Do I really need a dedicated homeschool classroom? This is one of the first questions new homeschoolers ask themselves. It is not, however, reserved just for new homeschoolers. Any time you move or have a change in your household, you'll need to ask yourself this question. Here are some thoughts and ideas on how to handle the homeschool classroom dilemma.
So, is this room or space crucial to homeschooling? Absolutely not. If the only place you have to set up your classroom is in your kitchen, then by all means, don't let that stop you.
If you have some alternatives in your home, then try changing things around from year to year.
I have set up our homeschooling headquarters in our family room, our dining room, an extra bedroom, our basement and the kitchen. It all depended on the layout of the house we were in and what the mix of kids was.
In one house we had a tri-level and the extra bedroom was on the same level as the family room which worked out good with the little kids.
In another house we had a basement. We started there for the first few years. I had the desks and bookshelves set up on one side with the play area on the other. It worked well to have the toddlers close by while I worked with the other children.
After a few years in the basement, however, I just wanted to have
some more sunlight, so we moved up to the kitchen table and family room.
I had five students then, so the kitchen table worked well for me when I
need to rotate between students. Plus, we had a nice island that we could all fit at to eat lunch, so that meant books didn't have to be cleared until dinnertime.
I know a lot of families that homeschool around the kitchen table. I know others who have beautiful, dream school rooms - big windows, lots of light, bookshelves with all their books right there, bins for all the schoolwork...you know what I'm talking about!
In reality, though, whether you have a dedicated homeschool classroom or just your kitchen table and family room couch, you can be a successful homeschooling family.
No matter where in your house you homeschool, I think there are certain items that are necessary for you to have in order to make your homeschooling experience more organized:
A friend of mine had this great idea in lieu of having a homeschool classroom. She didn't want to dedicate an entire room to schooling, so they made this instead.
Each student has their own section in the box. Their planner is in the front of their section and then each subject is neatly labeled on their folder, with the corresponding books placed behind the folder. Each student has their own color folder so that it is easy to locate them. As an added homeschooling lesson, they built this box themselves!
If you are short on space, consider something like this.
Remember, each year is likely to be different, so learn how to adapt your surroundings to fit the year. As always, keep it simple! The more complicated you make your system, the harder it is to keep it up and keep it organized.