As homeschooling picked up steam, many parents saw their home shapeshift into schoolrooms by day only to revert to their regular home roles come evening. Besides the challenge of working from home, setting up a homeschool classroom for your children might seem like a daunting task. However, with a well-crafted strategy, you can create a healthy environment for learning that doesn’t necessarily become cluttered with books, worksheets and other school-related paraphernalia.
Here are some tips to help you organize your homeschool room(s) at home:
1. Choose your homeschool room setup
When thinking about your homeschool room setup, first think about having a dedicated room for your children to spend their time in “school.” Choose one room to be the “homeroom” where children can have table time or desk time if you use one, especially for writing or art-related activities. Consider other areas of the home in order to have couch time, music and outdoor activities. Once you think about your children’s school day in terms of spread-out rooms, homeschooling organization becomes a lot easier.
2. Create a makeshift storage area for essentials
Keep in mind that you are going to need a storage space close to the dedicated table time spot in your home. If it’s the kitchen, consider emptying a cupboard so that writing and art essentials are close at hand. Besides, having this special storage area will make cleanup easier and faster at the end of the day. Added bonus: You are now forced to get rid of those utensils you hardly ever use, but you hang on to, hoping to put them to good use at some point.
3. Assign a “school central” area
Coat an empty wall with chalkboard paint to create a school schedule and to-do-list mashup for your children’s school days, or even to teach lessons or keep track of assignments and tests. If you need to separate the instructional from the organizational side of things, purchase a large wall calendar to keep track of everyone’s schedules and assignments. Go for a plain calendar, which you can later populate with colorful eye-grabbing stickers to signify assignments on various days. Alternatively, you can consider an online tool that tracks classes, grades and other types of information if you completely take over your children’s homeschooling.
4. Decide on the best homeschool desk choice
Whether you’re using the kitchen table or a designated desk, your children will need a place to sit down for assignments that require writing. If the kitchen table setup isn’t working for you, you can either look into a traditional desk or a wall-mounted folding desk to avoid the new furniture from taking up too much of your home space. Most models fold down from the wall, which means they aren’t taking much floor space when folded. You’re already spending most of your time inside your home, so why make it a cramped space?
5. Add labeled bins
Make sure each child has their own bin to keep their work in and other school essentials such as pencils, pens and calculators. Label each bin and set them up in a cubby organizer close to the “school central” area to keep school-related items in one place. Children can also place their to-do-lists in this spot if this practice is part of your homeschooling strategy to help them stay on top of their schoolwork. You can add a curtain, which you can pull at the end of the school day to help separate school hours from regular “home” time.
6. Make further use of wall space
There’s no reason you can’t go vertical with some school supplies — there are many options in terms of school organizers or even floating shelves that you can use to keep children’s school supplies instead of allowing them to take up desk space. Pens, pencils, sharpeners and writing paper can sit at eye level, all the while keeping the rest of your home tidy.
7. Rolling carts are your best friend
While supplies may comfortably sit in your kitchen cupboard or your recently emptied hallway closet, when moving to another area in your home, it is so much easier to use a rolling cart to transport your children’s supplies to the activity area. You can take it back in the closet or place it behind a curtain at the end of the day.
8. Find a home for everything
It might be the simplest way to keep things organized in your home, but make sure to put things back when you finish a task. Teach your children to do the same, and they will always be able to find their belongings. This simple tip will help the entire family to be more organized.
9. Use self storage for surplus household items
Both homeschooling and working from home have put a strain on home space, which means that accommodating both a homeschool room and home means that either some furniture or other non-essential belongings have to be temporarily displaced. If your garage simply can’t hold extra items, turn to self storage. If you’re looking to rent a storage unit in Chicago or in another city where temperatures dip dramatically during the wintertime, make sure to consider a climate-controlled unit that protects your belongings from temperature-related damage. If you have a few small boxes to put in storage, a 5×5 unit will suffice. For furniture and other large items, look into a 10×10 unit to make sure everything can fit.
Did we help your home school organization strategy? Let us know in the comments section below.