In 2017, I embarked on one of my biggest adventures. No, it was another business idea, though I’ve had fun starting new businesses. That year, I started homeschooling my kids. I was not homeschooled, nor was anyone in my family. So, this was a big undertaking! Now, we are going into our fourth year of homeschooling! Homeschooling has pros and cons but we are loving it. Whether you’re homeschooling, or tackling virtual school, having a dedicated school space is great for learning.
Well, you might say, since you school at home, why do you need a dedicated homeschool space? Good question! Honestly, we don’t use the homeschool space all day, everyday. It just gives us a dedicated spot to work together, store school supplies, to house any school-related devices, etc. Kids do need some structure, so I find that a dedicated school space provides just that for them and me. However, we occasionally work on school work outside and other parts of our house. Homeschooling is about adapting to works best for your children. Please do what works best for your family! That’s the beauty in homeschooling.
We recently had the opportunity to refresh our school space using items found at The Home Depot. Our homeschool setup had seen better days. It was so much fun to get our homeschool space setup, for the rest of the year. It only took a weekend to makeover our small space that’s dedicated to homeschool. No matter how big or small of a space you have to work with, I hope the following tips help you setup a homeschool space your kids and you love. If you don’t homeschool, you’ll find these tips helpful for a homework area or designing any room in your home.
1. Create an Inspiring Element
No matter the size, incorporate an inspiring element into the homeschool space. In our case, our homeschool space is the use of a wall in our office. I installed peek and stick wallpaper on the wall, as an inspiring accent for the space. It creates a defined “work area” for the kids too. This accent wall identifies this area as one thing – the homeschool space. When the kids sit down, they should feel excited to be in the space and ready to work. This step will look different for everyone, but I’d like you to think about what “inspiring” looks like for your space.
2. Utilize Wall Space
You’d be surprised how much you can include on an 8-foot wall. Since this wall was the only place for us to have a homeschool space, I really had to maximize the walls. The skies the limit, or in this case, the ceiling. I created a DIY tabletop, using 2 x 8 pine boards and mending plates. Then I found my wall studs and installed the shelf on brackets. No instead of a chunky desk taking up floor space, the kids have a working table installed on the walls. Wall sconces are an additional way to take advantage of wall space and serve a purpose. I purchased plug-in lights so as to not have to worry about hardwiring. There is also an additional shelf installed at the top of the workspace. It houses baskets for things we don’t need all the time (craft supplies, archived schoolwork, etc.).
3. Add Storage
Baskets can easily be stored on shelves and we are definitely taking advantage of that option. I installed a 2×8 board up above the lighting for baskets. Pegboard is also is a functional wall storage option. The Home Depot sells assorted pegboard hooks and you’ll find these helpful for storing readily-used school supplies. There is a pegboard hook that exists for whatever item you want to hang. To determine what to hang, think of items that your kids need access to on a daily basis. Just make sure they remember to put the items back to keep the space organized.
4. Add Decor
Schooling at home shouldn’t feel stoic, after all you’re at home. Decor should match your home and be kid-friendly too. The kids were using the same chairs from 3 years ago, so I knew the needed metal stools. The metal will be easy to clean in case of a spill. I do let the kids keep small snacks/drinks in their school space. So, easy-to-care for decor is optimal for the space. In addition, a throw blanket adds a layer of coziness to the space. Can you bring a blanket to school? When you homeschool you can and we use them all year!
5. Add Lively Touches
Lively touches can include new plants (faux or real) or a classroom pet. In our case, we already have a dog and that’s all the pet I can handle for now. So, I incorporated a faux snake plant and two other real plants – a Pothos and a Majesty Palm. Have the kids name the plants (or pet) so that they can form a personal attachment to it. Teach the basics of plant care, plant care names (scientific use cases), or pet care. This content would be a great segway into gardening and open up another homeschool adventure.
When you homeschool, every single moment is a moment to teach.
Take advantage of every opportunity to learn and be taught by your kids too! Your kids will learn how to read, how to write, how to solve difficult math problems, and a lot of other great things. The valuable time you have to teach them is just that – VALUABLE. Teach them the very best you can and don’t miss the opportunity to be taught by them too! I’ve had to research so many subjects and questions since I started homeschooling. I’ve learned a lot too! I wish you the best on your homeschooling journey and wish a good year to your kids if they are in public school.