I know, I know. Nearly every homeschooling blog post every written says that you absolutely do NOT need a classroom…as they take you on a tour of their pristine, all white classroom full of thousands of dollars of furniture, curriculum, supplies, and computers.
I’m not trying to be the bad guy, but I do want to be honest.
I want you to have all the information you need to get your homeschool up and running and successful.
The truth is you do NOT need the separate room with thousands of dollars worth of stuff.
What you do need though is a designated homeschool SPACE in your home. That could be your living room, your dining room, basement, breakfast area, whatever.
When I first started looking into homeschooling, I asked a good friend about her classroom. She was homeschooling 4 kids at the time, so I considered (and still do) her an expert.
I was a bit nervous, because we were about to move to a very congested city and would be living in a house smaller than what what we were used to. No way would we have space for a separate room for homeschooling.
Her honest advice was that one of your main living areas needs to become your homeschool space. You are going to need to sacrifice your beautiful decor for a huge white board, maps, and shelving if you really want to take this homeschool thing – and your kid’s education – seriously.
Well, I took her at her word and changed what would have been a small play area or reading nook that extended from our living room into a classroom.
I am “The Simple Homeschooler”…so I love simple! I initially thought that taking the steps to set up a classroom in my house sounded a bit overwhelming…but squeezing space in my house for a classroom has made my homeschool journey so much more simple and enjoyable.
Reasons You Need a Homeschool Room
1. Its a statement to your kid
When you take the time and effort to set up an area in your house as the designated homeschooling area – you are sending a message to your kid. This is happening. I’m taking it seriously. Your education is important.
No, I’m not advocating trying to recreate a public school atmosphere. No, I don’t think it needs to be expensive and over the top (clearly, just check out the above picture).
It just needs to be a place that it is now set aside for the purposes and intention of homeschooling.
2. Your child’s attitude
A designated homeschool space with a simple folding table and chairs helps put my kid in the attitude to learn. When she sits in that chair, she understands that school is starting and what is expected of her. We are here to learn and have fun together!
I see her face seem to change as she moves from the couch to the homeschool table every morning. She is looking at me, expecting instruction. She becomes more engaged in the process and ready to receive information.
It is easier to hold her attention, as I have a huge white board, maps, and history time line displayed to explain her lesson and answer her questions
Is your child easily distracted? To be honest, I’ve never met a kid that is not easily distracted! Having a homeschool space helps so much with keeping kids focused and on task.
3. Your focus
Most people would say I am a pretty focused and structured person. I was a former Army officer and I spent a number of years as an Emergency Room RN. It is still a struggle though sometimes to remain focused on school during school hours.
The house is still calling to me with all of its laundry, phone calls, dishes, dinner that needs to be prepped, emails, appointment scheduling, bill paying, etc. I find it much easier to shut all of that distraction out – because all of it can and should wait -by being in our homeschool space.
My mind is focused on what is most important because it is right in front of me.
4. Home Base
A homeschool space also provides a central meeting place for your student and your homeschool materials – the most important (in my humble opinion) being the white board! I wish I had bought a white board twice as big as the one we have. We use it for everything! My daughter is such a visual learner, so having a big board to write down words she was sounding out, break down math problems, or draw her science lesson to explain it better – has been invaluable!
Keeping your other homeschool materials in a central area is also key, so that as you are teaching you don’t have to interrupt yourself to go running through your home looking for those scissors, a ruler, more paper, the pencil sharpener, that pack of colored pencils, the teacher’s manual, the book for the next subject, etc. Having it all in a central location will help you be more organized, save time, and not break your child’s concentration as you are running to grab something.
This becomes even more important as you are schooling more than one child and having to move between them to instruct, assist, and check work.
Now I have been known to move from the classroom area to sit on the sofa to read a history lesson. Or maybe we bring the math blocks to the dining room table to spread them out on a bigger table. Or I send Oldest to her room to finish her spelling worksheet because the Littles are being especially loud for whatever reason. It’s okay to branch out and get a change of scenery, but it is so helpful to have a central place where the majority of instruction takes place and the supplies are located.
As a side note, our classroom is so small that I do not have the space to store ALL my supplies. No problem! My solution was to flip through the lesson plans on the weekend and just pull out the supplies I would need for that week. Simple!
5. Less Interruptions
In the same way that setting up a homeschool space sends a message to your child, it also sends a message to the rest of the people that live in the house. They will begin (hopefully) to understand and respect that when you are in the classroom, they need to be quieter and less disruptive
When the Littles come to the classroom and want to blare Alexa and start a dance party, I say, “Woah! We are doing school here girls. Don’t you see your sister is working?” Even at their young ages, they have learned to understand that they are welcome to come into the classroom, but in this area of the house they need to do something quiet like coloring, playing with blocks, or flipping through a book. More on homeschooling with younger siblings here.
If we were trying to school just anywhere in the house, I feel it would be a lot more difficult to expect others to provide the atmosphere for my daughter to do her best work.
Depending on your personality and ages of your kids, this might be the biggest benefit of a homeschool room! Lots of fun art crafts, science experiments, and math projects tend to have the propensity to make mess.
You can anticipate that and set up your classroom to be “mess ready” with the type of table you pick and flooring you have under it.
My folding table is covered with accidental crayon, marker, and glue marks. Who cares?! It’s an old folding table.
Remember, a designated homeschool room does not need to be a special room full of expensive stuff.
It can be ANY room in your home.
If you are just starting out on this homeschool journey and you don’t know which way is up right now, you should strongly consider devoting an area of your house to homeschooling.
It is much easier to take away structure later than to try and add it once you have started something.
Maybe you have been homeschooling without a classroom for years and you are struggling in the areas of organization and focus. It is not too late to set up a classroom and try adding a little more structure and see how your kids respond. Give it a try!
If you have read this far and you hate classrooms and you’ve been homeschooling 20 years without one…well then homeschool on with your free spirit sister! …but this mama and her family thrives on the structure a homeschool room provides 🙂
To the rest of you I hope setting up a classroom helps you and your family on your journey to a simple, successful homeschool. You can do it! I am cheering for you!
Joining The Simple Homeschooler community today by clicking HERE! I send out Monday morning emails (no spam ever!) full of tips, encouragement, laughs, and some awesome homeschool freebies to get your week started with awesome!
Want to make sure you remember why you need that classroom? Pin this to your favorite Pinterest board!
Are you a bit nervous about moving forward with putting a school in your house? That’s understandable! Check out this information about how to create an indoor learning environment that works for your family!