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Hearth and Home and Homeschooling
Written by Amber Marie | January 3, 2018
Have you ever searched on Pinterest and discovered wonderful and glamorous photos (think HGTV-inspired) of other’s homeschool room(s)?
Have you ever thought, that is definitely not what my homeschool room looks like?
Have you ever felt guilt or shame because you cannot afford to dedicate/renovate your home to create a unique homeschooling environment, or feel your children are being gypped because your homeschool environment is not magazine-worthy or similar to a traditional classroom?
Disclaimer: For those who have created an HGTV-inspired homeschool environment and may be overly sensitive to the above questions, I offer no judgment. I value substance over “prettiness” but see nothing wrong with having both, if feasible.
If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, you are not alone. As a new homeschooling mom, I allowed images of beautiful homeschool rooms fill my brain with negative thoughts. But, I changed my perspective by re-considering why I love homeschooling. I’m not limited to curriculum or environment. I have the opportunity to share special learning and teaching experiences with my boys, anywhere that suits us (zoo, park, museum, reenactment, etc.). There is nothing wrong with having a dream homeschool space, but for many homeschoolers, this perfect space is not reality. At the end of the day, the aesthetics of your homeschool does not dictate how successful you will be in educating your child. So, in hopes of sending some encouragement your way, let me share with you where I teach my boys. Believe me, my homeschool is anything but perfect, but it works for my family.
My Homeschool Space
In my home, I use a multi-purpose space for homeschooling. This space is often used for gathering with friends, creating art projects or Lego creations, serves as a board game headquarters, but most often this room is designated for eating. My homeschool space is our dining room. This is where I set up and break down my homeschool materials every day. I use painters tape to hang posters and spread curriculum, supplies, and school work over the table for ease. No, my space is not ideal, but it works for us. So, no matter where you homeschool, rest assured that you make the space effective.
I keep my curriculum in a crate. Yes…those file crates you purchase from Walmart or Target. My main lessons, supplies, and curriculum are strategically placed in this crate to allow for easy access to my daily homeschool materials. If you haven’t guessed yet, this crate is located on a spare chair in the corner of our dining room or “homeschool room”. I like the portability and ease of access the crate provides (especially if it needs to be hidden quickly when expecting company…bye bye clutter).
While I don’t keep all school materials in the crate, I do have what I need to run my usual homeschool day. Use what works for your situation (a closet, cabinet, or hutch), but don’t feel limited due to space or money. Allow your space to work for you. It may not be pretty, but homeschooling isn’t always pretty and doesn’t have to be.
A Full Closet
I have an embarrassing amount of manipulatives, workbooks, and school supplies I’ve hoarded from my teaching days. It pains me to say but I don’t use many of these supplies as often as I’d like. With that said, I do like having them at my fingertips just in case I get the itch to use some pom-poms, glitter glue, or pipe cleaners. Undoubtedly, these gleaned goodies needed a home. Enter our basement closet. Although it may not be the most attractive way to organize school supplies, it gets the job done. I’m able to access the supplies I need when I need them. Taking up a whole closet may not be realistic for your space. However, I encourage you to explore different storage solutions that work for your homeschool in your family home. Whether you homeschool in a magazine inspired dream space or a random multi-purpose room inside your home, and no matter how you organize your homeschool materials, I hope through sharing my simple, yet effective tips, you feel more encouraged and capable. Want more ideas? Check out these other homeschoolers who have found storage solutions for their small homeschool spaces.
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Now, it’s your turn! What does your homeschool look like? How do you organize your materials? Share below in the comments. You never know whom you will encourage today.