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If you’ve decided to homeschool your child, you’re not alone. According to the National Home Education Research Institute, nearly 6% of all school-age children in the United States receive an education at home today. That’s more than 3 million homeschoolers, with more students trading traditional classrooms for homeschooling every year.
But before you start building your curriculum, you have a homework assignment due: setting up your homeschool room. Fortunately, designing a functional and inspiring in-home classroom doesn’t have to be complicated. You might even say it’s as easy as 1-2-3.
Reasons to Create a Homeschool Room
It may be tempting to set up a flexible or temporary workspace, especially if you’re tight on square footage. However, don’t miss the opportunity to design a homeschool room that helps your child thrive and maximize their potential. A separate homeschool room offers several benefits.
Personalizes the Learning Environment
Is your child a visual learner, or do they prefer to work with their hands? A dedicated classroom at home allows you to get creative and design a space that best suits their learning style and needs.
“I think many parents feel the need to create a classroom like they would see in a typical school in their home, but this is not at all what a homeschool room should look like,” says Erin Rhyne, a former in-home preschool owner and director. Today, she’s a full-time stay-at-home parent and teaches her 7-year-old son in their Austin home. “Homeschooling is a personalized experience and your homeschool room should be as well,” she offers.
Sets the Mood
A homeschool room provides structure and a clear delineation between work and play. When your child enters their classroom, they know exactly what they’re there to do: learn. Additionally, establishing a routine can help them better understand school hours versus playtime, chores, and other activities.
Rhyne first set up learning centers all around the house but soon learned she needed a proper homeschool room. “Once my son started kindergarten, it became apparent we really needed a dedicated space to ‘do school.’ My son needed a way to differentiate ‘school’ time from the rest of the day,” she explains.
Has Fewer Distractions
A quiet place to study and work will help your child concentrate on their tasks. Whether or not they struggle with focus and are easily distracted, it’s best to keep them away from potential interruptions—including pets, siblings, and devices.
Frequent distractions and chronic noise can slow learning and even impact health. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, noise pollution can negatively affect children’s speech and language development, including reading or listening skills, and even elevate their blood pressure.
Promotes Better Organization
Your homeschool room is your education hub, which means you can keep all books, supplies, arts, crafts, and other activities in one place. It keeps unsightly clutter away from the rest of your home (which is always a plus) and saves you from scouring the entire house to find the one pair of scissors.
5 Steps to Setting Up Your Homeschool Room
Now that you understand the benefits of a homeschool room, it’s time for the exciting part: putting it together.
1. Choose a Space
The first step in creating and designing a homeschool classroom is choosing the right space—ideally, one that is quiet, well-lit, and free of distractions.
“It should center around what works best for your children and your family,” says Rhyne. For her and her son, that means plenty of space to play board games for multiplication and spelling practice, along with a view of a tree in their yard. “I chose to use an extra bedroom that has a huge window that lets in tons of natural light.”
You’ll also want to make sure the space has plenty of outlets and access to Wi-Fi so your student has access to programs and online lessons.
2. Get the Right Furniture
Once you have a clear space for your classroom, you can begin thinking about how to furnish and organize it. You’ll want at least a desk or large table, chairs, bookshelves, and storage containers for books and supplies. Consider adjustable desks or tables that can grow with your child, as well as comfortable chairs that promote good posture.
“Having a table and seating that is the correct height and size for your child is extremely important,” says Rhyne. “It’s very difficult for young children to succeed at fine motor skills like handwriting if they do not have the correct posture.”
Don’t forget to also consider your own needs as the teacher. Will you need a comfortable chair for reading aloud or grading papers? Will you need easy access to a printer or other supplies?
3. Design the Space
Create a homeschool room designed around your child’s age, learning style, personality, and interests. If you have more than one child, consider how to bring together their different interests and needs.
Choose colors, textures, and decor that will inspire them. If your child loves the ocean, consider adding ocean-themed decorations, such as seashells and sea creatures. If they’re an artist, arrange a dedicated art area where they can create their masterpieces.
If your child is a visual learner, you can incorporate more visual aids, such as charts and diagrams, into your classroom. But Rhyne suggests keeping posters and wall charts to a minimum to avoid overwhelming your child with visual clutter. “The more you put on the walls,” she notes, “the more lost and irrelevant all of those things will become.”
She also recommends bringing the outdoors in. “Natural items like plants, sticks, and rocks help create a serene space that allows your children to focus. The natural world is a wonderful teacher,” she says. They’ve also set up low shelving that her son can reach along one wall that contains learning materials on the topics they are studying. Another wall has shelves and carts full of school supplies and materials for creative projects.
Don’t forget to add some personal touches. Decorate the room with your child’s artwork or other items that showcase their interests and personality. If your child is old enough, involve them in the design process too so they can help make it their own.
4. Designate Separate Areas for Different Activities
Arrange the room in a way that makes sense to your student. Use bookcases, shelves, or large rugs to divide the room into sections with distinct boundaries.
Consider having a designated space for each subject or activity. Define the area for each activity to make it easier for children to stay on task and keep their materials organized. For instance, one area can be a reading nook while another can be set up with arts and crafts supplies.
Right now, Rhyne’s list of must-haves for her son’s homeschool room includes the following:
- Schedule and classroom calendar
- Clock with labeled hours and minutes
- Dry-erase board with number and letter magnets
- Child-size furniture
- Toy register with realistic money
- Areas for games and art activities
It’s important to be flexible and open to the idea of change. If your child’s interests change or they find themselves struggling, don’t be afraid to switch up the arrangement of your homeschool room.
5. Stay Organized
One of the challenges of homeschooling is managing and organizing all the materials and supplies that come with it. Make sure everything has a place, and put supplies and materials back immediately after using them.
4 Tips for Staying Organized in Your Homeschool Space
Staying organized is essential to the success of your homeschool classroom. These four tips will help your child—and you—stay on track and focused on the tasks at hand.
1. Have a System
Have a system in place to ensure that everything is stored in its proper place. Have a designated area for storing books, supplies, and equipment. Establish a system for keeping track of your child’s assignments, tests, and projects.
2. Label Everything
Label everything in the room to make it easy for your child to find what they need.
3. Keep It Simple
Students should understand the organization process from start to finish. Make sure they know exactly how each item should be stored and where it should go when finished.
4. Keep It Tidy
Teach your child to clean up their own mess. Have them pick up after themselves when they finish a project or activity in the homeschool room.
Rhyne recommends grouping items by subject or topic in a closet or storage shelves. “Only bring out what you are working on right now, this week,” she suggests. “Pulling stuff out and then putting it back out of sight keeps visual and actual clutter to a minimum. The novelty effect also helps spark interest and keeps them engaged.”
With careful planning and organization, you can easily create an inspiring space where your child can learn, grow, and achieve their goals. Remember, a homeschool room is more than just a physical space—it’s a place where your child can explore, learn, and be creative. By following these tips, you can help your child develop a lifelong love of learning in their very own homeschool room.