Setting up your school area is always an exciting time, as well as a little nerve-racking!
We have done school in countless different areas throughout our 16 years of homeschooling. I have had dedicated school rooms with desks for each child to use. I have also used our kitchen table, couch, and kids’ bedrooms for places to do school. Just like homeschooling itself, each homeschool space will be unique to your needs! Before you rush out and purchase furniture or rearrange your house, think about these considerations when setting up your own school space.
I would advise you to think through what else you need to be doing during the day...I like to keep a load of laundry going, prepare snacks or meals, and watch my little ones outside in the backyard. For these things to happen easily, I want to homeschool in a location where I don’t have to constantly run up and down the stairs or through the house. This happens to be at our kitchen table, where I have a view of our backyard, plus the laundry room is right off of our kitchen. Sometimes we will mix things up and homeschool for a morning in our basement where we have a school space set up just to add variety. In the winter, we spend time in our family room by the fireplace. It’s just so cozy! I keep all of our school books on a bookshelf in a central location in our house, so it is easy to grab the next subject and head off to wherever school is happening next.
When children are younger, you will notice if you are out of sight for more than a few minutes, they will tend to get easily distracted from schoolwork. One year, I had planned to do school in our basement, but having laundry, food preparation, and little ones playing on another floor didn’t turn out to be a great plan; I needed to be close by while my elementary kids were working on school work to help them during the day. Middle school children are starting to learn independent study skills, so although they might be able to tackle some subjects without help, they will need assistance with others. Mine prefer doing some of their school day in a quieter area, while some of the day is spent with me at the kitchen table. My high school kids tend to do school in their bedrooms and check-in during the day. They enjoy the quiet of their rooms and are more self-sufficient at this age.
Make a list or mentally run through your days (or week) and think through where you need to be and what you need to accomplish. Then you can think through the best place to homeschool. You may find you don’t want to homeschool in one location. You may want your kids in your office while you get some work done in the morning; then, later in the day, you will do school on your porch so you can watch your younger children play outside while you finish school with your older ones. We have worked on school in a variety of places including the trampoline, a treehouse, the car, a park, a blanket under a tree, the driveway, grandparents’ house, and so many more! Make the locations work for you; you do not have to be tied to a schoolroom or even one area!
Our family’s hand-down favorite school space is our kitchen table and the couch. It is easy to assist the kids when they need help, plus I can also take care of meal preparation and complete other household tasks throughout the day.
Remember, you are homeschooling, not public schooling at home...set up your own “perfect” school space that works best for your family!