How We Homeschool Without a School Room
How often do you see perfect, beautifully decorated homeschool rooms as you scroll through Pinterest or Instagram? If you follow a lot of homeschoolers, probably nearly every time you log on. These gorgeous pictures can be fun to browse through, but when you see them so often, it can leave you feeling like you can’t homeschool well without a school room or that you don’t have it together as much as other homeschool parents.
Contrary to the impression you may get from social media, most homeschoolers don’t have a dedicated homeschool space. My family doesn’t have one. Like most homes on the smaller side, ours has three bedrooms, a living room, and an eat-in kitchen. That’s it. There’s no dining room, den, office, spare bedroom, or basement to turn into a school room. Yet, we’ve homeschooled successfully for five years without one.
How We Homeschool Without a School Room
Here’s our kitchen table. It’s where the kids do their written work, science experiments, art, crafts, and other projects. Between the doors, we painted a chalkboard on the wall. It was fun when the kids were younger, but we don’t use it as much anymore.
The door at the end of the table leads to the laundry room. We keep our pencils, crayons, markers, scissors, glue, and other school supplies in a shower caddy on top of our dryer. We also keep our globe here and hung our history timeline, which is from The Good and the Beautiful, over the washer and dryer.
Our gerbil, Whiskers, lives on a small cabinet across the room from the table. Don’t worry; he’s not near where we prepare or eat our food. Gerbils are messy! We keep miscellaneous school and home office supplies in this cabinet.
I didn’t want to hang classroom posters and reference charts in our house, so I made or bought small ones and keep them in a binder. When the kids were younger, this binder had miniature versions of the posters you’d typically see in an elementary classroom, like manuscript and cursive alphabets, days of the week, months of the year, numbers, etc. Now we store our math and language arts charts from Christian Light Education in the binder.
We do most of our reading in the living room on the couch. Behind the couch, we have a china cabinet that we use to store books and other items. The kids each have their own “cubby” in a lower cabinet, where they store their school books, notebooks, and other things they use frequently.
Sometimes the kids also read or do other schoolwork in their bedrooms, especially when they don’t want to be interrupted or distracted.
Our computer armoire is in the corner of the living room. As you may have noticed, we took the doors off because they got in the way when opened. This corner is where the kids do online school work, type papers, and do anything else that requires a computer.
Why I Don’t Want a School Room
I used to wish we had a school room and looked at all those beautiful pictures on social media with jealousy. Not only have I discovered that a school room isn’t necessary, but I’ve found that I prefer not having one. Here’s why:
- I’d rather live within our means in a smaller house than in a large house with extra space for a school room. A large house would mean more debt, higher utilities, and more space to clean.
- Not having a school room helps promote the idea that learning is part of everyday life and can happen everywhere, not just in places set aside for education, like schools.
- Without a school room, it’s easier for me to multitask. I can fold laundry, wash dishes, or cook a meal while helping my kids with their school work. If we homeschooled in a separate part of the house, I’d always be running back and forth.
- I don’t want my house to look like a classroom. While many people enjoy having a school-like classroom, and there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just not a look or atmosphere I enjoy. I want every room of our house to feel like a home, not a school.
- Not having a school room helps me keep clutter minimal. Since we can’t just shut the door on a school room at the end of the day, we have to clean up our school work and supplies when we finish. Lack of a school room also keeps me from being tempted to accumulate excessive school-related items that aren’t really necessary.
How Other Families Homeschool Without a School Room
Want to take a peek at how more families homeschool without a school room? These blog posts and YouTube videos are full of great ideas.
- Homeschooling Without a Schoolroom
- How to Homeschool Without a School Room & Stay Classy
- Homeschool Organization Without a School Room
- Organizing Your Homeschool in a Tiny House
- Tiny House Homeschool
- Homeschooling in a 5th Wheel