I can see you now.
You're psyched and stoked and tubular-to-the-maximum-ed out for homeschooling. Yes, I just said that. No, I'm not ashamed.
Well, okay, but wait. Where am I supposed to homeschool my children? Yeah, yeah, your home. But where exactly in your home? Let's work through it together!
We all live in a different home in different circumstances. They all can work!
What is your home like?
I know people that homeschool while driving their 18-wheeler. Some people live in an RV on the road and homeschool as well. Your space or lack-of space can and will work. You just have to be creative.
Your brain won't explode. Well... it might just a little, but I'll shove the bits back in and help you get your stuff worked out.
What's your available space?
- Do you have a spare room?
- A spare part of a room?
- A closet?
- A shelf?
Any or all of these will work.
If you're one of those
jerks lucky people that have a room you can dedicate to homeschooling then I'll do what I can to not be envious and bitter. I'll get there someday. :)
Here are some rooms you could use:
- dining room
- formal living room
- play room/game room
- garage (that's prepped for heat and a/c)
If you can't dedicate the whole area to homeschool alone, you can still use these rooms. They'll just have multiple purposes.
For instance, you could use the dining room table for your work area and maybe you could store your materials in your buffet, a cabinet, bookshelves, or a nearby closet.
You have a small space you can use a closet, a cabinet, shelves (various ones throughout your home), and/or a cart. Or if you're into carschooling then in the back of your car.
Let me use myself as an example. We live in a 1200 sq ft townhouse.
Yes, 7 people live in 1200 sq feet. I'm sure people in major cities have it worse off than we do.
Our living room and dining room are one room. Oh, and it also has our computer in it, so I guess you could say it was an office as well.
Thankfully, we have an under-the-stairs walk-in closet (the only walk-in closet in our place) that we call our school closet. I have bookshelves filled with curriculum and materials needed. I have different organizers in there as well -- but that's for another post.
We do school at our dining table, on the couch, and on the floor.
Where you want your child to do their actual school work? Think about how your child works best.
- Do they need a desk or table?
- Do they need a comfy chair or a hard backed chair?
- Would they do better on the couch or the floor?
- What about lights and the cleanliness of the area?
- How are they effected by their surroundings?
For some of your children you may not have to stress over these things as much. There are some children that just do not do well with distractions, noises, bad lighting, etc. You know your child best.
↑ That phrase always freaks me out, to be honest. All of a sudden I'm stressing because I actually don't know the answer and feel like a failure. ↑
So, in honor of those that may be just like me -- if you don't know, just ask them. If neither of you know, you can experiment.
We're all over the place
My kids prefer the couch or floor. When I'm working with them at the same time I'll have them at the table. When they really need to concentrate I'll put them at the table. I know I can't read books to my kids while they're on the couch because they'll fall asleep. I sit on the couch (because I'm the mother and that's my right) and they plop on the floor.
We need lots of light in our family! I think The Captain needs to get his eyes checked, so I have to make sure we have good lighting for him while he reads. I don't know what it is, but my thinking ability improves with lights.
I've got a Pinterest board that has different ideas of setting up your homeschool room. There are some that just make you drool and drool.
Words of advice
Don't try to recreate the school classroom. Don't try to get your room perfect right now. Don't put off actually homeschooling until you have it all set up. Don't get overwhelmed with all of this at once. You can start with just the curriculum and some pencils and paper. You can set up your homeschooling area as you go. I've had several different set ups in the last few years. Your set up will evolve with you.
What do I actually need?
- Surface for school work (desk, table, tray, lap, floor)
- Place to sit
- Area to put curriculum, notebooks, and books
- Container(s) for materials needed
- Some type of lighting
It's up to you on the types of containers and such that you use. You can use what you have, recycle materials, or buy.
I do recommend using what you have or what you can find at a cheap price at the beginning to see what works for you.
You may think having the colored pencils out in a can may work for you. Then after the 50th time of picking them up off the floor or replacing them because your children smuggle them away (I think they bury them in the backyard) you may realize that you need them in a box in the closet. Ahem. Not that I know what that's like...
Be flexible and relaxed in your approach! Then build your own wishlist and Pinterest board (make sure you share it with me) When you've got it figured out set that baby up and send me pictures!!
Some Pinterest boards you may find helpful and inspirational:
Feel free to leave a link to your homeschool room board!