I remember when I first started homeschooling. I spent a lot of time prepping our homeschool space. I wanted it to look just so with a cute little school desk and shelves full of books with a cute little reading nook.
You know what I mean. I wanted the perfect homeschool classroom. Because, if I had that, of course homeschooling would be successful. Right?!?
Every summer, I would spend a good week cleaning and updating that space a bit. Yet, every year I would end up using the room more for storage than for actual homeschool learning. Why?
I think one reason is that if we have that perfect space, then we can prove that we do homeschool. It’s that whole lack of confidence in our decision that homeschooling moms revisit far too often.
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The reality of how our homeschool operates looks completely different that traditional classroom learning. And, what I’ve learned over time is that it looks different for most homeschooling families as well.
Homeschooling is life learning. That means learning happens through life. With that, what I see is that homeschool spaces are born out of your family lifestyle.
5 PLACES FOR HOMESCHOOL SPACES
With the right set-up a homeschool classroom can be the perfect homeschool space. But we have to get out of the mentality that our homeschool space needs to look like a public classroom space. It doesn’t!
If you have a room or space in your house that you can use think about how your children learn best.
Do you have artistic children or one who loves crafts or just learns best kinesthetically? Then, consider having a specific area with all the art supplies or craft supplies they’ll need to allow them to explore their creative side.
The Dining Room Table
This space makes the most common sense learning space in the house. With mom often busy cooking, cleaning and taking care of other children, the dining room table is generally central hub for all that happens at home.
So, when kids are busy learning at the table, mom can have one eye on the homeschooling process and another on the pot of boiling water. It just makes the most sense.
To make the most use of this space think about how it can serve double purpose. Turn your china hutch into a storage center for your homeschool supplies. Paint a wall with chalkboard paint for daily lessons or, let kids practice handwriting by copying awesome quotes.
Learning on the Couch
Maybe it’s a bit unexpected for newer homeschoolers, after all, the couch is where we relax. But, it’s the perfect place to curl up with a good book, or watch educational video.
Keep some lap trays nearby and allow your kids to work on math while you fold laundry. Or, let them practice spelling words using a dry erase board.
Couch learning, like the dining room simply makes sense when you consider the natural flow of your day.
In the Car
Let’s face it, we are busy people. We often are traveling for classes, doctor appointments, service projects, co-ops or team sports. When you are rushing here, there, and yonder you might find that fitting in book learning time is difficult.
But, who said learning has to happen behind the desk? Your kids are strapped in the seatbelts, sitting still and an open book makes perfect sense.
Better yet, use the CD or MP3 Player and do some memory work or listen to audio books, or practice math drills as a family and before you know it, your 3 year old will be repeating their multiplication facts.
In the Kitchen
There is no better place to do science experiments than at the kitchen counter. You have containers readily available, you have a heat source, you have a sink for water or for cleaning up. It just makes sense.
At the Library
Think about it, this is a building with tables, comfy chairs and shelf after shelf after shelf of books of every sort, size and genre. Not to mention the digital media resources.
It’s kind of a no brainer and you can find something for every member of the family. I’ve often stopped at the library for homeschool between stops when driving around town for classes, co-ops and field trips.
Keep in mind there are some key times when homeschooling at the library is more accessibly. Early in the day or just after lunch seem to work best. By the time public school lets out, you’ll find the library can get quite busy as kids start pouring in.
A library is also a good place to meet up with friends for reading groups or even use the group rooms for various clubs or classes.
When my son was younger a group of friends used the library for a LEGO build club.
I know as life has been off kilter lately a lot of libraries have remained closed. Hopefully the majority of them will be open and up and running again.
Bonus Homeschool Space: Nature!
I just have to share with you this one more homeschool space that has proven to be a wonderful learning space. Get outdoors, go on a hunt, find treasures all around you as you explore nature with your kids.
Whether you go on an insect hunt, or you find shells on the beach you can use nature as a springboard for learning. It’s natural learning at its best.
Even if you just go for a family walk, bike ride, or play basketball in the driveway… your kids will burn off some energy and you can count it as their gym class.
So are these homeschool spaces what you were expecting?