At one time homeschooling was a temporary solution to the coronavirus. Now that a new school year is beginning and many kids are staying home, you might need to search your house for the best homeschooling space.
So let's find the space you need to help your students study effectively while keeping your family life running smoothly. You might also want to identify other space needs like a home office or play space where it's okay for the kids to make noise.
Homeschooling Space Needs to Evolve
One of most important elements of homeschooling spaces is a large work surface. So it's natural to consider using the kitchen table or dining room, both of which have the largest surfaces in the house.
The challenge here is you and your students will need to clean up this space one or more times each day, a task that will be difficult to continue over time. That's why another work surface, like these folding tables (lots more on Amazon, and folding bookcases too), might be a better short term solution.
By starting with a portable and/or folding table, you have the flexibility to try out various homeschooling spaces to see where your kids are more comfortable. You will have the time to let your experience and creativity guide you in creating the optimal solution for everyone … and don't be surprised when it keeps changing.
One or Multiple Homeschooling Spaces?
Another challenge facing families who are homeschooling is deciding if one or multiple homeschooling spaces will work best. You might have a spare room to turn into a classroom but you're not sure if your kids can work independently in the same space.
If the kids bedrooms are large enough for a nice size desk, that might be the best way to go. If kids share a bedroom or it's too small for a desk and storage, here are some other places to consider:
- Kids bedrooms if there's enough space for a desk and storage for school supplies.
- Closets that aren't full and/or used frequently. This might be a bedroom closet, the front hall closet (hang coats on hooks near the door) or even the linen closet. Here's one example from Dunhamfittedfurniture.co.uk
- Hallway nooks big enough to hold a desk and a rolling cart with school supplies.
- Unused space under stairs might require some construction but they might be perfect for homeschooling or a home office.
- Corners in the dining room or family room, where a student can study effectively during the day. This is best if you're not ready to commit an entire room for homeschooling.
What Students Need for Homeschooling
Your kids will need lots of homeschooling storage space. Again if you're starting out, you should consider smaller pieces of furniture on wheels so they can be moved to changing homeschooling spaces. You can find the items above on Amazon by searching for “homeschooling storage and organizers” and “rolling cart homeschool“.
My advice is start slow with a few critical purchases, adding more items as you and your children discover what's needed. Here's a shopping list so you realize what you're likely to end up with following a year of homeschooling.
- Critical – good size work surface for reading, writing and a laptop.
- Critical – a comfortable chair that your kids won't mind sitting in for hours each day. My favorite chairs have a memory foam seat, not hard plastic or wood. If you already have a chair, try a gel seat cushion like this one on Amazon.
- Critical – good lighting so they can read books and their computer screen comfortably. If you can build the lighting into shelves above the desk, you'll save valuable work space.
- Storage for everything – from pencils, pens and other things that sit on their desk, plus drawers, bookcases/shelves and/or other places to put things away so there isn't too much clutter. With multiple kids, use different colors for each child to avoid arguments.
- Chalk/white board – for impromptu lessons between parents and students. Once you've settled on your homeschooling space, you might paint a wall with chalk paint. Alternatives include rolling white boards or large post-it boards.
Make Your Homeschooling Space Fun
You want your kids to focus on their schoolwork so give them an environment they'll love. Lots of natural sunlight is great if you have it and bright colors will set the right mood. You can add colors with educational posters, bright storage accessories or a rug like the one shown here.
Photos of homeschooling spaces on Pinterest illustrate the impact a huge world map can make … or paint one wall with your child's favorite colors.