Do you home school? Or know someone who does?

I need some help.

We’ve made the decision to start home schooling next year {for our first grader and pre-k-er}.  I’m excited for many reasons {the schedule, the choice of curriculum, time with my boys, etc.} but I have to admit that setting up a classroom is right there at the top of the list.


I’ve heard someone say that a home school classroom is a waste of space since most of the work migrates to the kitchen table where family activity is anyway. Is this true?  I could see how it may be easier to multitask in the main living area {boys working on class work, me doing little housework tasks in between questions}.


On the other hand, maybe we’d be more on task if we had a delegated space that we could work in.


With all the appropriate supplies within reach.


And in a bright, cheery, classroomy atmosphere.


Any thoughts?

10 Responses to classroom

  1. DnSmum August 18, 2010 at 6:40 am #

    We have educated our girls at home for the past 4 years. As many of the other comments have stated, you really do need a routine more than a room.

    Do you have a room dedicated as an “office” in your home right now? Maybe you could start with a section of that instead of an entire room, see if your family gravitates toward a “school room”.

    If you like the PB look, check out knockoffwood.com Maybe one of your learning experiences could be to build some of the furniture you like. Just remember, you can never have enough bookshelves! :)

  2. Teena August 17, 2010 at 8:54 am #

    We’ve done it both ways. As they get older they do like to be able to go to a separate place and work on math … so it is quiet. I do have a school room. I keep all our school stuff in it….

    for my little boys 8 & 6…. we do most all our school in our school room.

    I love the pics.

    I like the clocks on the wall…. different places and times.


  3. Anne Conder July 27, 2010 at 6:08 am #

    We have done it both ways over the years, having been at this for 18 years now. Presently, we use our kitchen island because that is the center of our family life. I have a gigantic rolling cart from Sam’s that holds all our supplies. At present, I am teaching four of our seven, the others having graduated, and each of them have an entire shelf for their things. We have a very structured day because that is how it works best for us. We actually find great freedom in the rhythm of our routine. The discipline has allowed us to accomplish so much. We roll the cart out of the utility room in the morning and pack it all back up and roll it out of sight when finished. The kids are thriving and I love having it all contained so that I can close the door and not have the visual clutter. We outgrew a previous system of laundry baskets, seen in this picture: http://iliveinanantbed.blogspot.com/p/our-homeschooling-schedule.html, but it shows the kids in the kitchen. Try several different systems and it will refine itself as you grow into different seasons. It is an incredible journey and you will be so very blessed what He accomplishes in your family. Enjoy!!

  4. Wendy July 26, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    Wow! To have that kind of room just for schooling! We just successfully graduated our eldest daughter from homeschool, never having a special room for it. We do fine. I do have a friend who needed the boundries of a class room for her sanity’s sake. it kept her four girls programed for school, attitude wise. She had also posted school rules, which were benificial for the early years. What you have to decide is what will work better for you and your clan. It may take a few years to find that happy medium, so do not stress out too soon. But when you stress about the situation, change it quickly for the situation, and your sanity. Good schooling!

  5. Robin July 26, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    Hi. We are starting our 2nd full year of HSing. I have a 7 y/o son and a 2 y/o daughter. We don’t have a room dedicated only to homeschooling, but I do find it helpful to have an extra table (not the one we eat on), and an area dedicated to storage (books, pencils, crafts). I also like using real books for our curriculum, rather than too many workbooks, especially since my son refused to write much until halfway through 1st grade. I, too, find it important to wait until the kids are ready to learn things, rather than try to force them into it (I found this out the hard way – lots of tears!) I would say, don’t spend a lot of money or time up front setting up the “perfect” space. You will find out as you go along what you need to make it work for your family, and then you can rearrange and purchase things that you will be able to use. Good luck!

  6. JD July 26, 2010 at 3:53 am #

    Ahh! Yes, those pixs do ring of PB! Ahh – to have all that! My oldest is now 14, and we have always homeschooled. I would agree with the others – do whatever works for your family! That’s what hsing is all about.

    As for my family, we do have a room we generally use for hsing, though we call it the playroom because that’s what it was originally, but it doesn’t have desks for them to sit in. It has 3 huge cabinets (1 for their books, 1 is a doll cabinet, and 1 is art, crafts & extra science supplies with some games thrown in), my desk, an extra kitchen table, a couch & 2 tall, thin bookshelves with supplementary & just because books. If I’m helping them, we do it in this room; the others can fan out to other rooms if they want. I know one prefers the den couch, another her bed…

    So, in all, do what you want with what you have. Just don’t feel like you have to have desks & chairs and a chalkboard. The atmosphere of the home is what makes the space for learning, not what they’re sitting in!

  7. Amy July 10, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

    I’ve homeschooled at the kitchen table (and still do sometimes) but love having my school room.

    Here it is in progress: http://alittlebusy.blogspot.com/2008/07/schoolroom.html

    I currently homeschool 5 of my 6 kids and it is nice not to have to clear the dining table after school. We generally just leave our messes out :)

  8. Jen July 6, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    We are in our second year of homeschooling. We have an 8 year old boy, 6 year old girl, 5 year old boy and boy number 3 is due in October. Last year we had a ‘schoolroom’ and I thought it was so important and halfway through the year I switched it up because I hated being ‘stuck’ in that room. We just relocated a couple of months ago and don’t have room for an official schoolroom and I’m so glad. We have oodles of books on tons of bookshelves that are centrally located and our additional supplies are in an old dresser doubling as a sofa table in the living room. Most of the ‘paper work’ is done at the dining room table but the reading and individual studying takes place wherever they/we land. Couch, bed, patio or in the corner behind a chair. We are much happier this way. We are using Sonlight for the most part. Love love love the natural approach to learning and through ‘real’ books as oppposed to textbooks.
    I so hope you enjoy homeschooling! May God bless you and your family.
    p.s. I love your site…just added it to my favorites.

  9. Marla July 4, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    Hi Emily,
    First, I have to say the pictures above have “ptry barn” written all over them!LOL I can only WISH I had that much room and that kind of $$$!
    But seriously, we are starting our 2nd HS’g year. I am a SAHM of a 4yo DS, and, I am an ‘older’ mom. So some of the things that would have been so important to me in my 20’s are not so in my 40’s. Like having the ‘ideal’ HS’g setup.
    Now, I don’t have 4, or 6 or even 15 kids so we are a lot more relaxed.
    My son is very active so I just do a daily routine with him. Routine impacts them more than ‘where’ they HS.
    Get up, go potty, make beds, get dressed – so we can head out the door if necessary at any given moment. I will give an example of our routine HOWEVER you need to do what fits YOUR family.
    Eat breakfast and clean up.
    First, open the school day with prayer.
    Next, Bible reading & memory verse for week.
    Then while he does worksheets at the DR table, I do my morning home routine. I am near if he has questions.
    After, we do a 15 minute ‘exercise’ time – this can be tag, throwing the ball (in FR – it rains here – or outside), just something active.
    Then we do the rest of our schedule wherever around the house. I let him choose where he wants to read and listen. Being a boy, listening is usually done while building something with blocks or….legos.
    We usually finish by lunch.
    After lunch we have some free time to go for a walk, play a game, something else active.
    Then it is time for 1 hour of nap/quiet time. Usually he protests. Invariably, later when I check in, he is out like a light!
    I will feed him a snack when he gets up and then I have him help me to prepare dinner. If it is too early then I let him watch a video/DVD (about 2x/week), or he will pull out books to look at or simply play.
    He isn’t reading yet and I have had plenty of input to know this is not unusual at 4/5. I am determined not to push him, so much of my time is spent reading aloud to him. Which I adore because I know all too soon he will not be wanting me to do that anymore!:(
    We use Sonlight curriculum which he adores! We chose this curriculum because we believe that if we can get him to love reading, then he will be a life-long learner. He already adores books and would rather be read to than do anything else!
    This year will be our ‘formal’ start of math and learning letters/phonics/writing. But of course these actually started when he was 2/3.
    One thing I would suggest to you Emily is just be ready to teach when they are ready to learn. I.e. our son wasn’t remotely interested in learning the ABC’s at 2y4m, but at 2y8m he wanted to learn and how! So off we went. He had them down, song and all, in less than 2 weeks. Same with learning numbers.
    Without a doubt, the most important, impactful thing I ever did was my own Bible study and prayer times (they continue still) regarding God’s vision for our family and home schooling. You know Emily, when we have a Heavenly Father that cares so much for the little birds and flowers of the field, you KNOW He cares about the what, who, how, where, why, etc. of our homes and the educating of our children. He cares about the most finite details and will help you every step of the way (even with the decor!;)).
    I will encourage you that there will be times of challenge ahead. But, how can we enjoy the peace of the valley if we never encounter the challenge of climbing the mountains?!
    Hang in there, those times WILL pass. Don’t let others discourage you or tell you that you are doing it wrong.
    Keep following the path that God has set before you. Pray for God to lead you to those who can give you wise counsel. And know that, as a teacher, you too are a life-long learner.
    God is going to richly bless you for choosing this path.
    Just take it one year at a time, one day at a time, and do what is right for YOUR family, lead by the Lord, not necessarily what others do.
    Oh, and get your DH involved too!:) Whether he helps in the AM or PM, with read alouds, or history, or math, PE, whatever he chooses to do. The boys, and later Audrey, will absolutely LOVE that Dad is involved too!

  10. Liz July 3, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    Good question! As a homeschool graduate myself we found that it really depends on the family and their style. We “unschooled”, a more informal style, so while we each had a desk and formal workspace in our room we tended to migrate to the kitchen table, living room floor or patio in the warm weather. Some of my friends had formal classroom and school hours which worked really well for them. So, you really have to figure out what kind of family you are and just know that school stuff will be EVERYWHERE no matter what! I’d love to talk with you more about my experience if you are interested. Good luck!