What if the atmosphere shapes the student? What if the space in which our students learn actually plays an important role in the formation of his affections?

We homeschooling mamas are fortunate, because we have the tremendous advantage of teaching our children in our homes (rather than in classrooms lit by fluorescent lights, with white walls, ugly posters, and rows of desks).

If our schools were really beautiful and refreshing, if the outdoors and indoors were kind of mixed, with a rhythm of focused work and play, perhaps our students wouldn’t be always yearning to get out of school. School should be an attractive place where contemplation, reflection, poetic knowledge, as well as the hard work that’s present to master anything, are nurtured.”

— Dr. Christopher Perrin, On Finishing the Year Strong

Interior design is not my strength. I struggle with creating a vision for a physical space, with coordinating colors and choosing decor that looks pleasant and doesn’t cost too much.

But fortunately, we don’t need to go out and buy a bucket of paint or spend a bunch of money to make our homes pleasant learning spaces.

I’m interested in simple things we can do today to make our homes beautiful places in which to contemplate, engage, and learn.

A few ideas to get us started:

  1. Play classical music to set the tone, first thing. Have beautiful music playing when children arrive in the kitchen for breakfast.
  2. Light a candle. Or a few. (Put it up high if you have little ones running amok).
  3. Open all the blinds to let in lots of natural light. (Choose window light over artificial light whenever it makes sense to do so).
  4. Create a fueling station on a kitchen counter. Set out some mugs, a thermos of hot water, and a few packets of hot cocoa, cider, and tea. When it’s time to begin the school day, let the kids stop here first before hitting the books.

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