Our homeschool room is our dining room. When it’s time for school, we just pull out books and sit down to work, then clear them off later to have lunch or supper. Currently, this is what it looks like:
We have bookshelves down one side of the dining room. Until now, I’ve used one shelf on the bookshelves as our homeschooling shelf. That made it easy to grab books when we were ready to do school. We just rearranged and added the little cupboard in the back under the window. I am now using that to store homeschool books, supplies, manipulatives, etc.
On the right, you can see our Hundred Number Chart on the wall along with a small blackboard. The blackboard has come in handy for writing out spelling words or demonstrating math problems. We also have another blackboard easel. It usually sits on the left by the end of the bookshelves. I can move closer to the table if we need it.
When we first moved in, I put an alphabet around the walls. When I shared a picture of that on Facebook, a teacher friend of mine commented that I do the same thing every parent and new teacher does—put the alphabet way up high on the walls, where the kids can’t see it. She said it should be at eye-level for them. Which is a good idea, but it’s hard to fit it in around bookshelves and windows. So I left the alphabet up there.
In the new homeschool cupboard, I have a drawer for each of the girls’ workbooks and notebooks. One drawer has some colouring books and scribblers to keep Jade busy while the older girls are doing school. This year, Lily has just been doing various preschool books we’ve found secondhand for her, so this makes it easy to grab her books when she wants to do school too:
One drawer has my notebooks, planners, and extra materials. I think I’ll use another drawer for the pencil box, rulers, and other things we’re always looking for when we start school.
In the big cupboard is our books, math supplies, and play dough. This is by my chair, so I can just reach down to grab whatever subject we’re doing next:
That’s how I have the cupboard organized for now, though as I was putting things away I was thinking about all the books that I just ordered for this year… so it might change slightly in a few weeks when those books arrive.
So that’s how we’ve organized our “homeschool room” for the last year and how I expect we’ll continue to do it. I like being able to work with all three girls around the table together. I can start one on her work and then move around the table to help the other. Jade feels like she’s part of things and Lily picked up quite a few things from Sunshine this past year. (I’m starting her on some Grade 1 curriculum this year, rather than just Kindergarten).
When I was homeschooling, we started working at the dining room table. Later, my grandma found old-fashioned school desks for my brothers and I at garage sales. We had an office space that we used for a homeschool room, with my mom’s desk and two computers, a couple filing cabinets, a large black board, the alphabet around the top of the wall, and one wall covered in two maps.
As a teen, I worked more often at my own desk in my room. So what works might change over the years, but for now, the dining room table is a great place for our learning to happen.