I haven’t done one of my “questions people always ask homeschoolers” posts in awhile, so I thought it was time for a new one. Actually, the idea just came to me as we were doing school today and I thought it would make a great post with pictures. 😉 People often ask about setting up a schoolroom. How and where to do this really depends on why you want to and your family’s style and personality.
When we first began homeschooling, I had a 3- and a 1-year-old in addition to my 7-year-old homeschooler. Because I needed a place where my little ones could safely play while I worked with my oldest, we set up our basement as our playroom/schoolroom/office. We had a table for school, a comfy couch for reading, a separate area for watching TV or using the computer and lots of toys. The walls were adorned with maps, a dry erase board, a cork board, charts, the ABC’s and lots of fun “educational” pictures and posters. It was the perfect setting. The younger kids could play or watch an occasional video with absolutely nothing in the room that they could hurt or be hurt by. I could sit in the floor and play with them when I wasn’t helping Brianna. Everyone was happy.
As the younger kids got older and started doing their own school work, we decided that it was time to move our operation upstairs. The basement was too far from the bathroom. It was cold in the winter. And, all those fun toys had become a distraction. So, we moved upstairs. The school supplies went into plastic bins in the cabinets of the china cabinet. The books went into a basket in the floor. The ratty-looking cork board was left in the basement in favor of the shiny new one that now adorns one dining room wall. We got an easel for the dry erase board so that both can be easily stored out of site when not in use.
Here are some pictures of our current “schoolroom(s)”:
As you can see, we do school all over the house. The dining room table makes a great place for seatwork, painting or craft projects. The living room couch or the patio furniture are the perfect place for reading. The basement couch is a great place to get some independent work completed without being disturbed by younger siblings.
Being in the main living area of our house works much better for this Mom, too. I can wash dishes, cook lunch or do laundry while the kids are working independently. I’m right there for them to come to me with questions…and to make sure that they aren’t getting distracted. School used to be a big, separate part of our day. Now, it’s just a lifestyle that has become woven into everything else we do as a family simply living our lives.
Does that mean that you shouldn’t have a schoolroom? Of course not! I know lots of families who have rooms specifically set aside for school. Having a separate room allows them to be organized, to stay focused, or to have on-going projects that can be left spread out even during dinner time! As, I said, whether or not you have a separate schoolroom really depends on the needs and wants of your family. Some people love having a separate room for school, but I also know that there are many new homeschoolers who will be very relieved to realize that limited space need not be a limitation to homeschooling at all.
Oh, and whatever became of our school room? As you can see, it has now morphed into the puzzle-making, sewing, crafting, Wii playing playroom/office/exercise/TV room: