Which room in my house should be my homeschool classroom? This is one of the first questions new homeschoolers ask themselves. It is not, however, reserved just for new homeschoolers. I know I ask myself this same question every year. I like a little variety in my life, so every year I try to change our homeschooling environment at least a little.
Is this crucial to homeschooling? No, absolutely not. If the only place you have to set up your homeschool 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 catholic 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 big, kitchen table worksed 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 catholic 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:
As for the place for each student to store their books, I came across this system in the home of one of my friends. I love it.
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.
In the end, though, don't let the question of which room to use as your homeschool classroom side track you. If you are ready to start but just aren't sure where, just pick the kitchen table and get going. In the meantime, try out a few different spaces in your home to see how it goes. Over time you'll be able to improvise and change things around so that your space works for you and not against you.
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.