If you are new to homeschooling this fall, now is the best time to start organizing your homeschool classroom.
Setting up a homeschool room for your family may seem like yet another daunting task when it comes to starting homeschool.
With major decisions to make about what curriculum to choose, how to set up your homeschool schedule (hint: download my free printable homeschool schedule!), and what type of yearly calendar you’ll follow, the importance of creating a homeschooling classroom can often be overlooked.
For help with some of these decisions, read my most recent post about how to start homeschooling right here.
And keep on reading to find homeschool room ideas and advice that will make setting up your homeschool classroom so much easier!
It is well worth your time to create a homeschool classroom
While it is definitely not necessary to dedicate one entire room of your house specifically to homeschool, it is hugely helpful to have one central location in your home to do homeschool every day.
If you have a spare room, that’s great.
If you don’t, that’s completely okay too.
You might consider converting the den, guest room, game or media room, dining room, music room, basement, loft, or extra living area into your homeschool classroom.
If you are thinking, “Media room? yeah, right!” please know that I’ve been there too!
Six years ago my family of seven lived in a tiny house in Japan – and homeschooled at the kitchen table for the entire three and a half years we were there.
I’ll be straight up with you: that wasn’t my favorite thing ever.
But it was literally the only place in the entire house we could fit four kids and me around a table to learn.
Now we live in a home with a complete schoolroom, so I’m telling you from my personal experience that if it’s at all possible for you to create a homeschool classroom (or even a homeschool area!) in your home, it is WELL worth the effort.
Outer order leads to inner calm
I recently finished reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (highly recommend, by the way!), and she discusses in detail the fact that creating outer order leads to inner calm.
Several major psychology studies have found that creating an orderly, uncluttered environment can contribute to increased rule-following and generosity.
And believe me, as a new homeschool mom, you want your homeschool classroom to have lots of rule-following and generosity, am I right?!
So let’s get started on creating a fun and functional homeschool classroom for your family!
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One of the most important decisions to make about your homeschool classroom will be about the type of surface you will use for your kids to write on.
Some of the most common options for homeschool desks are:
- a family table, such as a dining table
- a large group desk
- an individual desk for each child
- a small table for one or two kids
I have always preferred having all of my kids at the same work station – either at the kitchen table, around our old train table when they were small, or now at our family homeschool desk.
Having everyone together in one location makes it very easy to do group learning, such as read aloud time, morning devotionals, and group teaching for subjects like social studies or science.
Also, when kids need help with their schoolwork, I am right there when they need me! (To learn more about how to homeschool multiple grade levels, read this post!)
If you have kids in middle school or above, or have a large age gap, you may consider having an additional, individual space for your older kids to study and work as needed.
Homeschooling at the kitchen table IS definitely possible – especially if you plan for your homeschool day to end at lunch time (which is ideal for elementary school!).
If you know your homeschool day will be longer, or you’d prefer to start school later in the morning, it is likely that you’ll also need to use your kitchen table to eat lunch.
This leaves you with a few options:
- you can either pack up all of the school materials before eating
- you can eat lunch with all the books and papers everywhere (hoping that no one will spill!)
We’ve done both. And like I mentioned before, it really was less than ideal.
So, if you are planning to homeschool your kids in one location AND for your day to extend over lunch time, I strongly suggest purchasing an inexpensive table and chairs set for your homeschool.
If your kids are small, this little kids’ table and chairs set would be ideal with its neutral colors and incredibly affordable price point!
Also, if you are remotely fond of your kitchen or dining table and want to keep it looking pristine, don’t hold homeschool on top of it.
The surface you choose for your homeschool classroom WILL get pencil, crayon, marker, and glue marks all over it!
Family homeschool desk
If homeschool seems like it may be a long term solution for your family, you may consider investing in a homeschool desk.
My amazingly handy husband built ours. Some of my favorite features are the individual cubbies and drawers for each child.
If you don’t have the time or tools to build your own homeschool desk (most of us don’t!), you might consider this awesome adjustable height desk for multiple students from Wayfair that can grow with your kids. I love the little cubbies for holding school supplies too!
If you really want to recreate the feel of a public school classroom (which really isn’t necessary – find out why right here!), you may consider purchasing a few simple individual desks for your kids.
There are more options for individual homeschool desks available than you might think!
This small table and chair option here is exactly what many students find in middle and high school classrooms. Because there isn’t any storage, you will want to be sure you have a good sturdy bookshelf or cubbies for them too!
If you something more aesthetically appealing, you may opt for a pretty wooden desk with an open top and matching chair for each of your kids. Having a desk with built-in storage is such a great help!!
A simple school desk like this offers both storage for books and papers and a classroom type of vibe that your kids might like.
It is really easy to overlook the importance of the chairs our kids will be sitting in to do their daily schoolwork. But their comfort level can have a big impact on how well they pay attention and focus on their work.
My recommendation is to go less expensive on the homeschool desk or table – since these will get messy often – and spend a little more money on quality chairs for your kids.
So what makes a good chair?
Your kids will most likely appreciate a chair with a little bit of padding. Most public school chairs are made of plastic and are very hard to sit in all day long. This small upgrade does wonders in helping them feel more comfortable.
Also, make sure the chair legs are short enough so your kids’ feet can reach the floor. It may sound odd, but having dangling feet all day can make little legs feel tired!
It is also recommended to avoid any type of spinning chair as this would be a major distraction during lesson time!
These leather chairs with a built in foot rest are my favorites. They would look stylish in almost any homeschool classroom, are easy to clean, and are a great inexpensive upgrade in comfort over any wooden or plastic chair.
While you may not want your home to look like a public school classroom, it is helpful to have a few things on the wall that can contribute to the homeschool learning experience.
Here are some things to consider for your homeschool classroom walls:
For years I kept a white board and an easel in our homeschool room. This was not only an incredible space waster, but a fantastic tripping hazard too.
Now we have a large wall-mounted white board like this that I absolutely love and use every single day.
It is magnetic, so it is easy to display the kids artwork or switch out our quote of the week.
A white board is so much less messy than a chalkboard, which creates a ton of chalk dust.
A simple cork board like the one we own is a great homeschool room addition.
It is the perfect place to display things that stay fairly constant, such as your daily homeschool schedule or a small poster of the times tables.
A good world and country map is essential for any homeschool classroom.
This double-sided, laminated world and United States map is just the right size to display on the wall AND bring down to the desk for map work during the school day. (And it’s big enough for a few kids to crowd around too!)
I have joked with my homeschooling mom friends for a long time that you can can always tell a homeschooling house if there’s at least one giant map on the wall!
My kids and I all love our monthly pocket calendar like this so much!
It includes over 100 special day cards, cards that signify today, yesterday, and tomorrow, and more.
We’ve had our pocket calendar for the entire 8 years we’ve homeschooled and it is still in great shape. It is so easy and fun to switch to a new month and has a ton of storage for all the unused cards at one time.
As an avid clock-lover, I enjoy displaying three different clocks in our homeschool classroom.
Because we’ve lived on three continents during the course of my husband’s military career, we set one clock on London time, another on local time, and another on Tokyo time. (I did this first when we lived in Japan, my husband was deployed to the Middle East, and our family was in the United States so we could easily see what time it was wherever our loved ones were around the world.)
There are also some excellent wall clocks for kids who are still learning to tell time like this. I love that the minutes are well marked, as are the quarters of the hour.
Posters and pocket charts
When we first started homeschooling, I wanted our homeschool classroom to look like a public school classroom.
Looking back, I can see how that wasn’t necessary at all.
In fact, several recent studies have shown that many public school classrooms provide too much visual stimulation for kids.
With posters of the eight parts of speech, the periodic table, the solar system, the times tables, fractions, historical timelines, and more, it is easy to see how these can be a giant distraction from the actual lesson being taught!
So, don’t feel a need to fill your homeschool classroom with posters and pocket charts, mama!
Instead, choose one or two things to put up on your magnetic white board or pin to your cork board and you’ll be all set. (And your kids won’t be distracted either!)
The only exception to the posters and pocket charts is if you have a new reader or writer (or a child in 2nd grade or lower).
In this case, I would recommend displaying a simple alphabet line like this for her to reference when she’s trying to remember her letters. Put it up high near the ceiling so she can see it easily.
(And if your little one needs help with remembering numbers, have him look at your pocket calendar!)
Other homeschool classroom necessities
This is a relatively short list, but both of these items are ones that we use almost every day for our homeschool!
This might seem like a given, but let me tell you what a wonderful thing it is to have a good pencil sharpener!
I can’t recommend this exact pencil sharpener enough – it is the best one we’ve ever owned! It is super easy to use, is a cinch to clean and it works like a charm.
My parents were so kind and gifted us a fun interactive globe like this when we first began homeschooling. My kids have all really enjoyed it over the years and have learned a lot from it.
For a more inexpensive option, this sturdy, simple 8-inch globe would be a great addition to your homeschool classroom.
Having a globe really helps kids understand so many things about our world – from scientific topics such as the seasons, geography, and helps put a better perspective on history and politics as well.
Final thoughts on how to set up your homeschool room
Setting up your homeschool room or area in your home doesn’t need to be a stressful experience!
A few essential items, such as a desk or table, comfortable chairs, a couple of maps, a clock, a great pencil sharpener, a white board, a cork board and a globe will all contribute to your kids’ learning experience.
And remember mama: you don’t need to recreate the public school classroom!