AUG
12
2014

Anatomy of a Homeschooling Room

With the homeschool year starting again for us, I wanted to share some room organizing ideas with you all. I’ve previously shared my homeschool room in great detail and you can see those posts here.

I even did a Homeschool Room Video Tour if you’re so inclined and have about 10 minutes to spare.

But today I wanted to just highlight some of the key components of our homeschool room.

Not because I think you need a dedicated homeschool room, but because I think there are definitely some important elements that will aid whatever area you’ve set aside for your educationally focused family.

Is that the new politically correct term for homeschooling? “We’re educationally focused”.

I don’t know.

Anyhoo…I have a couple of ideas I wanted to share with you to help you get your homeschooling groove on!

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1. Work Space.

No matter where you choose to do school, your children will need some sort of decent space to work. This includes laying out books, maps, supplies, snacks, whatever. And for us that also needs to be large enough that my kiddos are able to work without annoying each other.

We currently have a desk set up from IKEA, and you can read more about how I created our desks here. We’ve had this setup now for about 2 years and I LOVE it.

There are a few dings in the top, but overall it’s holding up quite well.

Especially considering it’s white. And I have four children.

And we work on it literally EVERY DAY. Even when we’re not doing school they play in there. With crayons, markers, glue, pens…you get the idea.

At least consider the fact that you’ll need some sort of work area. Even if it’s the floor. If it works for you, check it off your list!

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2. White Board.

It doesn’t have to be a white board, you can use an old fashioned chalk board, or hey why not paint a wall with that awesome chalkboard paint and go for it!

But the point here is that you need a space to write on that everyone can see well. I was blessed enough to find a 5×8 white board at a church school closing for $5. What!? Yep, that was an awesome score! I suggest checking out your local Craig’s list or eBay to see what’s out there before buying something new.

Oh, and you might consider throwing in a few birds. They make the day more exciting. In a louder sort of way.

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3. Storage Space.

Storage space for a homeschooler is like water to fish. Or peanut butter to jelly. Or air to your lungs. You need it people. Whether you creatively hide books in your kitchen cabinets, or go for something more dramatic like the Ikea Expedit shelves below, you’ll need space to store all of your curriculum, workbooks, books, text books, papers, and the list goes on. You know what I’m talking about homeschoolers!

A friend of mine homeschooled in their kitchen, and I honestly had no clue how she did it because there were no signs of school stuff. Until she opened her kitchen cabinets! There before me were shelves full of glorious curriculum, school supplies, and everything else they needed! Wow, it was impressive!

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4. Internet, Computer, and Printer.

Honestly I don’t know how one homeschools without online access, and for us that means having a computer with internet access. Now, I guess this is more of a perk, I know you can do without it by using your library and such. But in this day and age our kids use the internet for research, there are many online curriculum out there, and I don’t know about you, but we download and print like crazy over here.

Curriculum is even going digital with many vendors offering discounted prices on downloadable materials. So it might just be me, but I think having these things in your homeschooling arsenal is becoming a priority.

And please please please don’t forget to setup some sort of Net Nanny to keep your little peeps protected from all of the unsavory things out there.

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5. School Supplies.

No homeschool is complete with out a fresh box of Ticonderoga pencils laying around. Maybe some glue sticks, scissors, tape, construction paper, copy paper, lined paper, a hole punch, pencil sharpener, rulers, and those fun smelly erasers that we all know and love! Oh and I guess you’ll be wanting some super awesome homeschooling curriculum too.

Actually that’s the main reason we homeschool.

I’m addicted to school supplies.

There I’ve said it.

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You can see what we arm our homeschool with in our homeschool supply posts here.

I will say that this year I spent the least amount on supplies yet! All we purchased were some new pencils, glue sticks, lined paper, and some fun colorful pens because I couldn’t resist.

 

And that’s really it! Simple right? A spot to work and some stuff to work on.

It doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated, it just has to work for your family!

And don’t be afraid to switch it up occasionally. We’ve done school in the kitchen, dining room, on the trampoline on a nice day, and every now and then we grab a backpack and take our school work to the library just for fun! No room needed, just some books and a spot to squat!

 

Need more help? Check out my new book! Homeschooling 101 is a step by step practical guide that will help you to get started, and continue on in your homeschooling journey. It is designed to help guide you through all of the steps to getting started, choosing and gathering curriculum, creating effective lesson plans, scheduling your day, organizing your home, staying the course and more! It even includes helpful homeschooling forms and a FREE planner!

homeschooling101bookcover

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Comments

  1. This room is amazing. It create a positive and safe environment for the students. Keep it up.

  2. I love your back to school posts!!! You get me so excited and ready to get my own school room and curriculum set up and ready to go – Thank you!!

  3. I just adore your room, it must be such an inspiration for your kids!!!

  4. Paula stevens says:

    If you go to Lowes in their paneling section they sell a white board (3’x4′) for $10. But if you get a plan piece of paneling (not as shiny) it is $14 for 4’x8′. You just need to add a frame if you want one. We are adding ours to the back of our storage cubbies.

  5. Seriously lovin this post! Informative for sure, but also made me giggle! :)

  6. Wonderful! I have gleaned many ideas from your homeschool room! One thing to point out: your kiddos have great natural light right at their working space–so important! This can be overlooked and cause eye strain, visual tracking issues, fatigue and more!

    Thanks, always!

  7. Hi erica! Love your blog and having questioned my homeschool abilities, your blog has inspired me to really give it a try! Anyway, I have a question for you in regards to your computer. As of now my family only has one laptop and its my husband’s, so he usually has it at work. Sometimes for days at a time, he is a firefighter. We are looking into getting a computer for me and for homeschool. I want a desktop with a touchscreen so my kids can use it for any lessons and whatever but my husband wants to do a tablet. Just wondering what you might suggest. Thanks in advance!

    • I would suggest a laptop or desktop for your homeschool area. I find not everything is accessible on tablets, and it’s just easier to have an actual computer …. that’s for us anyway. I download and print stuff all of the time, plus we play math DVDs, our typing program was a CD that we installed. And stuff like that.

  8. Jessica Hway says:

    Thanks for the pictures Erica! I have used your pictures from previous years for inspiration. I am starting my preschooler in October, and I am working on getting our “classroom” ready. I have decided to convert our breakfast nook into our classroom because of the location convenience. I am constructing my own bulletin board (out of Built-rite board, burlap, elmers glue and some small hardware), and am having a friend build me 3 custom bookshelves. One of the shelves will be in the corner of the classroom, and the other 2 will be hidden in my walk-in pantry around the corner! Always looking to be inspired by what other homeschool mom’s come up with!

  9. These are great organizational tips. We don’t have an entire room to devote to homeschooling, so I love your ideas about storage space.

  10. Hello there, we are entering our 11th year homeschooling. My 2 daughter’s have since after graduating from homeschooling, & graduated this past May from college,& the other finishing her bachelors. So , we are still homeschooling our 2 boys, entering 8th & 6th. As a mother & home teacher, your posts allows constant & fresh inspiration! May you continue to see your fruit!

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