Our Homeschool Space
When we decided to start homeschooling NDEW I went online and started looking at all the beautiful pictures of amazing homeschool rooms. Then I looked around at our house and thought “Yea, right!” As I mentioned in the “About Our Family” section, we live in a cute little house in the mountains of NC. It’s the perfect house for us. Not a lot of extra room to fill up with stuff (or to have to clean!). It’s two bedrooms and two baths, with a living/dining/kitchen combo room and it’s right around 1100 square feet. The rooms are good sized with some nice closets, but there definitely isn’t a lot of extra space. This definitely meant that we did not have a whole room to dedicate to NDEW’s homeschooling. Hubby works from home and doesn’t even have a separate room for his office, so we definitely don’t have an extra room for homeschooling.
As we thought further about our homeschool space needs we came to the following conclusions:
1. For the sanity of all involved, having hubby’s primary work space and NDEW’s primary school space both at the dining room (the only) table, was not a good idea. Plus, there isn’t much storage in that area and we actually like to eat dinner as a family at that same table at least every now and then.
2. NDEW would need to do school, for the most part, in a place where there weren’t a lot of toys around visually as a distraction.
3. We would need to have some easily accessible storage for school materials.
4. NDEW would need some room to move around as he worked.
5. We wanted NDEW’s school space to have some good natural light. My kid definitely needs to see the sun as often as possible.
6. We didn’t have a bunch of money to spend on new “stuff”.
From this, we developed our plan. We decided that NDEW’s primary school space would be in his room, although he will certainly be working in other areas as well. For example, we have one primary family computer (separate from the laptops that hubby and I use for work) and it’s located in the living room. Also, any especially messy art, science, or cooking projects will not take place in NDEW’s room. After all, we rent and might like to get a deposit back one day.
The second step of the process was a good clean out of NDEW’s room. It really needed to be done anyway and this gave us a great excuse to purge the toys. Four bags of stuff for Goodwill! Where does all this stuff come from?!?!? As I mentioned, we are blessed with great closets in this house. NDEW doesn’t have tons of clothes so we had lots of extra room in his closet. The majority of the toys that remained after the purge went into the closet. Out of sight, out of mind…hopefully-at least during “school” times!
Then came the organizing of the school stuff. We decided for the time being to use an old library desk that we already had as NDEW’s school desk. We placed it by a big window that gives great natural light and put some shelves beside it to house educational games, puzzles, some Legos, and NDEW’s microscope that he got for Christmas from his Meemaw.
We are also lucky in that NDEW’s bed has built in storage-four small drawers at the end of the bed and two large drawers on the side. Into these drawers went math materials, science materials, office supplies, paper and notebooks, and art supplies. Thankfully, we didn’t have to buy any of this stuff as I already had some things from my days in the classroom. I know we’ll add materials as we go on, but we definitely feel like we had enough to start off on a great foot. NDEW also already had a large bookshelf in his room, so we organized the books a little better and have a great start to our homeschool library.
Last but on least, we put a few things up on the walls including some reminders and some pictures NDEW had made that he liked, and we were all done!
Soon-to-be-purchased future additions include a larger, wall-hung dry erase board and a bird feeder right outside the window, but we all definitely felt that it was a great little space to get started on this journey together!