Homeschooling without a Schoolroom!
We will not be homeschooling in a designated homeschool classroom this year. Last year I learned that I hated being “stuck” in a room separated from the rest of the world. Put another way, I couldn’t get anything else done. I really don’t like that.
I would like to be able to do things like wash the dishes, pay bills, or make food during the day. I also kind of felt like I was stuck in a fish bowl. I don’t want to have to depend on a homeschool room to conduct class.
The other reason that we chose not to take over a whole room for homeschool was because we wanted the kids to have their own rooms. This may sound like we are spoiling them but…here’s the deal.
My 10-year-old, who has Asperger’s, does much better with her own space to decompress in. If I have my 5-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter share a room…what happens as they get older…are they to continue sharing a room? I don’t think so.
Go here to read more on things we learned last year and why we want to simplify our school.
So, instead we will be homeschooling in the dining room mostly. We have also gotten both kids their own desk in their bedrooms which will be used for quiet study, independent stuff that they need quiet space for, or what ever else their heart’s desire. I have also gotten a lap desk for them both too.
Here’s the dining room…we are slowly remodeling so ignore the faults please.
I have made it a huge goal to not let my house look like a classroom. Although, I did have to make a compromise with my new and spectacular laser printer.
I ended up moving my microwave into the washroom which is right next to the kitchen…I’m trying to phase the microwave out anyways so it worked fine.
Even though I don’t want my dining room to look like a schoolroom, I still want to be able to use everything that one would want to use in a schoolroom.
This board was a 4′ x 8′ whiteboard (sometimes called shower board) purchased from Lowes. In our store this was near the crown molding. It is about 1/3 centimeters width but is very sturdy. One side is a shiny white surface perfect for wet or dry erase markers and the other side is just a brown rough surface.
You can have the people at Lowes cut it for you (it was free for me) in what ever dimensions you like. They will tell you, “We can’t guarantee it won’t chip.” Because of this, it’s important to use duck-tape around the edges. The only bummer thing is that it isn’t magnetic. But going this route is enormously cheaper than actually purchasing a “white erase board.”
I would call before going to the store in August…they had to get more from the warehouse when I went. This is a typical purchase item for homeschooling families. The 4′ x 8′ board was between $13-14. A great deal.
The other side of my board is a full-size world map. I purchased a set of two laminated maps from Costco last year. The “states” map is 38″x48″ and the world map is slightly longer. I think this will work great for us with our limited space. I will also be able to use this when I tutor Masters Foundations in our Classical Conversations community. If you don’t like this idea, others I know have purchased a world shower curtain that can be folded up.
Since the world map was longer than I expected, I had to make a little flap for the map to fit the board. Velcro did the trick nicely…my husband’s idea.
All of my boards and such will be put behind furniture when not in use.
Doing homeschool in your dining room doesn’t mean you have to compromise on things like this. I still want something for a calendar, schedule, and other random stuff. This is a tri-fold Tuff Board that is supposed to be reusable.
It resembles plastic and things can be moved around and stuck to a different area. The dry-erase capabilities were not there so I laminated white paper to use. I purchased a cheap calendar kit from Amazon and laminated everything except the big calendar in the center. I used velcro to attach the moveable pieces. This will be a great addition to our homeschool. And at the end of the day, it will be tucked behind the china hutch.
As for storage, I did have to take over my hall closets and a section of T’s closet. We have been in a process of getting rid of things and simplifying our home so this wasn’t too hard. The towels that would normally go here went in the bathroom cupboard. How many towels do you really need anyways?
The black thing on the bottom is a plastic filing cabinet that I will using for my weekly assignments and other miscellaneous stuff. You can see the inside of it here. I have all of my current curriculum here as well. You can go here to see what I did with my Classical Conversations timeline cards and science cards. The red binder is our math facts practice through CC. You can go here to see what I did with those.
I also have a big binder for each kid for their weekly work. On the side of the filing cabinet is more dry erase boards…real ones.
This is our second hall closet that had been the location of our vacuum and Rock Band equipment…do I really need a closet for this? I shuffled things around and now the vacuum lives in the master bedroom and the Rock Band stuff went to the entryway closet…the shoes in the entryway closet are supposed to live in bedrooms.
It was such a tight squeeze in the above closet that I had to take apart the shelve and reconstruct it while in the closet. I have a lot of empty containers in here for now because I don’t really know what I want to put here. This is going to be for random things, projects, craft and office supplies, etc.
And our third storage area, T’s closet. Her closet is the biggest in the house right now so that is how I justify taking over some of her space. Even though I have to clean out random underwear, gum wrappers, and dishes frequently…this is working well. This is the space for all of my homeschool stock that was purchased when it was on sale or with coupons. The math manipulatives for Saxon and play-doe also live here.
Not pictured in the closet are these little supply caddy. I wanted something to store regularly used writing and art supplies that was also portable. Each kid has one so there hopefully won’t be any arguing…we’ll see how that works…
Along with two big whiteboards, I also have two smaller ones like the one pictured above.
Our homeschool set up is a work in progress. I’m always on the look out for better ideas. What do you do in your set up? Share below and get some much deserved credit for your creativity!