It’s a common misconception that you need a lot of fancy things and specific places to make a homeschool work properly. Here are 5 tips for homeschooling without a school room.
Do you worry that you won’t be able to properly organize and run your homeschool without a school room? It’s a common misconception that you need a lot of fancy things and specific places to make a homeschool work properly. In thirteen years of homeschooling our three kids (now teenagers), we've never had a dedicated school room. We just never had the space for it, but we always made the best of whatever house we were in. In case you're trying to figure out how to make your space work, here are 5 tips for homeschooling without a school room.
5 Tips for Homeschooling without a School Room
While it might be nice to have a separate room for school, you really can just work with what you have. Depending on which curriculum you choose to use, the space you need will vary. Regardless these tips should help.
1. Know where you will learn/teach
The first step is to get familiar with your available space. If you can’t create a designated school room, you just need to know where and when you can work. In the kitchen? At the dining room table? In the living room making use of a coffee table? We've done all of those in different stages and different seasons and even for different subjects.
How do you kids best learn? How does working at the dining room table impact dinner and lunch – do you have a kitchen island you can eat at if books stay spread out?
2. Disguise educational aids as home décor
You can also get crafty by disguising your education aids as parts of your home décor. I have seen people cover a white board with pretty material so it looks like a canvas painting, put shelving of homeschool supplies behind a curtain, and turn a hall closet into a homeschool supply room. We had bookshelves in our dining room when our kids were little and we needed buckets of learning toys. At the house after that one, we hid learning aids and workbooks in the dining room hutch. I think at one house we even stashed those things in the coffee table chest. There are tons of ideas so feel free to get creative!
3. Clean up as you go
Another great practice for homeschooling without a school room is to learn to clean up as you go. When you pull out something for an activity, put it back before moving to the next activity. It sounds simple enough, but it’s very easy to get busy and leave everything out. Then you have a mess, and it’s easier to lose things. If everything has a place and is organized, it's much easier to do this.
4. Organize with baskets
You can get all kinds and shapes of baskets from the dollar store, Ikea or Amazon. Baskets and bins are a great way to organize because they are portable (allowing you to move from room to room) and you can sort things as you need them. Plus you can pull out one or two baskets at a time and put them back when you're finished with them.
5. Grab essential tools
Another way to make the most of your homeschool space is to get all the essential tools you need. You can use shower caddies to organize pencils, pens, scissors and other supplies. You can use crates for folders and books, you can buy or build a dedicated cabinet for other homeschool books and supplies, and you can also use dressers for workboxes or organization. Many of these things will just look like normal parts of a home, but will have essential tools inside for education.
These days our kids do 99.9% of their schooling online, so we're storing three laptops rather than Math U See blocks and counting bears. And they tend to work mainly at the dining room table. Although their preferred space is the living room.
Now that you have these tips for homeschooling without a school room, you can get started today. Whether you are just starting out, or are already homeschooling and just looking for a new plan, these tips should work for you.
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