Whether you've opted to homeschool or are just looking for a way for your child to do their school's work at home, having a dedicated learning space for your student will set them up for success this school year. Here are some homeschool room ideas that may inspire you as you're gearing up for the 2021-2022 school year!
If you're reading this, you're probably new to this whole "teaching your kids at home" thing. And that's okay. The first step is setting the stage. That means creating a space where your child is free to learn, grow, and explore. You're on the right track already.
Natural light is a must for learning. In fact, a study of 21,000 U.S. elementary students found that kids who were exposed to higher levels of sunlight in a classroom scored 26 percent higher in reading and 20 percent higher in math than children in a room with lower levels of natural light. If you don't have a space in your home with a good source of natural light, you could even encourage your child to find a spot outside (as long as it won't easily distract them).
Create a space where your child knows they can find everything they need for school. Even if they end up changing locations or learning in creative or alternative spots, having all of their materials in one place can be helpful.
Make sure you have:
Don't feel like you need to completely fill the space with tons of materials and visual stimulation. Sometimes what your student needs is space to breathe and create. As the year goes on, their space will evolve with them, and you'll find things that do and don't work.
While yes, it may be important to keep materials accessible, encourage your child to keep their work area free from unnecessary clutter and toys. When they finish a project, encourage them to return all materials back to their designated spot. Shelves and storage can really come in handy when you're setting up a space specifically for learning. That way, they can easily transition between subjects. Don't feel like you have to splurge on some expensive storage solution, though. Check Facebook Marketplace or thrift stores for shelves and storage. You can also use an over-the-door shoe organizer for storing smaller items like pens, pencils, markers, glue sticks, scissors, rulers, and more!
A whiteboard is such a helpful learning tool, especially for visual learners. That's why almost every classroom in America has one. Whether your kids need to work out a problem, have visual reminders, or keep track of assignments and progress, a whiteboard can help. You can also use a chalkboard, but that requires a lot more cleaning due to all the chalk dust. Having ample wall space also leaves room for art projects you want to display or visual reminders of colors, letters, or numbers. A bulletin board can be great for pinning up important materials or art projects (especially if you don't want to mess up your wall paint).
The key to focused learning is having limited distractions. Studies have shown that limited noise is one of the largest factors in concentration for children. Your house could be bustling with lots of noise and distraction. If that's the case, maybe the best place to set up your child's learning space is in a separate room as opposed to the dining room table.
The beauty of having a learning space at home is that it can be catered to each family's individual educational needs. You can have your child personalize the space with their own artwork, decorations, or signs. Have a quiet space where they can add pillows or blankets to help the space feel more inviting. If your child feels the space is their own, they may feel more motivated to take care of it and use it. Ask your child what inspires them to learn, and you may be surprised at what they say!
The beauty of learning at home is you can ditch those cold, uncomfortable school chairs. (As someone who always had long hair, I'd like to formally petition to change school chairs so your hair doesn't get caught in the bolts)! Make sure your child has good, comfortable, yet supportive seating. You can even change it up with bean bags, balance balls, whatever works best for your child's needs.
One of the amazing benefits of homeschooling is that your kids can get all the fresh air and exercise they need to stay focused when they need to. Even though you've created a thoughtful, creative, and useful learning space indoors, don't underestimate the value of the outdoors. Use it to your advantage. Create a scavenger hunt where they find different things in nature that start with letters of the alphabet. Create a garden where they can see the growing cycle of a plant in action. The possibilities are endless!
If you have space, a "cozy corner" is something that teachers everywhere love to implement. Add a colorful rug, pillows, stuffed animals, beanbags, and have books that are easily accessible. This can be a space where kids retreat where they can get comfortable, calm, and re-centered. This can be especially helpful if you have a child who deals with big emotions. It can also be a space you can use as a reward for when work is completed or a task is well done.
One of my favorite movies growing up, So Dear to My Heart, had a song called "It's Whatcha Do with Whatcha Got" that has arguably gotten me through most projects, endeavors, and life phases, if I'm honest. Here, this principle comes in handy yet again. It may be tempting to raid the organizer section Michaels to set up your learning space in some picture-perfect schoolroom with color-coated drawers and expensive shelves. But don't feel like you have to spend your life savings on setting it up. It's what you do with what you've got!
Whether it's a small space, coffee table, repurposed cardboard boxes, or a DIY fort, there are plenty of ways to creatively use space and materials to suit your needs. According to homeschool mom of three, Lindsay Smith (@littleschoolofsmiths), "Wherever your children feel comfortable is where they should learn, whether that be the living room floor, couch, outside, or at the kitchen counter/table."
Whether your family has opted for homeschooling for the foreseeable future or if you're just trying to keep your child on track this year, creating a space where they feel comfortable learning is key. Do you have any homeschool room ideas that work for your family? Let us know on social #getfamilyapp!