How to use The Spark Station in home schooling

by Mary Ann on October 4, 2010

This is the fourth article  in a series of posts, starting at basics of using The Spark Station



Under FREE STUFF you will find a list of possible Spark Station contents

* Anything you have around the home. If it belongs to one child it’s a no
* Toys- You decide if you’re going to have toys. You are the expert in your home.
* Materials for projects – “The use of project learning is an incredible way to encourage the child to venture into new areas of study.”
* Books – Use yours or the libraries. Even books that have been in your library take on a new allure when put into The Spark Station. Use the book as a jumping off place for something else.
* Kits or make your own. There are parameters to this item. Refer to the blog The Kit Controvery
* Academics

Spark Station Contents

Kitchen Crafts in your Spark Station

Treasure Hunt your Home to Create a Magical Learning space

Treasure Hunt your House Part 2

Treasure Hunt Your House Part 3

Volcanoes in The Spark Station

Kit controversy

Science in a Box in Your Spark Station

Science in a Box Activities

Chemistry in The Spark Station

Teaching Science – Levers

Teaching Science Part 2

Possibly Related Posts:

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Nathalie October 28, 2010 at 5:18 am

Dear Mary Ann,

Thanks for your enlightening blog posts about the Closet.

I have a 3 year old and almost 1 year old and am wondering about how to decide what’s a toy and what’s a “learning tool” that should go in the closet. It seems that all of the “toys” we own are learning tools. If I lock them up for most of the day, then what’s left to play for the kids when it’s not school time?

Do you have a guideline there, or do I just rotate what we have in and out of the Closet over time?

Thanks for your help!


Mary Ann October 29, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Dear Nathalie,

My daughter has a 4 1/2 year old with Cerebral Palsy, a 2 year old and a 10 month old. I want you to go to this article and look at the Closet on the right hand side of the page. That is my daughter’s. It is a plastic tub and as you can see it is filled with musical instruments, paint, books and toys. I do not advocate not using toys. I do advocate choosing them with care. In my home I have a closet with anytime toys. I have a shelf of craft materials, paint, scissors etc that are “use when you have permission” items. Then I have my official Closet which is only available when we have our learning time. So you have some choices. You can split your toys up and rotate them every few weeks. You can have toys which are only used in the Closet. You can also choose to not have any toys in the Closet and just have activities that you do with your 3 year old. (You will need some toys for your 1 year old) There are many ways to implement the Closet. Think about what will work best for you. Experiment. Then remember that the Five Rules of engagement matter more than content. You will love this tool!


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