Every family, business, community or government knows the value of great communication. The home school family is not exempt from this and finding ways to communicate better will facilitate growth and responsibility as well as good character development as well.
The family bulletin board is a great tool in facilitating communication skills. When used correctly, everything from photos of the last vacation, a child’s accomplishments, a family project or a new pet can be center-staged on the bulletin board.
First, centrally locate the bulletin board so that at various times during the day each family member is passing by the board. Put it at eye level for all the children so that it is easy to see and read.
Second, choose an exciting border that will engage the mind of each child and cause them to notice the board. This can only work if you change the border at regular times. The children will begin to look forward to the new border and will remind you when you forget to change it out.
Third, make the bulletin board a community project. Let the children have a small part in deciding what border to use, what types of things will go on the board, but always exercise veto power if the main theme is compromised.
Fourth, determine the main theme. This may rotate as well, but when one child is working on multiplication skills, and another is struggling with diagramming sentences, some compromises may need to be made if the space is not large enough to accommodate everyone’s course of study. Let the theme revolve around a family project that all are involved in. Perhaps the new garden that is going in soon, or a major outreach such as a nursing home or church project. A new baby can be a grand theme when mom is expecting.
Fifth, use a section of the board for communication of chores or notices that will require each child to check the board daily and throughout the day. This will insure that character is developed as each child realizes that they may have communication from a parent or a sibling and they need to check it regularly to insure the do not miss any particular duties. This method will also drive them to the board and use it more often.
Lastly, make it fun. Academics need not be dry and boring, but can be fun and enjoyable when the right approach is used. Some families use a dry erase board for messages throughout the day, but keep it close to the bulletin board, again to facilitate the use of this wonderful tool.