“Do I have to have a homeschool room in my house in order for homeschooling to be successful?”
No! Not necessarily.
We are firm believers that learning can happen anywhere. Not every homeschool looks alike. Build the environment that works for your family.
That being said, environment plays a big factor in habits and behavior. Here are some thoughts to consider as you set up your learning environment.
What are your goals this school year?
Have you written down the goals you have this year for your family? This could be individually for each kid or as a whole family. Writing down your goals will help determine what habits you want to create and what supplies or furniture you will need.
For example, we have a goal as a family to read every day. We value reading together, reading independently, and reading all kinds of books. So, we set up our environment to support that by having 2 bookcases with room for current books (not stuffed to the brim), a book box for library books, and beanbags + couches nearby to comfortably enjoy a book.
Another goal we have is to learn through all sorts of media: games, puzzles, computers, writing, workbooks, etc. In order to do this, we need surfaces. We have a computer desk, 2 small desks for individual work, and a table we can gather around (that is not our dinner table) where puzzles and art projects can be left out without being in the way of meals.
We also need storage to keep all of these media. I found 2 cupboards on Facebook Marketplace that have been awesome and inexpensive. We also enjoy the cubical shelves from IKEA. Sterilite buckets with lids fit great on these shelves and keep things neat and organized but accessible to all the kids.
Write down your goals to help you think about the way you want to set up your space.
Is your space user friendly?
Look at your placement of furniture. Are your kids looking out toward the room when they sit at their desks or are they facing the wall? Which way is best for each of your children?
What about the storage of supplies? Are the books and tools you will use daily more accessible than those that you will only use once a week? Can your children reach the things they need to feel independent and successful in their schooling?
What do you have on the walls? Do you have ABC posters because they have always been there but nobody actually needs them anymore? Do you have pictures or sayings that are important to your family? I love hanging up our goals, our schedules, our family photos, and places to display the kids’ artwork through the year. Make sure your walls are for your family—not just what they are “supposed” to have on them.
Sometimes we will set up a learning space because it looks “prettier” or better for that one Instagram photo. But remember! This space is for you and your kids to be able to learn! Who cares what it looks like to others! Make it yours and make it usable.
Don’t be afraid to change it!
When something isn’t working—change it! If a table is in the way, move it. If you are constantly using a book you didn’t realize you would use often, put it where you can easily grab it. If you are tired of getting the markers down for a child, how can you help them reach them on their own? Change is good! Adaptation brings learning and growth.
This year is going to be amazing! Now is YOUR time. It’s all about YOUR home, YOUR family, YOUR story!
Let’s set up our homes to be natural habitats for learning.