {Download Here}.

Here are some shots of how I've set up EMan's Learning Station.  It's in a super small walkway above our basement stairs.  One one side of the wall I have the alphabet chart:
 On the other side of the wall I have dry erase crayons (up high enough that I have to get them down to be played with), the list of activities I should be reviewing with him every day (from the August Welcome and Manners Pack), a calendar, a list of activities to do with the letter cards (from the back of the Amazing Action Alphabet Activity Book).
 I also have a magnetic whiteboard.  We use the dry erase crayons on the whiteboard for writing and drawing.  I've also put magnets on the back of our name cards and alphabet cards.  There are also a few magnetic pattern blocks on there for fun.  Before the official start of the school year we're just playing with the letters in EMan's name as well as identifying the people in our family.  As we work on a letter of the week that letter will go on here.  As extension pack activities come up with our preschool curriculum those will also be played on this board.
The two walls that face each other - Eman's Learning Station.
I also have a plastic hang file folder box that I store loose pieces in.  It sits nearby and makes an easy storage location for games and activities that will be introduced throughout the year. 

Make your own learning station for the kids in your home.  It makes homeschooling a zillion times easier if each child feels like they have a spot that they can take responsibility for their learning.  Feel free to link pictures of your learning space in the comments section, I'd love to see your ideas. 

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