Are you setting up your homeschool room on a budget? Let me reassure you that you can succeed even with a simple homeschool space!
If you are new to homeschooling, you may have fallen into the trap of thinking that you can’t possibly homeschool without a designated homeschool room. You may have stumbled across many posts, videos, homeschool room tours that show rooms completely decorated to the hilt, down to the art supplies being color coded! Wouldn’t that be amazing?
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Maybe this post would have been more appropriately called our “not homeschool room” or, “our homeschool house”. The truth of the matter is, we don’t have a homeschool room. As much as I have thought about and deliberated about if we should convert a room in our house into a homeschool room, it just has never made sense. Let me explain the reasons why:
Everyone Wants to be Where Mom is
Truth. Just try going to the bathroom. You can never go alone!
School Gets Messy
Messes are made when doing a craft project with glue, sparkles, scissors, paints, etc. Let’s just say ANY art project has a potential mess tied to it! How about science experiments. I don’t want to be spilling chemicals or starting fires in the carpet. And the best part of any homeschool routine has to include snack, right? I didn’t want crumbs strewn around the entire house.
Not to mention if we had a room dedicated to just doing school, it would be much harder to keep that room clean! Everyone would use the desks to hoard the papers that should be recycled on the daily.
Cue: The Kitchen
The kitchen became the obvious choice for us as to where we should do our schooling. It is an area that I seem to always be in (the heart of the home, right?). The kitchen is made for messes with the choice of furniture and flooring prepared to catch spills at every meal. And the best part, snacks are readily on-hand when you need them!
We have found that the kitchen has everything necessary to suit the needs of our family for homeschool. Some of the other perks included not needing to buy desks or seating for everyone. We eat every meal around the kitchen table anyway, so we already knew everyone could easily fit at the same time in this space if needed.
Sitting around the kitchen table also helped ease the flow of me working with each kid one-on-one. Instead of me having to relocate to each and every child at their own personal workspace, I stay in “my spot”. I pull our carts right up next to me that have everyone’s school books on them, and I have the kids rotate around the table or their workspace of choice after they have worked individually with me.
Because we utilize the kitchen so often, it also provided built-in school breaks for us to stop and clean up the school supplies for lunch. For a child that maybe had a rough day with school, having this hard reset with everything being put away for the next day was a game changer!
Other Areas of the Home
Beyond the kitchen, we have two other designated areas that we have set up for learning. We have our formal living room which serves as our “music room”. This is where we keep the piano. On school days we use a piano that has a volume button since the piano is usually being used non-stop in the mornings. This is also where we keep the violins and violin practice is done. Weekly piano and violin lessons are taught in this room as well.
We have a desk set up in the family room with a Chromebook where the kids can do their computer time. This time would include typing essays or papers, doing their online Spanish, coding, or typing practice, etc. We have it set out of the way so it is not a distraction to others, yet it can still be easily accessible and monitored so everyone stays on task.
Organizing School Supplies
I have the curriculum materials that I am not currently using stored on a bookshelf. I can easily access extra notebooks and supplies when needed, but my normal everyday workspace is not overloaded with extras that we are not using on a daily basis.
The supplies that we use daily are stored on a wheeled cart that I tuck away in a closet when our school time is over. Each child has their own bin with all their current curriculum stored inside. (We are currently have kids in 7th Grade, 5th Grade, 4th Grade, 2nd Grade, Kindergarten, and Preschool if you want to see what they are each using to learn this year!) On these carts, we also have our family style curriculum (History and Science) and everything that accompanies those subjects.
We keep all our regular school supplies on the carts like small white boards and dry erase markers, sheet protectors, sticky notes, notebooks, etc. The carts are also fully loaded with activities for the little kids to do while I do school with the big kids: coloring books, crayons, markers, colored pencils, scissors, glue, stickers, etc.
Hopefully this helps you to feel a little better about your situation if a designated homeschool room just doesn’t quite fit your home, lifestyle, or budget. We have been homeschooling like this since the beginning, and it works so well for us!