I’ve been doing this homeschool thing for almost eight years now. In the beginning, our homeschool space consisted of the kitchen table and occasionally overflowed into the living room cluttering up the coffee table. By the second year, I had learned that having a defined space that is set aside exclusively for learning is critical to our success. Over the years I have added and taken away from our homeschool space until I finally feel that I have a good grasp on what exactly it takes to set up and organize a productive homeschool classroom.
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Eventually, we converted our spare bedroom into our homeschool classroom but if you do not have a whole room to dedicate to your homeschool, don’t worry. You can still make it work. After all, it’s more about including these particular elements into your homeschool space than anything else.
A Student Workstation
Student Desk or Table
Your student needs an area designated exclusively for their learning. They should not use this space for play or any other purpose. When they sit down they should expect to begin learning.
A desk or table or even a particular chair at the table will work for this purpose. I encourage you to keep the space small so it has no room to get cluttered or become a catch-all. Something like this school desk is ideal.
T has grown and his old desk is too short for his 6’2″frame. We have been looking for a new desk for our homeschool classroom. I love this desk from UmBuzoRustic with its gorgeous solid wood design and exposed grain.
A Locker Or Storage Tower
Without a locker, your students are going to need a space to store their books and assignments. Once again, you want to keep the space fairly compact and well organized. We like this Kamiler Fabric Drawers Dresser with Shelves, Storage Tower Unit. Be sure to label bins so kids have no question about what belongs where. Bookends on the top of your storage unit are a nice addition for books they will be using every day for their required reading. I especially love these House Bookends from LazyRiverCrafts because not only are they adorable but they are perfect for any homeschool.
A Teaching Area
As much as your student needs their learning space, you need a designated area for teaching in your homeschool classroom. In this space, you should have your lesson plans, your daily schedule, your school planner, your answer keys, and your grade books. I have an actual desk now (similar to this one), but at one point I used a card table and it served its purpose nicely. A desk organizer like this is nice to have to keep everything organized.
You may want to check out our Homeschool Essentials Bundle for a thorough collection of daily schedules, grade sheets, and more essential homeschool classroom handouts such as book reports, reading logs, and more.
A White Board, Chalkboard, And/Or Calendar
Depending on your space you will have to make the choice that best fits your family. But, you really need a place where you can put your weekly and daily schedules up. Having a schedule is the most important part of setting up your homeschool. You really need one for your own sanity and your students need one so they can know what is expected of them and how far they have to go to complete their work for the day. A schedule creates motivation and direction for the whole class. Check out our post all about how to create a homeschool schedule right here.
I like this Whiteboard Command Center from CircleandSquareDecor.
And while not necessary, I am rather enamored with this Natural Calendar Learning Tool from CustomHouseEngraving. Isn’t it beautiful?
Here at Geez, Gwen, we do offer two lists that you can use for your whiteboards. In our homeschool, we learn a new inspirational quote every week and a bible verse. You can download those lists at no cost right here and tuck them into your planner for use all year long.
Bookshelves And/Or A Reading Station
You really need bookshelves. Our homeschool has two sets of bookshelves and they help us stay organized. At one point, every shelf had a subject label and it made clean up really easy at the end of the day. But one bookshelf would probably work for most families. We also keep non-book things like our telescope and slides, a camera for photography, and model and chemistry kits on these shelves.
If you want to go all out you can get some bean bags or floor pillows and create a really inviting reading station. For those of you with reluctant readers, this can be a game-changer. Extra time in the reading station can also be offered as part of your reward center. The more inviting you make it, the better. It’s also worth noting that reading calms children so if you have ADHD children or deal with anxiety in your homeschool, a reading station can serve as a safe haven. We kept an oil diffuser with soft lighting in our reading corner ready with lavender oil. You may also consider some live plants or a small fish tank but no toys. Just books, blankets, and pillows.
A Rewards Center
Homeschool children deserve recognition too. In our homeschool, we readily give opportunities to earn rewards such as Rising Star Awards, Subject Rewards for Excellence, and many more. Here is a copy of the awards and certificates we give out. But you may also consider a treasure chest and when your student performs above and beyond allow them to select a treat.
As my son grew older our treasure chest turned into brown paper bags. Each bag had a small clue and a little reward inside and I gave these out when he really showed up or overcame an obstacle. You can also set goals that earn rewards. Some people call these types of rewards bribes but I disagree. Effort and reward are a part of life and as long as they are earning their rewards they can go a long way towards encouraging students to give their all. I like these Teacher Baskets from TMTAfterHours. They are a great size for small treats and they can be personalized.
Art and Games Section
Even if you don’t have an Art Station, we encourage you to have an art bin. Art is an essential part of your homeschool curriculum. It should not be left out. Also, games make learning fun so we encourage you to include a box of educational games such as Sum Swamp, Race Across The USA, Prime Climb, and Gravity Maze. We also recommend including something that encourages gentle movement in the classroom. This Yoga Dice Game from TreeFortToys is a great option.
Something to Care For
Teaching responsibility is part of a well-rounded education. This can be enforced by encouraging kids to keep their spaces clean and other chores. But this also includes learning how to keep something alive. Whether it be a class pet such as a fish tank or plants. Personally, I am a fan of including both in your homeschool environment. For a simple plant that only needs misting check out these Sea Urchin Air Plants. They are perfect for even your youngest students to care for.
Homeschool Classroom Additions for students with ADHD
My son has ADHD and also suffers with anxiety. One of the best additions we added to our homeschool was a source for soft music. Your phone or iPad will be fine. The diffuser I told you about is also a valuable resource. You may consider a small waterfall as well. This is the waterfall we use in our homeschool room. We also recommend offering your ADHD students a sitting ball.
Some Fun Decorations
We love re-decorating our homeschool every year. Here are some of the items we are considering for next year.
So there you have my suggestions for setting up a well-organized homeschool room with a space for everything.
Feel free to share your favorite homeschool classroom pieces. We love to hear from you!
More Homeschool Posts To Help You Get Ready For A New Year
- Deals and Discounts Every Homeschooling Family Should Know About
- Every Great Homeschool Education Teaches These Key Life Skills
- Why Homeschool Learning Is So Powerful
- Great Big List of Educational Websites for Homeschool
- Five Things Every Homeschooling Mom Should Hear
Wishing you a great school year,
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