You’ve seen them – the beautiful pictures of homeschool rooms on Instagram and Pinterest. They have chalkboards, botanical prints, many tall bookshelves full of beautifully curated books. There is a nice big table and cozy reading nook. They look perfect. But do you really need a homeschool room?
There’s no doubt that these homeschool rooms are beautiful and functional. There are definitely both Pros and Cons to having a homeschool room though.
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Pros of Having a Dedicated Homeschool Room
One of the main reasons that homeschool rooms are so great is that they provide a space for focussed learning. Kids won’t be distracted by toys or the tv. When they enter the homeschool room, they will be ready to learn.
All in One Place
The necessary supplies, books, and curriculum needed for homeschooling can all be kept in one place. You won’t have things scattered all over your house, instead everything is kept together in the homeschool room.
Hidden Out of the Way
Some people would prefer to not have chalkboards or world maps hung in their living room. With a dedicated homeschool room, you can keep it all in there and have your preferred decor in the rest of the house.
Cons of Having a Dedicated Homeschool Room
Separates Learning from Regular Life
This is one of the biggest draw backs to having a dedicated homeschool room. By making a separate room for learning, you are communicating to your kids that learning is separate from life. This can be a detrimental mindset that a dedicated homeschool room could instill. One of the main reasons we choose to homeschool is to make learning a part of everyday life. We want learning to be accessible and always available, not closed off in a separate room.
You Might Not Use It
I’ve heard from many homeschooling families that they made a dedicated homeschool room and then never used it! Even with a beautiful room set up exactly the way they wanted it, they still used their living room or dining table for most of their learning.
What to Do Instead of a Dedicated Homeschool Room
Bookshelves or Cube Shelves in Every Room
Intentionally scatter your books throughout the house. Keep it organized and purposeful. This is one of the things that we do. These are our bookshelves:
- Boy’s Room – Picture books, National Geographic Encyclopedias, Read Aloud Books
- Living Room Cube Shelf – Seasonal Books, Poetry Books, Magazines, leveled readers, Floor Puzzles, other toys
- Living Room Book Shelf – Morning Basket on Top, Globe on top, Curriculum & Textbooks, Read Aloud Books
- Hallway Shelf – Adult Fantasy Books, Puzzles, Games
We don’t have many rooms in our house, it’s small, only around 900 square feet. The boys also have a cube shelf full of toys in addition to the shelves listed above. We regularly go through our books and sell any that no longer (or never did) spark joy for us. We also use ebooks for read alouds and my own books. Our living room is also right beside our dining room, so I can easily take books to the table for some lessons.
You may need many more shelves than we have, but I’m sure you get the concept of intentionally placing shelves and books throughout the house to encourage exploration and reading.
Utilize the Living Room
It’s called a living room for a reason; it’s meant to be lived in! Learning is a part of life and that’s why I think the living room is the best place for it. Plus, it’s more comfortable than a table.
We use our living room more than any other room in the house. It’s comfortable, bright and just a nice room to be in together. This is why I chose to put most of our homeschooling stuff in there. It’s our main homeschooling space. We snuggle on the couch together during morning basket time, read books together, do yoga, and most lessons in the living room. We take certain things in to the kitchen/dining room and work at the table.
The TV in our living room, so we can easily look up YouTube videos that tie into lessons or watch documentaries together.
Keep the Homeschool Stuff Simple
It can be really tempting to make your space look like a classroom or get a giant white board or chalk board. Ultimately you don’t really need too many things to homeschool effectively. You don’t have to cover your walls in educational posters. Keep it simple. Make the space look nice and homey, not like a classroom. Make it practical. Having a white board or chalk board is fine. Put up a nice looking calendar or visual homeschool schedule. Hang beautiful art. Get a nice map if you like them.
Enjoy the Learning Journey
Ultimately, you need to do what works for your family.
Maybe you really would benefit from having a homeschool room. If you have the space for it, give it a try! Be flexible and know that you can always change things up if it’s not working for you.
If you don’t have the space for a dedicated homeschool room or just don’t want one, then don’t make one! You can homeschool throughout your home and outdoors.
It’s important to make homeschooling work for you and your kids; don’t stress yourself out trying to be just like someone else. Take inspiration where you find it and make your homeschool space enchanting – whether it’s in a dedicated homeschool room or your living room or your dining room.